Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fouled-Off Bunts: It's Over?!? Edition

Nine for, four against, and the DC Council re-confirmed its early decision to approve the stadium lease. Signed. Sealed Delivered. It's ours!

Additionally, the approved the max price contract with Clark construction, which puts the onus on them to hit the $320 million construction pricetag -- because they're not getting any more money from the city! There are also penalties in place if the doors can't open by 2008. Time to get moving.

Better news:
The city hopes to unveil designs for the ballpark next week and groundbreaking for the stadium will be in late April, said Jack Evans, D-Ward 2, the council's most outspoken baseball supporter. Evans predicted that the park would open on schedule, though likely without the finishing touches.

"It probably won't be quite done...with about six months of work left to do," said Evans

All we need is an owner, and Marc Fisher says that MLB has hinted that one could come within 30 days. That's 30 days or so until they can send Jim Bowden back to Cold Pizza, where, Godwilling, his presence will be enough to get that show yanked from the air.

And then there's the TV contract.... but that's in good time! (at least they have a website now)

  • On the field, the Nats came up just a few runs short. Frank was cranky, probably with reason.

    As I said before, don't pay too much attention to spring training stats, wins, losses, etc. It's kids playing kids, and fat guys working themselves into shape. After two games last season, Brad Wilkerson looked like an MVP. Things change over time.

  • But when a player is trying something new, it might be good to pay attention. John Patterson debuted his changeup with wonderful results.
    "All of them were for strikes except for one, which was good," Patterson said. "It was a little bit down. It was in a good spot, though. What made Hector's so effective was that he was able to get the speed off the pitch. That's what I'm still working on -- getting into that right velocity, 83, 84 [mph]. Right now, it may be too hard, like 85 or 86 [mph].

    If he perfects that changeup, he'll be unhittable. He's poised to improve this season, if you can believe it.

  • Robert Fick finally had the elbow surgery he had been holding off on all spring. (There was even a point where he said he'd play the entire season with it!) If he's not ready to go by the start of the season, which is possible seeing how he had three big chunks taken out, it'll be interesting to see what they do with his slot. Do they give Wiki Gonzalez a chance to come north, or do they stick with LeCroy as the primary backup, freeing up an extra bullpen or bench spot, delaying the tough decisions there for a few weeks.

  • Speaking of husky catchers, ESPN and the Times' Zuckerman quizzed Matt Lecroy on the rules.

  • Our friends at Bad Altitude take a look at our fair team, and says there's a small chance we could even finish last. (Didn't we prove that a team that starts Matt Cepicky in their outfield is doomed to finish last, Florida?)

  • File this one away in the Hmmmm file: Bowden almost traded for [Ramon] Ortiz during last season's playoff run, but someone above former Reds general manager Dan O'Brien killed the deal at the last minute.

  • I don't know if it was mentioned in any of the stories about the signings, but Bob Carpenter got a two-year contract with MASN. We'll have a little bit of stability, at least.

  • Hey look! Bloggers are blathering! Senators says that Ryan Church is good (and has Dave Sheining backing him up, of sorts). The Wonk writes an appreciation of Mr. Pucket. Curly W divines from animal bones, and says to look for Lerner to be named the new owner.


    • Alfonso Soriano, Dominican Republic, 0-for-5, 1 strikeout. Bunting failed. DR won anyway. Are we happy or sad?

      By Anonymous Frank Haynes, at 3/08/2006 3:01 AM  

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