DC Baseball Still Doomed

We didn't have to build a $674,000,000+ stadium and give it to the Lerner family. But we did. It was awfully generous of us. So you'd think that the Lerners would be grateful that the city picked up the tab on the most expensive baseball stadium in American history.

Instead, and I can't believe this is just now being disclosed, the Lerners are threatening to sue the city for $100,000 a day for every day that the stadium has been open. Their reason? The stadium wasn't completed in time.

As Marc Fisher so eloquently points out, "I somehow recall spending $5 on a hot chocolate at the ballpark that night -- and watching a breathtaking walk-off Ryan Zimmerman home run sail out of the stadium."

Mr. Fisher, I too remember spending $25 on ludicrously overpriced beer and $8 on a heaping pile of chili nachos.

Alas, the team's offices weren't ready in time. It's a small detail, but an important one nevertheless. The city has allowed the Nationals to keep their old offices in RFK rent free until the new offices are completed. This is not good enough for the Lerners.

Now, I understand that a deal is a deal. It's not the Lerners' fault that Mayor Anthony Williams signed one of the most lopsided agreements since Manhattan was purchased for some pocket change. But, for Christ's sake, cut us a friggin' break, Lerner family. We gave you almost seven hundred million dollars. The most important parts of the stadium were ready on time.

Some city officials are so angry at the Lerners that they don't want to talk to the family anymore. "It just turns my stomach that they would take all the goodwill we had and risk it on petty little technicalities," says one D.C. official, who declined to be named, saying he doesn't want to become the focus of the owners' wrath.

City attorneys accused the Lerners of "finger-pointing and windfall-seeking." It's hard not to reach that conclusion myself. It's good to know that no matter how much you give someone, it's still not always good enough. It took less than two months for the city and the Lerners to be at each other's throats. The Nationals symbolize total incompetence both on the field and off it.


  1. "says one D.C. official, who declined to be named, saying he doesn't want to become the focus of the owners' wrath."

    THAT'S why this city is doomed. Our leaders are useful idiots who bury thier heads instead of tackling our problems.

  2. Meh...all these stadium complaints are exhausting.

    Let's talk about how our superior beings, the DC Super-Rat, conquerors of Dupont and Glover Park, have just sacked Tenleytown.

    We're losing ground in the War on Rats! Someone negotiate a treaty before they move on Spring Valley!

  3. Better Tenleytown than my neighborhood!

  4. I hit on the same article on my blog. I don't think the Lerners know how nicely they're giftwrapping election platforms for the neighborhoods that had zero interest in baseball anyway.

  5. good work pointing out what rapacious assholes the lerners are, but this doesnt mean dc baseball is doomed, it actually means the opposite. the learners are going ruthlessly enhance the value of their franchise with dickhead moves like this, making the nats franchise worth more, and making it less likely they'll move the franchise to a place where it is worth less.

    its what most business' based in dc would do if they could. politicians and the people who vote for them are just suckers for the chache that pro sports teams bring to their town. the fact that the capital of the united states is spending 700mil for that cache points to the overwhelming stupidity of those politicians and their constituents, and how very likely it is the MLB will want to stay here and continue bilking them.

  6. yeah good for the lerners. you know the DC gov isn't going to get anything done unless you force it to get it done with an ass raping threat. sticking it to the gov is basically always a good thing. make em sweat and do their job a little bit.

  7. AnonymousMay 27, 2008

    Does it matter if they give that cash to Harriet Walters or to the Lerners?
    This is DC.
    You know they are a bunch of f--k ups. You know they are gonna f--k up, cause thats what f--k-ups do. Its just a question of who reaps from them f--king up.

  8. Now the Council is asking for refunds from some of the consultants who painted such a rosy picture of the bags of money the stadium would bring in:


  9. Fred Malek is much more gracious. Here's an interview in which he praised the new owners. hah!

    Fred Malek on DC Baseball (and the Presidents Race)