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Sides Closing In On Lease Agreement

[December 3rd] -- It was just a matter of time. After weeks, months really, of haggling, threatening, blustering and generally being pains in the backsides of Nationals' fans, Major League Baseball and the D.C. City Council are finally close to a lease agreement on the city's new baseball stadium.

While all involved are careful to say that nothing is finalized, and that negotiations continue, the major hurdles that have hung up the agreement have been settled. Major League Baseball will provide a $24 million dollar line of credit in case of natural or terrorist disaster, as well as pay the $20 million necessary to pay for upgrades to VIP parking areas [man, those must be some kinda parking lots].

In return for all this love and kindness from Selig and Reinsdorf, the city council has offered "a concession," although no one seems willing to say exactly what this consession is or might be. The lease may be finalized by Tuesday and be ready for a vote, scheduled for December 20th.

Of course, the lease and even the new stadium is less important at this moment to the team's future than finalizing the process of naming an owner. Thankfully, a finalized lease will placate Bud Selig, and the team's owner will be announced sometime in early January.

Don't jump up and down with excitement, however. New ownership will be able to do little to help the team in 2006. The Nationals may end up taking a few baby steps backward thanks to the obstinence of both the city council and Bud Selig.

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