Gandhi won’t sign off on current lease; Dutch!; spring training info

Changes to stadium plan anger financial chiefThe Wash. Times
As it is now, CFO Natwar Gandhi will not endorse the ballpark lease because it is missing a clause “requiring a reserve of rent to help back the stadium bonds.” Ghandi indicated that Wall Street is not going to issue bonds at the favorable investment grade rating without the reserve. The upshot — the lease is probably not going to approved on February 7, likely because it will be pulled. In an editorial today, The Post argues that the council should not approve the lease without the endorsement of Gandhi.


Poised for takeoff into baseball stardomVirginia-Pilot
Norfolk/Virginia Beach’s paper of record picks up Barry Srvluga’s article on hometown-boy-made-good-so far Ryan Zimmerman. By the way, MissChatter asked Zimmerman if he knew his nickname was Dutch at the Nats caravan on Saturday. He did not.

Speaking of the caravan, I stopped by and picked up a blue Nats visor and Erica got a cooler. I skipped the autographs though, it is not really my thing, especially with an hour wait ahead of me.


Fan Guide: Washington Nationalsnationals.com
A look at spring training 2006.
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Mr. Tony on MNF?

Earlier DCRTV.com noted that the NY Post (I don’t feel like registering) is reporting that Tony Kornheiser could be part of a three man booth for Monday Night Football when it moves to ESPN next year. ESPN is deciding whether to retain Al Michaels and if they do not, Kornheiser would join Mike Tirico and Joe Theisman. Of course, this assumes that Kornheiser would be willing to fly, something he is not terribly fond of I recall.

While Kornheiser is popular, he is overexposed with at least one too many jobs. Sadly, his columnist job seems to be the one that needs to go. I remember when he was a real sportswriter and not just a talking head, gag writer. Anyway, I don’t see any point of having two Washingtonians in the booth if you don’t have the guy who said “c’mon Sandy baby. Lossen up. You’re too tight..”

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

More on the new lease agreement

Baseball Consents To Revised Lease DealThe Post
The District and MLB hammered out a new agreement, but it does not have any cost caps, which concerns swing votes Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) and Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7). Fixed costs will be negotiated with construction companies and are subject to council approval in a separate vote. CFO Natwar Ghandi is not happy about the changes either.

Since MLB gave the District until June 20 to approve the lease, we can expect this to drag on for quite a while longer, even if the council approves the lease. Don’t get excited about a prospect for an owner before the All-Star break.

More from The Wash. Times: Williams pitches stadium’s new deal


T(H)OM LOVERROStadium theatrics a farceThe Wash. Times
A major initiative involving the D.C. Council a farce – now way. No hwaaaaaay…

Nats’ Guillen Makes Pitches To Soriano, SosaThe Post
RF Jose Guillen is talking up the Nats to Alfonso Soriano and free agent Sammy Sosa. How did he become the goodwill ambassador? Oh yeah, his nemesis, team player Brad Wilkerson got traded. He might miss the opener (The Wash. Times) too.

Wetteland takes role with NatsThe Wash. Times
Former Expo/Yankee/Ranger John Wetteland has been officially named the bullpen coach.
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Super Bowl Memories

Inventory: The XII Greatest Super Bowl Highlight FilmsThe Onion A.V. Club
A look at twelve of the Super Bowl highlights films, which are among the 39 running on an endless loop on various ESPN channels as we speak. The thrust of the article is that NFL Films made better, more artful films when the games were bad and that they are no longer of the caliber that they were when John Facenda was alive. Being a connoisseur of the series (I think I spent most of the first post-graduate month watching them all for the 100th time) I am inclined to agree. Much has been said about Facenda and I do not believe I could add anything that has not already been said about “the voice of God.” However, even with him gone, the films should go back the style that made them great in the ’70s. Right now, modern NFL Films look like movies made by PR people, whereas they used to look like PR or more appropriately, propaganda, made by filmmakers.

I have one beef with the article though and that is the omission of XIII which is the best Super Bowl film from what was probably the best Super Bowl. I am not sure the reviewer understands the significance of that game which saw two dynasties meeting to close out a decade.

POSTSCRIPT: That reminds me, I forgot to put the NFL Films box set, Autumn Thunder on my Christmas list this year. Oh well, there is my birthday…

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

MLB and DC: We’ve got a deal (again)

WTOP reports that MLB and the District have reached a new ballpark lease agreement, pending council passage.

The new deal adds a few new points:

  • The city to use traditional and not private financing for the stadium;
  • The city to split with the team the proceeds of land sold for development;
  • Major League Baseball to lease RFK in 2008 if the new stadium is not completed;
  • MLB to develop a youth baseball facility;
  • MLB to increase the number free tickets given to disadvantaged children.

