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Dear Bud,

You may have already heard that the Council's vote on the lease has been delayed. Given the gravity of the situation, I will speak freely to you in this correspondence.

Don't go all freaky on me right now, Bud. Please refrain from sending Reinsdorf; last time, Tuohey was trapped in an elevator with him and remarked later on that he didn't think your man had bathed in a week. And, with God as my witness, please think twice before giving Dupuy leave to open that caustic trap of his. It's hard enough for me to stay on-message as it is. When that curdled, condescending, terse piece of turd turns bad cop on us, Fenty adopts all kinds of attitude. Man alive, is that annoying, Bud. I can take the stuff about a national disgrace and all that, but I could really do without Fenty copping the smugness.

Just a fair warning here---if I read the letters D-U-P-U-Y anywhere in the Post tomorrow, I swear the bowtie comes off. I'm doing my best here, when I'm not out of town, and I really don't need you jerks mucking things up. If you really want to be helpful, you can put a hit on Catania or something.

Just joking. Maybe.

While I'm here, Bud, I figure I could engage in a bit of a Define the Relationship discussion. I think we need it. Now, there's a lot of people out here saying I should play hardball with you. Both you and I know that's not going to happen. But, mercy me, you don't have to play hardball with me. Trust me, Bud. You know I'm good for it.

Speaking of which, sheesh, if the seven votes don't pop up by the end of the year, don't react like I set fire to your pet turtle or something. You've managed to take a team no one cared about and turned it into $450 million and a friggin' free park. I'm doing my part here---Nat Gandhi is counting the dollars like his office is located in one of those lottery ball jumbler machines---but that's the point: We're doing the heavy lifting.

So chill, man. You'll get your park. And we'll get our development. (Wink, wink.)

By the way, let me update you on the potential yesses. First of all, despite what you may hear, I'm not touching Schwartz. That voice, man. I'd rather lobby a chalkboard. As for Mendelsohn, who?

That leaves Gray and Brown. You know that movie Traffic, where the Mexican narc guy is offered anything by the Americans, and he chooses beisbol parks for the little kids? Yeah, that appears to be Gray; he wants a baseball academy or free tickets for kids. Or something. Just promise me some junk like that, and we'll get Gray. As for Brown, I'll do what I need to do. He's perfect---can't you just see Kornheiser tossing in one of his stupid lines, like "Who would have guessed that Kwame Brown won something for DC?" People eat that crud up for some reason.

At any rate, that's where we are. There's some stuff about getting the Feds to pay for METRO service and . . . blah blah blah, as Boswell would say. I know; you could care less.

The vote will come up soon enough, Bud. I'll see to it, even if it means drugging Cropp's Nutter Butters.


ntr Bowtie

PS: Jack and I are taking bets on which of us will be the disaffected, "I'll never speak to Selig again" person in one of those retrospectives five or ten years from now. We agree that it'll probably be him.

PPS: Aw, you've done it now, Bud. I'd rather puke up bile than hear about "crossroads" from Dupuy. If the world were just, he'd spend eternity sitting on a flamethrower.