JACK: NEVER MIND THE $20M

Evans: No need for $20M for D.C.The Wash. Times
Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) says that the District “does not need it and at this stage should drop it.” The “it” is the request for $20 million from MLB for the ballpark. Jim Graham (D, Ward 1) disagrees. More of the same from the D.C. council.


MARC FISHER: Grinches Try to Steal BaseballThe Post
Fisher blames the council for the lease problems. T(h)om Loverro of The Wash. Times agrees with Fisher and actually makes some decent points for a change until he starts saying Maryland should chip in. It’s a little late to be suggesting a regional stadium authority now, isn’t it?

National Disgrace Bud Selig is not helping matters though, he is sending a letter to the mayor (AP/WJLA) about their concern for the lack of progress on the lease.


Selig Meeting With Potential Nationals Owners This WeekThe Post
Oh, how thoughtful of Selig to meet with Yusef Jackson. I think he has two ownership groups left to meet with 14 months after the team was awarded to D.C. Now that is progress!

Nationals will play 15 games in VieraFlorida Today
Actual team news — the spring training schedule has been released.
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TRAVESTY!

Being a Nationals fan can be tough at times. We were largely deprived of watching our local nine on television and when we could, we had to listen to Ron Darling. We also heard nothing about the Nats on the so-called “sports radio” station and the official Nats station had a terrible signal. Throw in a lack of ownership, poor concession service at RFKave and of course, Peter Angelo$, and we are the one-eyed, club-footed stepchild of MLB fans.

The offseason has been no better, even worse in many regards with the ballpark lease in doubt, MLB still keeping us from getting an owner, etc. However, the greatest indignity did not come from the National Disgrace that is Bud Selig or the politics of Linda Cropp. No, this indignity came from an unlikely source, one that even championed the very person that has been slighted, back in spring training.

I’m talking about Washingtonian magazine.

Now I like Washingtonian, I even subscribe to it. It has a few good articles each month along with a good list of coming events in a handy dead-tree format. It is nice reminder that “Washington” is not just about self-loathing hipsters who have only lived here for a few years and is not limited to a few trendy/gentrified neighborhoods.

The December issue, which recently arrived in my mailbox, has a list of the “50 Best & Most Influential Journalists” and a shockingly,

BARRY SVRLUGA IS NOT ON IT

. Really, they overlooked him; completely dropped the ball like Preston Wilson in centerfield.

This troubles me greatly. Svrluga firmly established himself as “The Man” this season. His excellent writing, sharp wit, charming live discussions, and yes even his fondness for Panera made the return of D.C. baseball that much sweeter. To ignore his contributions is downright irresponsible on the part of Washingtonian. Did Jorge Arangure Jr. somehow get a vote? Many letters to the editor need to question the collective wisdom of Washingtonian and praise of St. Barry.


From Washingtonian before it lost it’s way.

It was not always this way. Barry used to be the golden boy of Post Watch, getting a nice article prior to the season. Why? Why? Why — Washingtonian would you deny this man’s greatness?

“BITTER DAY FOR BASEBALL IN THE DISTRICT”

D.C.’s Stadium Lease Talks StumbleThe Post
Yesterday’s committee hearing did not go terribly well for fans of a Anacostia waterfront ballpark. MLB has not agreed to pay $20 million towards the ballpark, though a couple of news reports indicated that they had. MLB President Robert DuPuy is threatening to take D.C. to arbitration over the lease if it is not completed by Dec. 31. Thomas Boswell is angry that this kind of nonsense is keeping the Nationals from being players in the free agent market (more later). I am mad because MLB is being incredibly greedy for over nickles and dimes, but what should I expect when commissioner Bud Selig is a National Disgrace.


District near a financial agreement with MLBThe Wash. Times
Nothing I read in this article made me think they were closer to an agreement, they still think that MLB is giving financial concessions. That reminds me, whatever happened to Eric Fisher? I do not see his byline anymore.

Nats Lose Loaiza To the AthleticsThe Post
P Esteban Loaiza, who had a better than expected 2005 season will be wearing green and gold next year. The Nats really had no chance of keeping him with the ownership situation in flux. The Nats know have two proven starters returning from last year’s squad.

More from The Wash. Times: Nats lose starter Loaiza to A’s


JIM WILLIAMSON MEDIA: ‘Big Show’ returns … sort ofThe Wash. Examiner
Scroll past all the Dan Patrick/Keith Olberman (that’s so 1995) stuff to find out potential Nats radio arrangements. Of course, take it all with a grain of salt, since Jim Williams wrote the column.

A co-worker of mine who had season tickets last year got his invoice yesterday. Given the current situation, he is not sure he wants to get season tickets again.

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Metro gifts — anybody buying?

metrocentershirt.jpgLike other major transit systems, WMATA sells a line of merchandise. The online store includes, maps, mugs, trinkets, and the “Metro at 25″ coffee table book, among other things. Also available are black t-shirts from a few stations; Archives – Navy Memorial, College Park – U of MD, Metro Center, Pentagon, Shaw – Howard U, Smithsonian, Union Station. Customizable t-shirts, mugs, and mousepads are available for all stations, but the t-shirts are white instead of solid black.

