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  • More Tea Leaf Reading

    MLB officials are examining the spending cap passed by the D.C. city council in their late night Tuesday session. Their answer to the cap could come as soon as Friday, February 10 (that's according to Comcast) . Since the cap is essentially the same as to what has been agreed upon in the past, District officials feel confident all parties will sign off on the documents needed to continue the stadium building process. MLB is expected to name an owner selected by themselves shortly after the lease is agreed to.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...020901296.html

    Selected budbits:

    On how the lease agreement legilation was handled this week-

    "You think you've seen it all. And then you realize you haven't," Selig said in an interview yesterday. "I've been involved in 18 stadium negotiations, and all of them are difficult and controversial. I've been doing this my whole adult life. But this thing that happened in Washington tops them. It is already legendary in baseball for political intrigue. When it comes to demagoguery, a lot of what happened down there would have made Huey Long blush."
    Bud, you're not forgetting last winter's council vote, are you?

    Without naming Fenty, Catania, et.al., outright-
    Selig called critics of the stadium deal shortsighted, saying the Washington Nationals' first season was great for the city and for baseball.
    Sounds like Bud reads the blogs and boards-
    "Nobody is asking anybody in the District not to look at the dollars. That is their job. But they've got to have some vision," he said. "Everybody saw the excitement in Washington last year."
    Bud reads Zimbalist-
    Selig said that although the economic impact of a new stadium is open to debate, "nobody debates the sociological impact. That is huge. And it lasts for generations."
    Bud on D.C. baseball (or "I don't have anywhere else to put this team that will return half as many dollars as D.C. will."")

    "This team [in Washington] has been a godsend for baseball," he added. "Nobody wants to be in Washington more than I do. It's good for my sport."
    I think we can say we are rounding third.

  • #2
    Just to play devil's advocate here for a second...

    As long as BS and Boob Doopie are involved in the process, nothing is for sure until the building is up and the Nats play their first game in the new barn.

    After following the whole Expos debacle over the past 10-12 years, I've learned that these two nimrods won't be satisfied until everything is settled the way THEY want it. So, if there's still some difference between what the D.C. Council has decided and what the dynamic duo are prepared to accept, there may still be some wrangling.

    Let's wait a few days until the MLB lawyers have read the fine print in the legislation before we accept anything as "final".

    Personally, I don't think the Nats are rounding 3rd at all. Rather, they're on third with the worst two hitters(BS and Doopie) due up.
    CBk Oldtimer #16 now #29

    Comment


    • #3
      There will always be wrangling. Another vote is due on construction of the stadium later this spring. Look for dissension there, too. There's really nothing in the legislation passed that should prevent Baseball from holding up the deal. They'll talk trash, but progress, though a tortured progress, will continue.

      MLB has no alternative, no other market is as lucrative, or even ready. Aside from talking contraction with the CBA due to expire this year, what else can they do? Contraction would have to involve another team as well. There are other teams less financially viable then the Nationals. When Selig says baseball in Washington is "good for his sport", he means $$$$$$$$$$. A team in D.C. has the potential to pull in more money than several markets out there. Though Baseball can't be trusted to make the best decisions, they should name an owner who will strengthen the Nationals system overall and at the same time be willing pick up strong free agents when the need arises.

      This has always been a giant game of chicken between D.C. politicians and Baseball. And will continue to be so.

      Comment


      • #4
        Objectively, I know you are right, but until they actually approve it I will continue to be nervous and biting my nails...

        Eddie Cunningham
        20 20

        Finally---something Nats and Birds fans can agree on!

        Comment


        • #5
          This is from MLB.com:

          "Major League Baseball responded to Washington, D.C., officials on Friday, regarding the adjusted 30-year lease for the Nationals passed earlier this week by the City Council to play in a new stadium on the waterfront just a mile south of the Capitol building.

          After an initial review of the documents, Bob DuPuy, MLB's president and chief operating, said that "it clearly contains conditions, restrictions and new provisions, which go well beyond our previous agreements and raises a number of questions."

