May 31, 2005
Nine bids to purchase the Washington Nationals have been accepted by MLB. Today's Washington Post has a detailed profile of the leading men in each of the prospective franchise owner partnerships. One of them, Stan Kasten, formerly president of the Atlanta Braves, wanted MLB to move the Expos to New Jersey. Boo-oo! Baseball economics expert Andrew Zimbalist was quoted as saying the franchise might go for $500 if the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (in which the Baltimore Orioles have a 90 percent stake that will gradually decline to 67 percent) is included in the sale. Of course, the legal dispute between Comcast and the Orioles over broadcast rights is holding things up. The franchise might not be sold until after this season is over... The Baseball in D.C. page has been duly updated.
Here's the photo of the place where the controversial call was made yesterday: RFK left foul pole. Note how it is attached to the grandstand, and note the small portion that is not painted yellow, which is where Brian Jordan's would-be home run apparently struck. That photo also reveals the spartan, low-budget (home team) bullpen, with folding chairs used to hold down plastic sheets to keep the dirt dry. It also shows the slight overhang of the second deck in the outfield, as well as the gradual widening of the gap behind the fence as it approaches the foul pole. Finally, it reveals the rail along which the movable part of the grandstand rolls when it is moved into position for soccer games. Between the banners on the green wall are the entry portals for the grandstand when it is in football/soccer configuration. For next season, they should replace one of those banners with an old-fashioned, inning-by-inning manual scoreboard -- nothin' fancy, just a minor touchup that would be functional as well as aesthetically appealing.