Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Reporting For Duty

This is where the hack writer would look out the window and draw some sort of cheesy now-cliched parallel to the snowstorm out my window and the beautiful weather in Florida, so pretend I've done that here.

In the meantime, Pitchers and Catchers report today, down in beautiful Viera, FL. I've never really found this day to be exciting, since they don't really do much of anything. It's sorta like your first day at a new job, when you spend most of the day filling out the endless reams of paperwork, and getting shuffled around from office to office to meet various people whose names you'll forget 10 minutes later. Colby, I'm Nook. Nook, I'm Jesus. Jesus, I'm Jesus. Blah blah blah.

Wake me up when they actually play a game.

  • The official online-only beat writer of Capitol Punishment has a good rundown of the improvements that the Nats made (or rather, had made for them) to the spring training facilities.

    His story indicates that the Nationals Director of Florida Operations has learned the wonderful art of obfuscation with stadium deals. Consider these two grafs:
    To get the stadium fixed, the Nationals went to the Brevard County commission and received $2.6 million from the tourist tax fund.

    "The dollars contributed by the board of county commissioners in Brevard County has come out of the Tourism Development Council," said Jack Masson, the Nationals' director of Florida operations. "Our contractual agreement is with the board of county commissioners -- they own this stadium and we lease it from them -- but those dollars that go into [the stadium] are not taxpayers' dollars."
    Since it's from a tourist tax fund and laundered through a Commission, it's not actually tax dollars? Alrighty. Thanks for clearing that up, Jack.
    Shapiro, Blush and Masson declined to say how much money the Lerner group put into refurbishing the stadium, but a source outside the organization said the group spent from $300,000 to $400,000 on stadium operations such as grounds keeping and clubhouse equipment.

    Apples and oranges here. That $300K isn't an extra contribution by the Nats. That's regular operation of the stadium, which is typically paid by the team, regardless of any upgrades to the dump. To torture an analogy, that would be like me being questioned by the IRS about not filing a return last year and citing my electric bill as proof that I lived up to my responsibilities.

  • Meanwhile... Tom Boswell pens a love letter to Stan Kasten. Would you believe that the Nats are further ahead than the Braves were in rebuilding way back in the day? No? Me neither. Boz argues anyway.


    • Snow doesn't make a sound. Yet every flake hitting the ground today has the sharp crack of horsehide hitting leather.

      It is a dreary cold day here in DC. But behind the gray clouds there is a sun shining, the very same sun that is shining down today on Viera Florida.

      All day maintenence workers will be reporting to duty, shoveling snow and clearing the way for commuters and workers. While what feels like a world a way a different group of workers are reporting. Workers that will clear the way for one of the most intriguing seasons in the short history of the Nats.

      By Blogger Harper, at 2/13/2007 10:40 AM  

    • Space Coast Stadium is not a dump. Actually, it is a rather nice spring training ball park but it could use an electonic scoreboard to replace the manually operated one. Other than that, it is a pleasant place to watch a game.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/13/2007 12:12 PM  

    • Geeze, Chris...you just get grumpier and grumpier. To paraphrase Tex Antoine, as his career flashed before his eyes, "...lie back and enjoy it."

      By Blogger Jim H, at 2/13/2007 7:12 PM  

    • If I was half as grumpy as most of you thought I was... ;)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 2/13/2007 7:16 PM  

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