          On Wednesday morning, the Council reversed a vote from earlier in the evening, swinging the votes by adding significant provisions in the lease, which previously had been negotiated in mediation between MLB and Washington officials. The document that passed by a 9-4 vote well after midnight includes a $610.8 million cap on the cost of the project and a drop dead date of March 6 for MLB to accept the terms of the revamped deal.

          The Council stipulated that any overrun costs on the project would have to be picked up by the team, eliminated through savings on construction or paid by private sources. The cap, though, doesn't include about $80 million in land acquisition costs that will be paid by the city.

          Those provisions contradict terms of the deal negotiated between the two parties since Washington was awarded the failing Montreal Expos in December 2004.

          In his letter, addressed to Mayor Anthony Williams and Mark Tuohey, the chair of the D.C Sports and Entertainment Commission, DuPuy said that baseball will continue to analyze the lease document before making a formal response.

          "We want to make sure that the kind of ballpark we agreed upon will be built, that it can be paid for as we have agreed, that the team be able to exercise adequate control over the ballpark site, that we understand the limits of the legislative power to further rewrite contracts we enter into and that the balance of burdens and benefits agreed to by us in mediation is readdressed, since it has been seriously disrupted by the legislation," DuPuy said.

          The city needs the signed lease to immediately sell $535 million worth of bonds to fund construction of a ballpark, which is in serious jeopardy of missing its proposed opening at the start of the 2008 season.

          Since signing a term sheet early last year, MLB has made several adjustments in the original deal, agreeing in negotiations this past summer to pay $20 million of cost overruns and paying upfront $24 million of $92 million in rent payments due over 30 years.

          In mediation last month, MLB also agreed to the concept of a cap on the construction costs of the new ballpark; to fund a local baseball academy like the one opening later this month in Compton, Calif., at a cost of $3.5 million; to increase its allotment of free game tickets to local underprivileged youth from 8,000 to 10,000 per season; that Nationals players would make a minimum of 50 youth, educational or charitable appearances a year in the District, and that the owners would hold one of their quarterly meetings in Washington before the summer of 2008.

          But the mediated document stipulated that neither MLB nor the Nationals would pay any additional overrun costs than the previously agreed upon $20 million. MLB contends that it should have no more liability in that area because the city controls the design, construction and procurement of the land for the project.

          "We are studying the language in an effort to understand its impact on our existing agreements and consulting with experts for advice concerning its ultimate impact on the future of Major League Baseball in Washington," DuPuy wrote. "We are interested in reviewing the analysis of this legislation made by both the (District) Office of the Chief Financial Officer and that made by the Office of the Attorney General prior to reaching our conclusions."

          MLB purchased the Expos/Nationals franchise on Feb. 15, 2002, and with pitchers and catchers beginning to report to Spring Training camps this week, is about to embark on its fifth season of ownership. Eight groups have been vying for the past year to buy the team, but MLB has stipulated that it won't sell until the stadium lease is signed sealed and delivered."

          If MLB has problems with the cap itself, we could have serious problems. The Council could not and would not approve the lease without a hard cap on spending. On the other hand, I understand their concern that the lease is vague about just exactly who will pay for cost overruns.

          Eddie Cunningham
          20 20

          Finally---something Nats and Birds fans can agree on!

          Comment


          • #6
            Looks like more trouble:

            Stadium Cost Cap Concerns MLB

            Eddie Cunningham
            20 20

            Finally---something Nats and Birds fans can agree on!

            Comment


            • #7
              At this point it sounds like a lot of posturing on MLB's part. They'll wait for input from D.C.'s CFO Ghandi and the city's Attorney General regarding monetary and legal aspects. Otherwise, as DuPuy states-
              "We want to make sure that the kind of ballpark we agreed upon will be built, that it can be paid for as we have agreed, that the team be able to exercise adequate control over the ballpark site, that we understand the limits of the legislative power to further rewrite contracts we enter into and that the balance of burdens and benefits agreed to by us in mediation is readdressed, since it has been seriously disrupted by the legislation," DuPuy said.
              And what has changed here? The passed legislation doesn't further burden MLB or the city. I don't understand readdressing 'the balance of burdens and benefits agreed to' in mediation. I don't see where legislation violated the mediated agreements.