The council is expected to vote on the lease on Feb. 7. There are five councilmembers already committed to the deal with two more needed for approval.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Nats roundup

Nationals spring schedule releasedThe Wash. Times
The spring training schedule is now out and tickets are finally available. Who can’t wait to get to the white sand beaches exciting nightlife Panera of Viera?

More from Florida Today: Nationals tickets go on sale


Revised Stadium Decision Comes Down to the WireWTOPnews.com
Mayor Anthony Williams was on WTOP yesterday for “Ask the Mayor” and he said he is optimistic (what’s new) and we will know about the stadium plan today. That is of course assuming that the standard histrionics go away or it is concluded that the lease cannot get approved.

The Last Handshake DealThe Post
One of the landowners of the ballpark footprint is profiled.

Guillen lifts kids’ spirits on Caravannationals.com
Who is thinking of the childrens? Jose Guillen is thinking of the childrens.

THOMAS BOSWELLBaseball — or Is It Vaudeville? — Will Soon Regain Center StageThe Post
I think the sports editor told Tom Boswell he needed to write a baseball column and he had nothing to write about, so he devotes two paragraphs to Anna Benson and five to Theo Epstein. The local ball team gets six grafs, but two are only a sentence long. He thinks we will look back and think, “wow, the Nats did not have a lease at the start of spring training” and Alf is going to sign a $50 million contract extension. Whatever.

Oh yeah, as part of the “winter caravan” some Nats are signing autographs in my neighborhood at the Champps in Pentagon Row tomorrow from 12:30 to 2 p.m. I’ll probably stop by, just look for the guy in the home jersey with the away cap and relief pitcher hair.
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Sosa and the lease

Nationals Maintain Their Interest in Free Agent SosaThe Post
For some reason, Jim Bowden appears to still be interested in Sammy Sosa. At least Bowden is not offering a guaranteed contract…yet. I maintain my distaste for signing a washed up primadona with a trail of baggage stretching from here to Chicago.

Also, the Nats are looking at making former Expo/Yankee/Ranger John Wetteland the bullpen coach. RHP Felix Rodriguez and 1B Daryle Ward are being offered minor league deals to attend spring training.


Mayor optimistic about fixed leaseThe Wash. Times
Oh boy, Anthony Williams is optimistic, should we be optimistic too? Probably not, because the article does not present enough evidence to me that the mayor is not just believing in the way he wants things to be instead of the way things are in real life.

Oh and if/when this gets done, one bank (The Post) probably won’t be lending any money for the project.

There is more from The Wash. Examiner too — Mayor: Stadium deal progressing. Williams is suggesting this is ultimately up to Linda Cropp, the council chair. Some demands the council has made:

  • Nationals will be District-based for tax purposes – Reasonable, but I don’t know how MLB goes about that sort of thing.
  • Guaranteed construction costs to avoid “open checkbook problem” – Sounds nice, but does it work in the real world?
  • All development rights in the area outside the stadium will benefit the District – Who else would they benefit?
  • An initiative to rebuild youth baseball, requirement for 50 public appearances per season by the team, increased numbers of tickets available to underprivileged youth and a commitment to hire District residents – Again, reasonable.
  • If city misses March 1, 2008, deadline to open new facility, baseball will pay to play in RFK Stadium for 12 months. – No chance.
    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
  • It’s hockey night tonight

    Okay, just because I am riding the Steelers bandwagon does not mean I give other teams from Pittsburgh a free pass. Tonight, our improving Capitals, led by rookie phenom Alex Ovechkin, head up to the Igloo (NewsChannel 8) to take on the woeful Penguins and the over-hyped Sidney Crosby. My two cents are over at La Coupe Hauxer.

    I also came up with an idea, also posted on La Coupe Hauxer, to make tonight’s game a little more fun. I don’t really have anything aganist Crosby, but I am tired of the NHL only pushing him when Ovechkin is having a better season on a better team.

    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

    D.C. wants to complete eminent domain

    D.C. Asks Court to Let City Push Owners From Stadium SiteThe Post
    Even though the lease has not been approved by the council, the D.C. government is asking a Superior Court judge to give permission to start removing residents and businesses from the ballpark footprint.

    There is also a local ad campaign on the radio that is encouraging us to show our support for the ballpark by calling council members.

    More from The Wash. Times: D.C. asks court help to evict landowners

    Digg This
    Reddit This
    Stumble Now!
    Buzz This
    Vote on DZone
    Share on Facebook
    Bookmark this on Delicious
    Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
    Shout it
    Share on LinkedIn
    Bookmark this on Technorati
    Post on Twitter
    Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)