Bud Selig's first expected date for handing over the Washington Nationals was about fourteen or fifteen months ago. It would appear that Selig is finally ready to announce his choice to take over the team. In the context of galactic history, I suppose this would classify as acting swifty.
Well---assuming this is all going down, of course---I'm happy.
Don't get me wrong. I hold no ill will toward Fred Malek or Jeff Zients or anyone else in that ownership group; I would have been comfortable with their selection. I hold no specific contempt for Jeff Smulyan; I would not have been comfortable with his (or his corporation's) selection, but I would have lived.
I simply believe the Lerners and Stan Kasten represent the best choice for the franchise's future. They're well-funded, and they have a industry mover built-in to serve as team president. Sure, there is what I suppose we could flippantly call "the minority stuff," the importance of which I do not want to minimize but wish to place in some sort of context. As MissChatter recorded in her exhaustive notes from yesterday's DC Council vote on the Barry/Orange resolution, the criticisms concerning the Lerners on this topic are rather vague and seem a product of hasty, muddled logic. (They also seem to be a product of politics from the other two groups that had made the final round.)
I trust nearly nothing Bud Selig does, but the DC Council entered an agreement with Selig that did not contemplate the eventual owner Selig would select. I have supported the Council doing its due diligence, but by now the situation merely needs to progress so that the team has an opportunity for success in the near- and long-terms. The time for the Council to grandstand has lapsed.
Ted Lerner is neither a convict nor a serial killer nor a caustic racist. He's a guy who appreciates his privacy. Instead, the Council should prepare to deal with Stan Kasten. Now, what is the objection against him?
In the end, I suspect---but of course can't be sure---that Selig made a good choice. This is not to minimize Malek's importance to the process; I don't even know the half of it, although some hard-core fans really do, and they swear by the guy. Tell you what---the first time the Nats make the World Series, Malek throws out the first pitch for the first home game.