HARRINGTON GUARANTEES MLB EXPANSION FOR NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Red Sox CEO John Harrington, who heads MLB's expansion
committee, reportedly told VA Senator John Warner that Northern
VA will "definitely" get a MLB expansion franchise, according to
this morning's WASHINGTON TIMES. Warner Staff Director Grayson
Winterling said that during a recent meeting on Capitol Hill,
Harrington told Warner that baseball would be back in the DC
area. Winterling: "The worst-case scenario would be that
[Northern VA] would be the third one selected. ... We're taking
the man at his word." MLB owners are expected to award two of
four expansion teams by the end of March. According to
Winterling, support of legislation that would weaken or do away
with baseball's antitrust exemption would "not help efforts" to
land a franchise: "They made it clear you're going to get an
expansion franchise. But don't rock the boat." A team would
play at RFK Stadium until a ballpark in Northern VA could be
completed (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/22)
OTHER EXPANSION NOTES: Peter Gammons reports that a yes
vote for Quebec secession in June could push the Expos out of
Canada: "Don't be surprised if the Expos end up in St.
Petersburg, with Northern Virginia the National League expansion
team" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/19)....Jayson Stark notes that the owners'
expected yes vote on expansion will not deal with the question of
whether to add two teams to the same league or one to each
league. Stark: "If they go to 15 teams in each league, they have
to go to interleague play. And that means another DH fight.
Plus, the Royals and Astros both are fighting a potential switch
from Central to West divisions, depending on where the new teams
wind up. So look out" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/19).