- The Washington Times - Monday, January 21, 2002

Bud Selig, major league baseball's former interim commissioner for life, is whispering sweet-nothings to the District.
The District feels almost faint.
Here comes baseball in 2003.
Here we go again.
It beats baseball in 1987, one of the local rallying cries of yesteryear.
The latest prospect is said to be encouraging, even if the Expos barely qualify as big league.
The Expos remain one step up from dead, no thanks to Selig. He already tried to put them to sleep. He called it contraction. Baseball's weepy sentimentalists called it a crime against the portion of humanity that traffics in the arcane, minutia and game-winning hits under a full moon.
Washington is overqualified to have a baseball team. The attendance of the Mystics is proof of that.
Washington supports just about anything, starting with the gasbags on Capitol Hill. That includes Edward Kennedy, the jolly, jowly one who is interminable.
The Expos are not a baseball franchise. They are a charity case. Washington is eager to have pity on them, and no offense to the Francophiles in Montreal. They speak French. We are obligated to be sensitive in their presence. They speak French, while we just cry. Woe is us.
Selig undoubtedly is weary of the bleating from Washington. He is pretty good around home-run records. He is not too good around Washington's demographics, given how comically impressive they are. He seemingly would be inclined to have a team in Dubuque, Iowa, before the Washington area.
Selig was out to lunch at the time of the dot-com explosion in the Dulles corridor. Whenever he thinks of Washington, he thinks of the Washington in Walter Johnson's day. He is often painful in his public utterances. His hair is pretty painful, too. He just can't seem to be able to do a thing with it.
Washington is not supposed to be Baltimore's lap dog. It is supposed to be the other way around, and not to disparage Baltimore. They have nice row houses there, a nice harbor and a couple of nice parking garages.
Washington usually comes down with a headache from all the closed-door maneuvering and politicking in baseball. Reading tea leaves is easier than reading baseball's top brass.
Washington asks: Which way is baseball's wind blowing today? Washington then breaks out its Digital Doppler radar.
Baseball works in mysterious ways. That explains the two ailing franchises in Florida, Jesse Ventura's disgust in Minnesota and Washington's 30 seasons as an outsider. Washington should consider the source.
Selig pleads poverty with the best. He goes around the nation with a tin cup in one hand and a will-work-for-food sign in the other. He is the only commissioner in professional sports who tries to sell pencils on the side.
Selig shows up to Washington looking for tax breaks, donations and a pat on the back. He is earnest, sincere. Give him that. He should be nominated for an Oscar. He is a one-man theater, only his art is in telling tall tales. He is the poorest zillionaire in the world. If you twist his arm after making every concession imaginable, he'll take your money as a humanitarian gesture. He wants you to feel good while you are being fleeced.
Fortunately, Selig seems to have uncovered Washington on his map of the U.S. There it is, just above Richmond. How many people live in the Washington area again? It beats him.
Washington has been in this position in the past, all dressed up and ready to dance with a game that begs to be taken seriously between the scratching and spitting.
Despite the history, Washington wants to hope for the best, and the Expos are doing their part.
The Expos are down to two or three fans in Montreal, the owner of the team is readying to buy the Marlins, and Selig's office is slated to be the team's caretaker this summer.
Moving the team to Washington apparently is viable under these circumstances.
Imagine that.
Baseball in Washington in 2003.
Maybe we should believe it when we see it.

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