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Federal Register, Dec. 6

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If Marion Barry campaigned in a forest, would he still get votes?

  • BIG SCOOP! USA Today's Bob Nightengale breaks the story that Bud Selig has reduced Nats Derby down to three candidates: 1) Lerner; 2) Malek; 3) Smulyan. (That's the order Nightengale used, at any rate.) Alright, that's not much of a scoop, and it doesn't really qualify as breaking news, unless you count the inference that Frank Haney, friend of the Natosphere, is out of the game. I suppose this also means Seligula found the time to get the Jackson, Collins, and Ledecky interviews out of the way.
  • New from the WaPo, Mayor Baseball apparently makes the promise that the District's contribution to the new ballpark will never reach the $700 million figure that nefarious agents duped some stupid TV station to report as gospel. Three cheers for fiscal sanity! Not that this clarification will hold off the merciless snark from the Official Blog of the National Taxpayers Union (thank you, Technorati!), but Bowtie and Tuohey insist that ancillary costs will be picked up by the feds and the private developers. Williams insists that "[t]hey never have been borne completely by other cities with stadiums." So, you know, the District can feel quite good about angling to get treated as well as other states and localities have been by Major League Baseball . . .
  • Needless to say, the assessment is not so trusting at the Field of Schemes website.
  • As you might tell, I'm getting increasingly cynical about the ballpark---and I didn't really fall too hard for that $700 MILLION!!!111!!! stuff yesterday. I described my feeling in an email to another blogger that---much as I love the Nats, much as I know the way the game works, much as I understand the economic arguments (to the best of my ability)---rooting too uncritically for the "pro-baseball" members of the District City Council is like rooting vicariously for an MLB swindle. Nothing MLB says, does, or "negotiates" should be viewed uncriticially. And then . . . I read idiotic columns like this one in the Washington Times Here's a sample: What kind of city twists itself into a ballpark pretzel to give away millions to baseball owners but allows its disadvantaged children to go to school in crumbling buildings without textbooks. I'll give the writer credit for not explicitly falling for the "either/or" fallacy. That's something, I suppose.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals wanted some of that late-season Nats karma, inking Gary Bennett and Deivi Cruz in a Natty two-fer.
  • The Nats need to replace Bennett, at least on the depth chart, and the natural solution is my man John Flaherty. But Rocket Bill reports that Jim Bowden told Flaherty to look someplace else. Scumbag. (Bodes is apparently angling for Todd Pratt, a better player but most definitely not one of four GW graduates to play in the bigs.)
  • The Nats are moving to Tickets.com, "a leading provider of integrated ticketing solutions and services." Is this good? (I'd rather the Nats go with MovieTickets.com---I'm always inspired by Dorkwad's momentous climb from Computer Club to Computer Club to Computer Club to millionaire.) Hey, guess who is Tickets.com's parent company? Why, it's none other than MLB Advanced Media. Boondoggle!
  • Rocket Bill's headline this morning breaks the news that the Nats "miss out" on A.J. Burnett, who signed with America Junior. Uh, yeah. Missed out. Right, like we had a chance.
  • Also from Rocket Bill: former Expos' radio voice Jacques Doucet is up for the Ford Frick Award. (That's the award where, of course, media types are said to be "inducted" into the Baseball Hall of Fame, although they're not really inducted-inducted.) I think the Natosphere should support this one. In this same spirit, long-time readers might recall, I picked the Montreal Canadiens as my new hockey team.
  • Finally, this National Disgrace thing is really taking off. Not only are we now in the Google Bombing Hall of Fame, but the righteous prank has gotten props from the Post's Marc Fisher, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Deadspin.