Stubborn heads prevail in Manny trade talks, Nationals stadium fiasco

Two stories that have long dominated the Hot Stove headlines have seemingly reached new high points this week. Manny Ramirez’s trade demand and the trade talks may be receding into the past while Major League Baseball’s attempts at procuring a free stadium paid for by the District of Columbia are heading toward arbitration.

The big news of the day comes to us from ESPNdesportes. The Spanish-language arm of the Worldwide Leader in Sports is reporting that no hay cambio, according to Manny. Luckily, they’ve provided an English language translation, and we can all see that Ramirez has decided that there is no trade. Instead, the enigmatic slugger is “going to take things easy and focus on his career.”

To this, I say good riddance. If this announcement with Manny is enough to end this drawn-out soap opera of a story, I will be relieved. For months this saga has gone on without end. Some people say that Manny is unhappy with Red Sox management; others say marital strife may be pushing him out of Boston. Either way, I guess Manny’s internal debates have kept him from focusing on his career.

Now that he’s done talking about being traded and now that he plans on staying in Boston, I hope everyone else plans on dropping this subject forever. Enough ink has been spilled and enough bandwidth wasted on Manny being Manny that it’s not worth it anymore. Good bye, Manny. Whatever you do, enjoy it.

So while one stubborn, strange player’s saga comes to a close, the conflict between the City Council in Washington, D.C., and Major League Baseball may be coming to a head. Because the council did not approve the lease agreement between MLB and the city before the previously-negotiated and signed-upon deadline of December 31, 2005, Major League Baseball as the owners of the Nationals has decided to pursue the process that could result in a binding arbitration decision.

To me, this move does nothing to help Major League Baseball earn supporters on the DC council. If MLB and DC decide they cannot reconcile their differences, a three-member panel will decide the case. The panel could decide to levy a fine against DC for violating the terms of the lease agreement. Or the panel could decide that the city must pay for the stadium and cost overruns. I cannot imagine too many people being thrilled with either decision. While Mayor Anthony Williams may be prepared to resubmit the lease to the council in two weeks while avoiding arbitration, the reality is that Major League Baseball, by taking the first steps down the arrogant path toward arbitration, may be hurting their cause.

Right now, Major League Baseball wants the city to assume any cost overruns for the stadium the city is paying to build for MLB’s $450-million team. This hardly seems like a fair deal for any city let alone one wracked by as many problems as the District is. Meanwhile, MLB refuses to sell the team before stadium funding is in place because they feel the funding increases the value of the team.

As I’ve said before, Major League Baseball has locked itself into this public-relations nightmare. They can’t really save face in front of the council, and it would in fact be best for the team, the city, and everyone involved if Major League Baseball sold the team now. They have ownership groups in place; all Bud Selig, baseball commissioner, has to do is send the sale to a vote in front of the 29 other co-owners of the team.

With independent ownership in place, the City Council could wash the bad taste of the bungled MLB negotiations out of its collective mouth. While the council is not blameless in this debacle, both sides could virtually start over at square one. A group devoted to building a baseball presence in DC would probably find a way to help the city cover cost overruns, and the council would be receptive to such an idea.

Sadly, the likelihood of this positive outcome is about the same as the chance that the Royals will win the World Series in 2006. Meanwhile, as the saga of the stadium lurches toward a conclusion, we can only hope that cooler heads will prevail so that DC can save some its money and MLB can repair its tarnished reputation as an organization out to bilk communities out of as much money as possible.

Advertisements

1 Response to “Stubborn heads prevail in Manny trade talks, Nationals stadium fiasco”



Comments are currently closed.



RSS River Ave. Blues

  • The Rest of the AL East [2017 Season Preview] March 30, 2017
    There has been an interesting bit of parity in the AL East this decade, as every team has won the division crown in the last seven years. The Red Sox appear to be the standard-bearer, with both ZiPS and PECOTA projecting them to repeat as division champs – but both also have at least four […] The post The Rest of the AL East [2017 Season Preview] appeared fi […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • Spring Training Game Thread: Final Grapefruit League Game March 30, 2017
    This afternoon the Yankees are playing their final Grapefruit League game of the year. They still have one exhibition game remaining, tomorrow night at the brand new SunTrust Field in Atlanta, but this is the final game in Florida. Well, at least until the Yankees come back to play the first series of the regular […] The post Spring Training Game Thread: Fin […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Yankees finalize Opening Day roster; Holder, Mitchell, and Shreve make the bullpen March 30, 2017
    Earlier this morning, Joe Girardi informally announced the Yankees’ 25-man Opening Day roster. Aaron Judge will be the right fielder and Luis Severino will be the fourth starter, and the decision to option out Rob Refsnyder means Pete Kozma will be the utility infielder. Also, Girardi told Bryan Hoch that Bryan Mitchell, Jonathan Holder, and […] The post Yan […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Girardi on Aaron Judge: “He’s our right fielder” March 30, 2017
    Common sense prevails! Joe Girardi announced this morning Aaron Judge will be the Yankees’ starting right fielder this season, according to Erik Boland. “He’s our right fielder,” said Girardi. The club was reportedly considering sending Judge to Triple-A as recently as yesterday. Judge, 24, is hitting .345/.406/.569 with three homers so far this spring. He’s […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Rob Refsnyder Optioned to Triple-A March 30, 2017
    Earlier today, the Yankees announced that Rob Refsnyder had been optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 26-year-old was batting just .209/.314/.349 in 43 at-bats, and was openly put on the trading block three weeks ago. There was some talk that he could have a shot at heading north in a bench role on the heels of the […] The post Rob Refsnyder Optioned to Tr […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • Passan: Yankees will use Luis Severino as fourth starter March 30, 2017
    According to Jeff Passan, right-hander Luis Severino has made the Opening Day roster and the Yankees will use him as their fourth starter. Neither Joe Girardi nor anyone with the team has announced anything yet, however. Still, all signs point in this direction. This isn’t exactly a surprise. Severino, 23, has allowed six runs in […] The post Passan: Yankees […]
    Mike Axisa
  • There are many pros and only a few cons to signing Sanchez to a long-term contract March 30, 2017
    February and March make up extension season in baseball. Most pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players hammer out their contracts for the upcoming season this time of year, and inevitably some strike long-term deals with their teams. In recent weeks Tim Anderson, Rougned Odor, Jose Ramirez (the hitter, not the pitcher), Kevin Kiermaier, and Carlos Ma […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Open Thread: March 29th Camp Notes March 29, 2017
    Your browser does not support iframes.The Yankees are officially Spring Training champions. They clinched baseball’s best record this spring with their win this afternoon. Neat. The Yankees are now 23-8-1 while the second place Cardinals are 20-8-4. Both teams have two games to play. Aaron Judge had two singles this afternoon and he even stole […] The post O […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Poll: The 2017 RAB Prospect Watch March 29, 2017
    One of our longest running features — I hesitate to call it a feature, but whatever — here at RAB is our annual Prospect Watch. We pick a prospect and track his progress throughout the season in the sidebar. Simple, right? Also kinda silly, but hey, people seem to like it, so it continues. Think […] The post Poll: The 2017 RAB Prospect Watch appeared first o […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Brian Cashman and the 2017 trade deadline [2017 Season Preview] March 29, 2017
    Welcome to another contract year for Brian Cashman. Don’t worry: Cashman has enough job security that he isn’t about to trade the farm for some short-sighted fix that harms the Yankees’ future. He’s acquitted himself quite well over the last two decades and it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the job right now. It […] The post Brian Cashman and the 2017 trad […]
    Steven Tydings

Blog Stats

  • 62,328 hits

%d bloggers like this: