An atrocity has taken place unparalleled in the history of man.
Major League Baseball has actually been asked by the District of
Columbia City Council to PAY for one half of their $600 million
dollar publicly funded stadium. As soon as the amendment -
proposed by DC Council Chair Linda Cropp - passed by a 10-3
margin, baseball's owners gnashed their teeth, sports radio hosts
swallowed their tongues, and the saints wept for the Washington
Nationals, a team that now may never be.
A shaken Mayor Williams, the brilliant dealmaker who manipulated
Major League Baseball owners into accepting a $600 million
welfare check, stormed out of the Council Chambers behind a
cabal of police officers to avoid answering reporters questions.
He later portrayed his honeyed political skills by calling the DC
Council members in opposition to the stadium "jackasses." The
Mayor also found time this past weekend to make his case
nationally on Fox News: a brilliant place to appeal to the legions of
Republican DC residents - 9% of whom voted for President Bush
Thank goodness we have a vigilant and objective press corps to
cover such matters. The Washington Post, with a cover picture on
their website of a little girl forlornly holding her Washington
Nationals pleated skirt, has led the way in providing a balanced
understanding of Cropp's evil.
Top Post baseball columnist Thomas Boswell accused the
council chair of "dark deeds", saying "Cropp blew to smithereens
the deal that MLB thought it had in place with Washington to build
a ballpark... The bits of charred ash and shattered fragments that
you see falling from the sky are the remnants of the destruction
that Cropp wrought."
Lead Metro Columnist Marc Fisher wrote, "Linda Cropp's late-night
bombshell eviscerating the deal with Major League Baseball
immediately restores Washington's status as America's
A local sports radio host said, "Now I understand why they don't
allow these people to vote."
Business leaders had also stepped up to make sure there is a
civil and honest debate about what is in the best interests of the
city. This was on display at the MCI Arena Wednesday where Ms.
Cropp's picture was put up on the jumbotron to give all the fans a
chance to boo.
Baseball attempted to put Ms. Cropp and the elected council's
request in perspective. "It's disgraceful. Baseball has been
accused of a lot of things in the last 100 years," said an MLB
spokesperson. "But never anything like this. If Cropp thinks she's
going to do that and [still] get a team, she's making a horrible
The monstrous Cropp has the temerity not only to stand up to
Major League Baseball, but also to do so while in possession of a
uterus. Even though both men and women on the council oppose
the stadium giveaway, it is Cropp's existence as a woman that has
added insult to injury. Boswell wrote "Apparently, hell hath no fury
like Cropp when she feels that she has been spurned by
baseball." Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon described the
entire situation as "[A]kin to finally agreeing to a date with
somebody who has stalked you for five years, then being stood
up." Sports Radio has thrilled its commuter audience by letting us
all know that Ms. Cropp deserves to be "smacked."
Granted the media frenzy hasn't included pesky tidbits like the fact
that 70% of people in the District oppose public stadium financing.
Or that the Mayor has promised to evict people if their South East
DC homes stand in the way of the Stadium. Or why it would bother
all District residents, whether we love baseball or not, to spend
$600 million in a city where the only public hospital was shut
down, where libraries have slashed their hours, where schools
teeter in disrepair, where rats control the sidewalks, and where
potholes dot the streets.
It also hasn't made clear that Cropp is hardly Fannie Lou Hamer.
She has been a leading lobbyist for baseball, not an opponent.
Also, when council members persuaded the mayor to use the
raise in business taxes to give $45 million for libraries and $30
million for school computers Cropp, responding to concerns from
business leaders, "persuaded the council to strip the $75 million
from the [stadium] legislation."
Her change of heart hasn't come from any pretensions of good
will, but the influence of what is being referred to as "the mob" -
aka the vocal opinion of a majority African-American city. Cropp
said yesterday that her phone has been ringing off the hook with
angry calls. But she added that most of the calls have come from
the 301 and 703 area codes. "It's the suburban area, people from
Maryland and Virginia who do not have to pay for the stadium,"
Fortunately, this popular outrage from an inspiring coalition of
bored suburbanites, billionaire business men and their
prizefighters in the press has produced a flurry of death threats
against Ms. Cropp but that might not be enough to save our
To do that, the council will have to rescind their demand. And they
return to chambers this Tuesday and again December 28th with
"one last chance to get this right."
Hopefully district residents won't take two minutes to call Ms.
Cropp's office at 202/724-8032 or e-mail the council at
firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday to stiffen their
spines against what they mistakenly see as a brutally parasitic
deal. Hopefully they won't feel a ray of confidence at having stood
up and succeeded against a stadium deal that we have been told
for months is a fait accompli. Hopefully they won't feel - HEAVEN
FORFEND - a sense of their own power.
The way of the world has been interrupted! The billionaires did not
get their way! How tragic. How beautifully, deliciously, and perfectly
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