Thursday, November 18, 2004

I'll Take Potpourri for $400, Alex

Several interesting nuggets in this Times story...
Team owners, meanwhile, will ratify the club's transfer to the District in overwhelming numbers today. Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who for years fought efforts to bring baseball back to greater Washington, is seen as the most obvious opponent to the relocation.

But depending on the status of his ongoing compensation talks with MLB executives, a "yes" vote from Angelos is not entirely out of the question. Though talks have slowed in recent weeks, mostly because of scheduling conflicts stemming from MLB's postseason and awards announcements, industry sources still point to Angelos seeking a package of benefits that would include guarantees on his annual team revenue, future resale value of the Orioles and a majority stake in a new regional sports TV network.

I don't think the owners are understanding the full implications of guaranteeing Havana Petey a profit. If he doesn't have to work to put fannies in the seats for money, there's no reason for him to work to put a competitive team on the field. He can scale back payroll further, throw up his hands whining about the competition and the tough market and walk away with several other ill-gotten millions.
A formal announcement renaming the team the Washington Nationals will occur as early as next week. That event, likely to be led by District Mayor Anthony A. Williams, probably will be accompanied by an unveiling of team uniforms. Predictably, the color scheme will employ red, white and blue.

Two primary caps are in development, according to industry sources, with each featuring a large "W" for Washington. Three uniforms also could be unveiled, including a red alternate jersey.

Ho Hum. It's the Nationals. I'm not excited about it. I'm not heart-broken about it. It is what it is, just a boring nickname.

I'm interested to see what the cap is going to look like. Although, I have a tendency towards classical things, the old-style block W is pretty boring and the '60s-era curly W is hideous. Tradition is fine--as long as it's not just for tradition's sake.
The push to find new owners for the club, currently controlled by MLB owners, also will intensify quickly with formal approval in hand. According to industry sources, MLB executives are planning to let prospective bidders begin reviewing the club's financial records the week after Thanksgiving. Formal bidding likely will begin next month, with a final selection expected in early January.

Although this will probably be too late for some of the names, hopefully, having new owners will certainly allow the team to solidify its budget and maybe go after one or two of the arms available this off-season. There are lots of interchangeable pitchers of near-similar abilities. It'd be nice to get our hands on some of them to see how they shake out.