              Reinsdorf and a contingent leaning toward arbitration? So what. A contingent could be him and two other guys. He's the same guy who said the Nationals drawing their 2.7 million was "disappointing". They outdrew his World Champeen Pale Hose. And Jerry has had years to market his team.

              All in all, I feel the same. MLB wants out and wants to sell. There is no reason for them to hold on. They'll get their $45o million and get on to other crucial items. Like the CBA. And the Marlins...or Twins...or A's

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bob Hannah
                At this point it sounds like a lot of posturing on MLB's part. They'll wait for input from D.C.'s CFO Ghandi and the city's Attorney General regarding monetary and legal aspects. Otherwise, as DuPuy states-

                And what has changed here? The passed legislation doesn't further burden MLB or the city. I don't understand readdressing 'the balance of burdens and benefits agreed to' in mediation. I don't see where legislation violated the mediated agreements.

                Reinsdorf and a contingent leaning toward arbitration? So what. A contingent could be him and two other guys. He's the same guy who said the Nationals drawing their 2.7 million was "disappointing". They outdrew his World Champeen Pale Hose. And Jerry has had years to market his team.

                All in all, I feel the same. MLB wants out and wants to sell. There is no reason for them to hold on. They'll get their $45o million and get on to other crucial items. Like the CBA. And the Marlins...or Twins...or A's
                I'm worried that you may only be half right and that MLB just wants out now. They will be kiling the goose if they want to take this to arbitration since this lease will expire if MLB does not approve it after March 7th and there is no way that the D.C. Council will be able to pass another.

                One more thing to consider. Some fans at the MLB Nats board interpret his remarks to mean that baseball is determined to kill the deal by naming Smullyan as owner, since he is the only one who cannot handle cost overruns. I think they have it backwards and that Smullyan may ALREADY be their preferred guy and for some time now. I suspect the clause in the lease guaranteeing the team will not move for 30-years was put in to allay fears that Smullyan would be another Robert Short.

                Rejecting this lease outright and taking it to arbitration would be killing the golden goose---but don't think baseball can't and won't do it because they shouldn't.

                Eddie Cunningham
                20 20

                Finally---something Nats and Birds fans can agree on!

                Comment


                • #9
                  We are supposed to get some sort of response from MLB tomorrow. Anybody want to guess what that is going to be?

                  Eddie Cunningham
                  20 20

                  Finally---something Nats and Birds fans can agree on!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gandhi endorses new stadium lease

                    Cross your fingers, guys! If MLB was waiting to hear bad news from Gandhi as an excuse to reject the lease, they aren't getting it. As the NBC promos put it, it's time for Bud and Jerry to answer the one billion dollar question---Deal or No Deal?

                    Eddie Cunningham
                    20 20

                    Finally---something Nats and Birds fans can agree on!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good news This eliminates one more excuse for MLB to reject the deal.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "Gandhi endorses new stadium lease"

                        Baseball... how could you say no to a guy named Gandhi?
                        The Q: Can the Cubs hold a 6-5 lead with 2 outs and nobody on in the 9th?

                        The A: No

                        ***********My Rant on Bud Selig***********
                        Selig is like a stray pigeon. Pigeons are too self-absorbed to care about anyone else. They poo on people they don't like; they poo on people they don't even know. The only real difference between Selig and a pigeon is that Selig intends to bury our heritage, our traditions, and our culture,

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think that all MLB has been waiting on is what Gandhi has to say. With his stamp of approval, MLB can unload the team and get it sold, split up their money, and slap each other on the back during spring training.

                          Lets Play Ball!

                          :gt
                          Tideman80
                          James McKenzie
                          The 'Nats are back!

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