Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

DC Loses Its Third Major League Baseball Team...This Time Before the Team Even Takes the Field

It's not the lack of fans in the stands, this time. It's the lack of fans on the DC Council. Once again, DC Councilmembers put petty populist politics before policy, voting late last night to add an nuclear amendment to the legislation that would have sealed the deal to bring baseball back to the District. The Washington Post's Mark Fisher has the DC Council nailed:

Linda Cropp's late-night bombshell eviscerating the deal with Major League Baseball immediately restores Washington's status as America's laughingstock.


Less than an hour later, the vote was 10 to 3 for Cropp's amendment, with only Jack Evans, Harold Brazil and Vincent B. Orange Sr. standing up for the deal. The rest of the council will say that they sought only to save the city from a bad economic deal, but last night's switcheroo is thick in subtexts. Beneath the surface concerns, this was about payback. Some council members longed to strike out against a mayor who has spent six years neglecting them and operating on his own. Some saw the popular movement against the stadium deal as evidence that baseball had become a symbol of the elite, mostly white power structure that is perceived in much of black Washington as antagonistic to the District's black population. And some on the council who harbor ambitions for higher office saw an anti-baseball vote as a way to align themselves with those voters who are frightened by the wave of change that is sweeping the city.


A city that is synonymous with struggle once again aims, fires and hits nothing but itself.

Poor Thomas Boswell, DC's biggest baseball fan, has more:

The question of whether baseball will now jerk its franchise out of Washington is not a question at all. It is a foregone conclusion. Why would baseball come here? We have pulled a bait-and-switch on the sport. We have broken a deal negotiated by Mayor Anthony A. Williams, the city's highest elected official. And worst of all, Cropp and her council didn't have the guts to stand up and say: "This stadium is too good a deal for baseball and not good enough for the District. You tied poor Mayor Williams in a knot. We're not approving such a lousy ballpark deal. We reject it. Take your team somewhere else."

First they drove the Redskins out of town, now the Nats. If it wasn't for philanthropist owner Abe Pollin, who built the MCI Center in Chinatown as a gift to the District, both the Capitals and the Wizards would still be in Landover, MD. If the DC Council is so intent on doing "the right thing," why didn't they marginalize a crack-smoking, prostitute patronizing, corrupt ex-mayor (Marion Barry) rather than fully endorsing his subsequent re-election as mayor? Oh, and he also just won election to...drum roll...the DC Council.

The city government truly is a joke. A bunch of mindless populists whose only goal is self-promotion and the appearance of representation. I can't wait to see their proposal for revitalizing the Anacostia waterfront area the stadium would have occupied. That is, if they even care about doing something about it.

So the deal is essentially dead. The Murder Capital has lived up to its name, this time killing baseball in the District.


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