Thursday, April 27, 2006

Deal Or No Deal

Channel 9 is sticking by their story that the Lerners are to be named owner soon, even as everyone else ridicules them, and denies their story. One change to their tune, though. Initially they had claimed that Smulyan had told them that MLB told him. Now they've changed that to Smulyan told them that he's "heard" from other sources. They also claim to have a few other sources, and on last night's newscast, said that some of Lerner's investing group have gotten the news. We'll see.

Meanwhile, the Post has a story about nothing other than running MLB's contention that nothing has been decided (Oh, and a few cheapshots at Channel 9):
Jack Evans, one of the top baseball supporters on the D.C. Council, scoffed when asked in a telephone interview whether he had been told by MLB that the Lerners had been selected.

"Yeah, I'm sure that Bud Selig woke up yesterday and said: 'How can I release this information? Oh, yeah, let's call Channel 9!' " Evans said sarcastically, before adding that he has not heard of any final decision.

Nice cheapshot. Channel 9's report didn't claim Selig as a source.

Meanwhile, MLB got the propaganda machine humming along smoothly. Bob DuPuy (file photo) issued a strong denial. Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that they were leaning towards Lerner. Do you think that DuPuy would issue a confirmation of this? Of course not. They're going to do it on their own time table. Let me annotate his response for you:
"There has been unfortunate [for who?] speculation rampant [yeah, Channel 9's website is my go-to place for info] in the media [singular, right?] in Washington, D.C., that Commissioner Selig [file photo] has selected one particular group [Ah, but what if it's a Lerner/Kasten combo? Would that still count as one?] to acquire the Washington Nationals and that a press announcement would be made this Friday [So if they do it another day, they can deny the report]. Those rumors are baseless. No [formal] decision has been made to date. The Commissioner and I [file photo] continue to meet with representatives of the groups and there will be an official announcement [even as we might've made an unofficial decision] when the decision is made."

I'm not saying that Channel 9's report is right or wrong. I'm just saying that MLB's denial isn't to be believed. And given their track record of honesty and openness (HA!) with their ownership deadlines, I shouldn't have to tell you that!

The Times, though, does get several anonymous league sources to say that it's all up in the air.

Regardless of these reports, it's pretty clear that we're in the endgame stage. Selig claims that his fact-finding missions are over, so he should be ready to make a decision, provided no bright shiny objects catch his interest.

  • Late addition... T(h)om Loverro has a fun column about the crazy day yesterday, and how Jeff Smulyan tried enlisting Ken Griffey Jr to support his bid, but screwed it up in the same way as he screwed up the Mariners.

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