Wednesday, March 08, 2006

maybe baseball is here to stay...

I've been careful about being too optimistic, but now that the DC City Council and MLB have both approved a stadium deal and lease, I'm now upgrading my condition from "in agony" to "guardedly not-quite-optimistic." Things could happen. For example, an ancient Indian burial ground could be found where second base is supposed to go to delay construction, or the Department of Homeland Security could decide that concentrating 41,000 people within site of the Capitol is an unconscionable security risk and decide the stadium would be better built somewhere not quite so close, say Delaware.

Now all that needs to be resolved is picking a sucker willing to cough up a few hundred million dollars for the franchise. Call me a fool, but I think this should happen pretty quickly.

And THEN the new owner and MLB will have to resolve the whole question of whether the Nationals/MLB have exclusive marketing rights to the name "Nationals" or not. Bygone Sports, an Ohio sports apparel manufacturer, was granted the right to copyright the name "Washington Nationals" by the US Patent and Trademark Office in February. Bygone is also trying to register the names of other former baseball teams like the Homestead Grays of Negro League fame. I don't like what Bygone is doing, claiming rights to names that rightfully should be either in the public domain or owned by MLB, but if it forces a name change, that'd be OK with me -- I'm not wild about "Nationals" anyway...

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