Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Straight Dope

Don't miss Steven Pearlstein's column in the Post today, where he provides an invaluable public service by explaining the real issues behind the baseball deal, including the key difference between "financing" and "funding" and public versus private.

The last paragraph sums up the reality nicely:

Look, don't get me wrong: I'm mighty uncomfortable with the fact that Washington and other cities have to further enrich millionaire team owners and players to attract and retain a baseball franchise. But until Congress repeals baseball's antitrust exemption, or until all major cities are willing to sign a pact that none of them will buy into baseball's Ponzi scheme, our choices are either to play by the rules laid down by Major League Baseball or not play at all. Another round of "tough negotiating" won't change that basic reality.

Or, as Don Rumsfeld might put it, you go into negotiations with the Major League you have, not the one you wish you had.

He also points out that if the "curbside parking" will actually work, it is probably better for DC to sell those rights when the project is closer to completion, and then the money could be used for other projects likes schools, etc.


At 10:17 AM, Blogger tmk67 said...

After I read the Post this morning, I was reminded of the episode of Seinfeld in which George re-negotiates the pilot contract with NBC and receives less money than NBC's first offer.

It seems from the Post front-page piece that Chair Cropp held out for the right to obtain more-expensive financing for the ballpark and has also agreed to waive one year's $5 million rent payment in exchange for MLB's withdrawal of or agreement to change (unclear what) the $19 million annual liquidated damages provision if the new stadium is late.

As Jerry told George: "In other words,you held out for less money...You know, this is how they negotiate in Bizzaro World."

At 11:12 AM, Blogger SuperNoVa said...

TMK, if you start to quote the Simpsons, we might just give you the keys to the Blog.


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