Tom Boswell nails the lack of ownership issue in his column today. Boswell has just the right amount of outrage and indignation aimed at baseball and Bud Selig for its refusal to name an owner of the Natonals. He also summarizes nicely the resulting harm to the team:
Every person in the Nats' organization and every Washington fan is being penalized every day that Selig delays. As open season on free agents began yesterday, that penalty immediately became more severe. Will the Nats lose two of their best pitchers, Esteban Loaiza and Hector Carrasco? Both would like to stay in Washington but how can they if they have no idea who will own, operate or manage the team, much less what salary they will be offered? For that matter, what free agent of real quality will seriously consider a team in such flux? Will native New Englander Jim Bowden, whom Selig says "did a very good job" as general manager, be hired away by the Red Sox, who have already interviewed him?
Bowden has already told all the Nats' coaches to look for jobs because the team can't promise anybody anything. No owner means no job security. It's every man for himself. "It's really just not fair for the coaching staff, to hang them out there," said a disgusted Frank Robinson. "That's worse than saying, 'You're fired.' Because then they know they have to go look for a job."
For the last 15 months, baseball has treated Washington disgracefully, whether the issue was the availability to TV broadcasts to the general public, the quality of the team's faint radio signal or the misappropriation of parts of Washington's TV rights to Baltimore's owner. But such neglect and disrespect eventually has its cost.
Boswell then goes on to read the tea leaves and conclude that baseball may name an owner soon. We hope that's true, but we've been told that before...