While NYC Subway t-shirts have their fans (I have seen people wearing them in at least three cities not named New York), I have yet to see anyone with a Metro one. I wonder why this is — lack of history/cachet of WMATA? Nobody knows that you can buy an Medical Center t-shirt? No stands in stations (a la Boston’s T) or elsewhere, like museum gift shops? You can’t get the coveted Medical Center t-shirt in black?

Would get your neighborhood’s Metro station t-shirt?

Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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BALLPARK HEARING TODAY

Hearing to be Held on Baseball in D.C.AP/WTOP
It is going to be a loooong day in the District Building with a joint committee hearing on the ballpark being held. Hopefully, something productive can come from it, but I am not holidng out too much hope.


Nationals Made $10 Million After TaxesThe Post
Not a bad payday for Selig and Co.

This Much Residents Agree On: Stadium Deal Should Be BetterThe Post
Another negative article that we do not want to read.

Delay of Game on Baseball: Nationals Still Lack an OwnerThe Times
Murray Chass brings New Yorkers up to speed on the Nats’ lack of an owner. Any time a national voice brings to light what a National Disgrace Bud Selig is, America wins.
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COUNCIL BECOMING MORE SKEPTICAL

New Hurdle For Stadium Lease DealThe Post
Seven council members have said they want to be able to vote on the ballpark lease (should it ever be finished, right?) and council chairwoman Linda Cropp is leaning in the direction of indulging them even if not required by the D.C. attorney general. There is a great deal of concern about cost overruns.


MIKE WISEBaseball and the District: Dancing With WolvesThe Post
Wise thinks that everything will work itself out shortly and is pulling for Jeff Smulyan to get the bid. Why? Because Smulyan took Wise’s phone call. Okay, that may be a little simplistic, but Wise thinks Smulyan can bring in Theo Epstien.

I have to wonder if Wise reads the sports pages that his column appears in, because we have read that Epstein has apparently been contacted by the Washington Baseball Club group and oh yeah, the lease issues get worse daily. Wise does not make a case of why he is so optimistic.


Nationals’ Guillen starts rehab, should be ready for seasonAP/CBS Sportsline
RF Jose Guillen should begin rehab next week and expects to start swinging in three months.
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BOSWELL SEES THE BIG PICTURE, DOES MLB & D.C.?

THOMAS BOSWELLPlay Ball — NowThe Post

Let’s finally cut to the chase. Both sides need to stop posturing over the last few million bucks and bragging rights. Instead, compromise, shake hands and start mining the gold from this Washington mother lode. Together.

Amen!


Ballpark estimates made without data on area, designThe Wash. Times
It turns out ballpark estimates were more along the lines of guess-timates.
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BALLPARK LAND TAKEOVER DELAYED

Stadium Property Takeover DelayedThe Post
The District is now letting landowners in the ballpark footprint stick around until February instead of Dec. 31.


Officials: Ballpark cap must not riseThe Wash. Times
Retro style ballpark fans rejoice! CFO Natwar Ghandi has told the council that in order to keep the city’s credit rating, they cannot spend any more on the ballpark than the $535 million already set aside. This will likely help Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) in his quest to have a more traditional design for the ballpark than the current steel, glass and limestone design. On Monday, there will joint hearing by the committees on Finance and Revenue and Economic Development which will probably be quite contentious.

THOM LOVERROOwner issue is all talkThe Wash. Times
Loverro is writing, but is he really saying anything?

Guillen has successful shoulder surgerynationals.com
RF Jose Guillen’s shoulder surgery lasted 2 1/2 hours instead of 30 minutes, but was successful.
In retrospect, Guillen said he should have taken time off during the season in order to allow the shoulder to heal.

“I cannot be playing like this anymore, because it really cost me a lot. I was playing in a lot of pain during the second half. I have to be smart enough next time. I have to look out for my future and my career,” Guillen said. “There was no way I could shut it down [in the second half], because we were fighting for a playoff spot. Jose Guillen is all about winning, not about anything else.”

So, is anyone going to apologize to Ryan Church for sitting out his injury?

Speaking of Guillen, Capital Punishment has a look at all the home runs that RFK cost Nats players last season. Guillen apparently lost 9 homers to RFK’s extreme dimensions. I want to know how many homers visiting teams lost last season.

Also, A.J. Burnett’s agent told Jim Bowden that Washington “will be somewhere near the top of the list of teams” for which he is interested in. Burnett’s wife is from Bowie. Also, don’t expect Bowden or anyone else to get the Red Sox GM job until after the turkey is finished. (Boston Herald)

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ROBINSON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Ten Nittany Lions named all-Big TenCDT
QB Mike Robinson earns a much deserved Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award. I never saw it coming and am happy to have been proven wrong about him. More:

Six Nittany Lions earned first team All-Big Ten honors: Hali, junior linebacker Paul Posluszny (coaches and media), senior cornerback Alan Zemaitis (coaches and media), senior safety Calvin Lowry (coaches), senior defensive tackle Scott Paxson (coaches) and junior tackle Levi Brown (coaches)…

Four Nittany Lions were selected second team all-conference: Robinson, junior tailback Tony Hunt (coaches), junior defensive tackle Jay Alford (media) and senior defensive end Matthew Rice (media). In addition, Brown and Lowry were second-team choices by the media.


Looks like we will have to go out and get this week’s Sports Illustrated

I know I am late with the WWN Post-Game. Please forgive me, without a game this coming Saturday, the urgency is not quite the same. I will be working on it over the next few days.
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