Thursday, October 20, 2005

Fouled-Off Bunts: Pee For Me, Pee For You Edition

Tony Williams emphasized how important the Anacostia site is for the baseball stadium, as the hum of anti-stadium zealots continues to reawaken, and as the city is prepared to begin eminent domain on the property holdouts.
Mr. Williams, a Democrat who is not seeking a third term, has been pushing for the Anacostia River location because it is key to his waterfront development initiative.

"When you consider the sum cost already put into this site, all of the time and effort and money," he said. "I think you will find ... there is no longer any comparison."

Just playing devil's advocate here, but doesn't this seem wrong to you? It's pretty clear that development is surging forward, even as the stadium remains slightly in doubt. There are already plans for new housing developments, some of which are already being constructed, and the Anacostia Riverfront development project will be built stadium or not. How much of future development will be attributable to the stadium, and how much was naturally ocurring to begin with? You can be sure that stadium proponents will ascribe 99% (or more!) of it to the ballpark.

And aren't the costs of the Anacostia site already a sunk cost? If it's cheaper point forward to build at RFK, it's cheaper period.

Clearly I support the stadium, but I can't stand these arguments being made when there's not a lot of fact behind them. The stadium should stand on its own merits, not some trumped-up PR hype and hope.

  • Malek and Zients, one of the two or three favorites for ownership, met with Herr Selig yesterday. The Lerner's have been summoned for a seance today.

    With a new collective bargaining agreement on the not-too distant horizon, Selig wants to make sure that he has a new ally. Owners, for the first time, got concessions from players during the last negotiations. Selig wants to go in for the kill, and would want to pull a page out of the FDR playbook by packing the court in his favor.

  • Newsday has a profile on Nationals third-string catcher Keith Osik, who has accepted the managing job at Farmingdale College.
    Osik had asked for his release from the Nationals last spring training when it appeared he would not make the big-league roster but they called him in August. At the time, he was working as a personal instructor at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank and playing softball with his buddies. "Nobody watching but I loved it anyway," he said. "I was in the pool at home actually enjoying the summer I never had since high school when the phone rang."

    Osik worked out with the Triple-A team in New Orleans, got out of town just before Hurricane Katrina hit, and spent September with the Nationals, who wanted him as catching insurance for a wild-card run. Osik still showed allegiance to his job at Farmingdale. "When he was with the Nationals, he was making calls to get recruits," Harrington said

  • Some rabble-rousing professor is kvetching about the number of women's bathrooms reportedly in the new park.

    While I can certainly understand the need for equality, this guy seems like one of those activists for the sake of activism sorts. I can almost smell the patchouli from here.


    • Whatever the comparative costs of the RFK site vs. the Anacostia site I think it's fair to say that the stadium will contribute more to economic revitalization in Anacostia than it ever could at RFK.

      Can Anacostia develop without the stadium? Sure. But the stadium will bring in out of towners to patronize that development, and there just isn't that potential in the overwhelmingly residential neighborhoods around RFK.

      By Blogger Nate, at 10/20/2005 10:39 AM  

    • You're right on all that.

      I was merely bringing that up, because it seems like the SE Development is occuring regardless of whether the stadium goes there -- it's not going to be the sole source of the redevelopment (just as the MCI center isn't the sole source of downtown's revitalization)

      If the stadium really is an economic engine for a surrounding area, why is the RFK site bad? Why couldn't or wouldn't those sites develop? Just throwing that out there.

      That's been my problem with the buzz about the stadium. I don't think it's going to be THE catalyst. I'm sure it will be A catalyst, but it's just one of many factors.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 10/20/2005 11:54 AM  

    • (Rant alert...)

      I am a woman who attended several Nationals games at RFK this summer. It didn't occur to me to assume that those in attendance were "male dominated". But maybe that explains why I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the lines moved in the women's restrooms. There just weren't enough of us to keep the men waiting! Maybe I should consider myself well prepared for the numbers out there for restroom facilities at a new ballpark, since I'm not at all shy about using a men's room if the line is too long for the ladies. (I promise to yell in the door before leading off for a group of uncomfortable women.)

      I'm not familiar with the recommended ratios of facillities between mens' and womens' restrooms. However, my office is in the process of renovation, and when we used the opposite gender's bathroom because of plumbing work (the building's, not ours), we spoke freely about the differences in the ways women and men use restrooms.

      Among other things, a woman in a public restroom will generally need to find a clean and safe place to put a purse. She also will think ahead to her upcoming (and inevitable) need for toilet paper, and try to ask someone to pass some tp, or locate an alterative if no tp is available in the stall she expects to use. The process of removing and replacing clothing takes time, and more clothing is involved for using a toilet than a urinal. Multiply all this by a large number of women in one place, add children who need help with using the restroom, and a roughly equal number of facilities by gender does not result in a roughly equal amount of time needed to use them.

      I think that, like a lot of things, whether "potty parity" makes sense depends on a lot of factors. But I think it's wise to err on the side of caution for making the park comfortable for women and families--I would expect that to increase the attendance at games, which is a good thing. I'm suspecting this park will be with us for quite awhile. If the difficulty of getting this park going is any indication, my great grand children may be going there before it's refurbished.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/20/2005 8:52 PM  

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