Thursday, September 16, 2004

Baseball, District Down to Details

Officials Say Deal Is Needed Soon
By Thomas Heath and Serge F. Kovaleski

Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 17, 2004; Page B01

A 12-hour meeting this week between Major League Baseball and District negotiators, which centered on the logistics of moving the Montreal Expos into Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, shows that baseball's decision on the team's future has taken on new urgency, officials on both sides said yesterday.

The officials said time is running short to renovate RFK as an interim site for games if the District is chosen as the Expos' new home, and they noted that the chances of getting a stadium financing package passed by the D.C. Council will diminish when a new council takes office in January. Three candidates who campaigned against public financing of a new stadium defeated council incumbents in Tuesday's Democratic primary and are likely to win the general election in November.

Two baseball sources said yesterday that Commissioner Bud Selig has called a meeting of baseball's executive committee next week, at which the Expos could be the topic of discussion. The eight-member executive committee, which includes Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos, makes all the important decisions on baseball policy.

But even in the top echelons of Major League Baseball, there still appeared to be uncertainty about when the relocation decision would be made.

One senior baseball official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said yesterday that the decision would be made in the next five days, adding that this week's District primary election had caused baseball to accelerate its timetable. Baseball President Robert DuPuy said, however, that "it is very unlikely that any final decision is imminent."

Read the entire article here on the Washington Post website.