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Friday, July 11, 2008

Two quick things

before I hit the road this a.m.

*I don't know what to make of this article in the Post today. I don't know if it is typical politcal bullcrap that goes on with new sports facilities or if there's a real problem there. If someone actually knows, please enlighten.

*To save my sanity after last night, I'm just going to blame Angel Hernandez again. I told my wife, well, at least I'll be able to go to bed early. Then it got crazy. Interesting game.


George Templeton said...

I am not sure this is typical. I never heard of anything like this with new ballparks in a variety of places that opened recently. My guess is that the Lerners know they can't win 100 percent but will get some kind of compromise on these issues with the town. It's bothersome because while the Lerners have a beef, I wish they wouldn't handle it in this fashion (particularly with a losing ballclub on the field). The city is at part fault for this because of how slow the city got in building the facility.
Somehow I think these problems wouldn't be as bad if MLB had picked the Zients group (Washington Baseball Club) to own the team instead of the Lerner family. But of course a responsive and fan-friendly ownership isn't what Bud and Reinsdorf had in mind (what a surprise!).

George Templeton said...

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this story.

Well, the Bowden haters out there will love this.

MikeHarris said...

George, we were in the journalism business together. They're looking into a lot of things and I'm not going to jump to conclusions. Let's wait until we know specifically what they're looking at, what JimBow may have done, etc. That whole situation there sounds like a mixed up mess.
In short, I don't want to get too excited yet!

I do know I should give my tickets up all the time. They do so much better when I'm not tuned in to the game at all.

George Templeton said...

Oh I know we can't jump to conclusions, but considering everything else that is going on with the franchise, this is just something that could do a lot of damage.
Rightly or wrongly it isn't just Bowden that some people don't like, its that there are Bowden guys everywhere. If it turns out that one of them (Rijo in this case) is in this scandal up to his neck, it is very hurtful for this franchise and calls into question, not just Bowden, but Kasten for sticking with Bowden in my view.

MikeHarris said...

It is going to be interesting to watch - let's see how it plays out.

An Briosca Mor said...

Re the ballpark article, read this one in today's Post for a different perspective:

Mayor Plays Down Dispute; Fenty Predicts 'Timely' Solution to Rift Over Nats' Ballpark

Of course yesterday's story was splashed atop the first page of the Metro section, while today's story was buried deep inside the Metro section, and they didn't even print the photo in color so you could see the rainbow in it. As a former journalist, you realize of course that the Post has none of its own agenda at play in the positioning of its reporting on this story. It's all happenstance where these stories show up in the paper - just like with all the Post's Nationals coverage.

MikeHarris said...

Interesting. Your point is valid about the play. I don't know how the Post weighs such things but if the first story was out front, this one should have been, too, based on what I read.
We were always pretty good about that, I thought. You get arrested and we play out front - when you get exonorated it goes out there, too.
I do find it interesting that the reaction from the mayor and the Lerners came from a radio show and a statement. Does neither side speak to the Post? Did the Post say, "well, you won't speak to us directly so screw it, it is going inside?" I sure hope that's not the case.

An Briosca Mor said...

Of course DC Mayor Adrian Fenty speaks to the Post. He's quoted in the Post all the time. It looks like neither of the reporters responsible for this story bothered to call his office for a comment prior to filing the initial story. As for the Lerners, I doubt they were called either - although if they were called prior to the first story, they might have had no comment. They're pretty private people, it seems. They probably felt the need to issue a statement after the initial story raised such a firestorm.

The timing of the first story is interesting, too. Why did it need to run now? It's not breaking news - the $100,000/day demand for damages by the Lerners has been known for probably a month. I knew about it beforehand, and I'm no news junkie. I think I had heard before that they were withholding the rent, too. There's no imminent arbitration hearing or court date to push the story out there, either. My guess is that some disgruntled DC council person raised the issue with a Post reporter and they decided from that to go with the story. Or maybe the DC Council just declared this as "Let's Pile on the Nationals Week" and the Post decided to jump on the bandwagon with the MASN story and now this one too.

MikeHarris said...

Been thinking about this more - if "Catfight over Stadium Rent" made the front, "Mayor Says No Biggie" should be out there, too.

The mayor's office should have been called after that radio show - the editor in me is rising up again.

I am interested to see where the eventual "Stadium Flap Settled" story gets played.

Was the entire stadium construction saga handled outside of sports?

An Briosca Mor said...

Yes, pretty much all of the stadium-related stories in the Post - aside from the "Nationals Park preview" stories right before Opening Day - have been handled by the Metro and Business sections. Boswell has opined in the Sports section on business-related stadium stuff (council/MLB wrangling, attendance, parking, etc) but everyone else writing in Sports seems to stick to the game on the field. These guys Nakamura and LeDuc, along with Thomas Heath, seem to be the Post's stadium beat writers.