The Wa-Md-Va Nationals
Clearly, this is how the Nationals must think of themselves -- as a regional team serving an area you could argue spreads down south of Richmond to the Tidewater and up to (gulp) Baltimore. MASN is on in a region this vast, and to draw three million fans -- which the Nationals hope to do at some point soon -- they can't count solely on residents of the good ol' District of Columbia.
However, D.C. officials clearly believe they have a stake in this team, and that doesn't mean they just grab pom-poms. In their mind, the fact that the District forked over $611 million (you think the Nationals are sick of hearing that figure?) gives the District the right to expect certain benefits. Thus, we get the latest mess, illustrated in this A1 story in today's $.35 edition, in which D.C. Council members are furious (and if you doubt me, read the quotes) that the Nationals have scheduled some events -- their annual gala that benefits their foundation (and thus D.C. kids) and a new "fanfest" -- for Maryland.
In the story, Nats Prez Stan Kasten tells the Post's Nikita Stewart that the club elected to go to Prince George's County -- and the new National Harbor development along the Potomac -- for the gala because they could get the hotel for free. That, Kasten says, would then translate to more money raised for District kids.
The striking thing about the story, though, is that there don't seem to be a Council member who is unmoved by this. Jack Evans is baseball's biggest booster on the Council, and even he told Kasten the Nationals have "an obligation" to the District.
Incomparable Post Metro columnist Marc Fisher -- unlike me, allowed to have an opinion about all this, and in fact paid to do so -- posts an excellent analysis on his "Raw Fisher" blog here.
Anyway, I'm sure lots of you live outside the District. So - while I work up a post about Ryan Zimmerman losing the Gold Glove to good friend David Wright - I'd ask you to discuss whether this whole hubbub matters to you or not.
You'll hear from me later today. (Oh, also: The new turf arrived and they've started to roll more in.)
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