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

  • Sunday Open Thread October 22, 2017
    The first open thread of the offseason. Yuck. At least this one came much later than the last few seasons. It’s been a while since the Yankees went into the offseason feeling like a team on the rise, not a team trying to hang on to past glory and figure out a way to stay […] The post Sunday Open Thread appeared first on River Avenue Blues.
    Mike Axisa
  • Glow and Grow October 22, 2017
    Before we begin, a sincere thanks to you, dear readers, for following along during the season and the playoffs. We all appreciate your day in, day out support and couldn’t do any of this without you. Please continue to read, share, and support the–frankly–great work that goes on here. Yankees Only.  Reflection and feedback are […] The post Glow and Grow appe […]
    Matt Imbrogno
  • Astros 4, Yankees 0: Game Seven loss sends Yankees home for the winter October 22, 2017
    All great things must come to an end. The incredibly fun and better than pretty much everyone expected 2017 Yankees season came to a close Saturday night, with a 4-0 loss to the Astros in Game Seven of the ALCS. Houston will take on the Dodgers in the World Series. The Yankees are heading home. […] The post Astros 4, Yankees 0: Game Seven loss sends Yankees […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2017 ALCS Game Seven: Yankees at Astros October 21, 2017
    So here we are again. Another win or go home game. The Yankees have been through a few of these already this postseason. Except unlike the Wild Card Game or Games Three, Four, and Five of the ALDS, a spot in the World Series is on the line tonight. The Yankees and Astros are playing […] The post 2017 ALCS Game Seven: Yankees at Astros appeared first on River […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Thoughts prior to Game Seven of the 2017 ALCS October 21, 2017
    For the fifth time in the last 18 days, the Yankees will play with their season on the line tonight. They are a perfect 4-0 in elimination games this postseason, and tonight’s Game Seven with the Astros will determine who moves on to face the Dodgers in the World Series. I am weirdly not nervous. […] The post Thoughts prior to Game Seven of the 2017 ALCS app […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Astros 7, Yankees 1: Yanks can’t solve Verlander, Astros force Game Seven October 21, 2017
    What, you didn’t think winning the pennant would be easy, did you? The Yankees and Astros are going to a Game Seven. Justin Verlander shut the Yankees down again in Game Six of the ALCS on Friday night, then Houston’s offense tacked on a bunch of insurance runs late to put the game out of […] The post Astros 7, Yankees 1: Yanks can’t solve Verlander, Astros […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2017 ALCS Game Six: Yankees at Astros October 20, 2017
    For the first time since the championship season of 2009, the Yankees are one win away from going to the World Series. They fell behind 0-2 in the ALCS before storming back to take a 3-2 series lead. Beating up on Dallas Keuchel in Game Five the other day was satisfying. Very satisfying. The series […] The post 2017 ALCS Game Six: Yankees at Astros appeared […]
    Mike Axisa
  • The best way to beat Justin Verlander in Game Six could be swinging early in the count October 20, 2017
    Tonight the Yankees have a chance to advance to the World Series, and they’re in this position because they beat up on Dallas Keuchel in Game Five. Keuchel shut the Yankees down in Game One, which he’s done throughout his career, but the tables were turned in Game Five and he didn’t make it through […] The post The best way to beat Justin Verlander in Game S […]
    Mike Axisa
  • The Yankees are one game away from the World Series thanks to their pitching staff October 20, 2017
    In just a few hours the Yankees will look to clinch a spot in the 2017 World Series. I still can’t believe they’ve made it this far. They weren’t supposed to contend this year. They weren’t supposed to come back from down 0-2 to the Indians. They weren’t supposed to come back from down 0-2 […] The post The Yankees are one game away from the World Series than […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Mailbag: Tanaka, Otani, Thomson, Gleyber, Judge, Bullpen October 20, 2017
    We’ve got nine questions in this week’s mailbag. And later tonight, the Yankees will look to clinch the American League pennant. Amazing. Anyway, RABmailbag (at) gmail (dot) com is where you can send us any questions. Many asks: Does Tanaka’s great postseason make him more likely to opt-out? It could, sure. That said, teams have […] The post Mailbag: Tanaka, […]
    Mike Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 62,569 hits

%d bloggers like this: