Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Revolution Will Be Televised . . . Nats Games Will Not

As I alluded to before, it seems that Peter Angelos is having the last laugh, and trust me people, when he laughs, it's never pretty. The jowls shake, the belly quivers, and it all quickly evolves into a phlegmy smoker's hack.

It seems Napoleon's greedier, more sinister descendent has brokered a deal with baseball where he gets 90% ownership of a regional cable network that reserves the right to show Nationals games . . . unless they're pre-empted by A Very Special "Smallville." (You think I'm kidding?) The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) was formed at the 11th hour because of Angelos's lingering threat of lawsuit, one that most had deemed utter crap. They might as well rename it the Mid-Atlantis Sports Network, since it hasn't been seen since Opening Day, thought the Orioles continue to get unwanted airtime on ComCast. And Angelos gets his wish -- no new baseball team in DC.

One of the DC City Councilmen who fought through jackelopes local and nationwide (Linda, Peter, Bud, and the rest of the herd) to get baseball here was heard to threaten the stadium deal last night upon realizing that exactly one game of the inaugural three-game series for the Nationals would be televised. He backed off this morning, but his point was not without merit. Not televising Nationals games and that horrendous TV deal (how decidedly un-apropos -- a one-sided deal favoring a two-faced guy) is bad for the prospective buyer, which means it's bad for every owner who owns a soul (Reinsdorf bought his back at an escalated price, so it's rumored). It all means less revenues for the team, which then will put a lower-priced product on the field, thinning out ticket sales and screwing the city. A chicken-little, slippery slope of transitive property economics, but it adds a little justification to the otherwise subjective notion that awarding a team to DC with much fanfare and then not showing the games on TV is just about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. And it's more fodder for the conspriacy theory that Peter Angelos is blackmailing MLB HQ, as well as the case that Bud Selig is the worst commissioner of anything that's every had a commission ever in any industry in any country on any planet. Honestly . . . honestly, I wouldn't trust this guy with the job of taking out my garbage. It'd take six weeks, it wouldn't quite get to the curb, and the lawn would stink to high heaven. And the Garbage Games would end in a tie.

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