The best thing about the latest proposal to bring baseball to Richmond, as NBC12's Rachel DePompa points out this evening in her blog, is that it actually isn't even a frakkin' proposal!
It's a guy with a plot of land he wants to sell.
Come to Northside, folks, there are a few dozen small plots available for nice pick-up game fields -- all you have to do is tear down the homes sitting on them.
DePompa makes a more pertinent point deeper in her post, though she never really comes out and blatantly says it. "It" being the very obvious question: Who is running this shell game to begin with?
The answer, apparently, depends on where you want to build your ball field, as DePompa notes:
If you want to revamp the Diamond, well don’t call the city cause the RMA owns it. If you want to put it in the Bottom, then you make the counties AND the RMA feel left out of the discussion.
All of this comes in a flurry of reports and press conferences over the past month that were alternately inane and visionary -- baseball in Shockoe Bottom; the idea of baseball in the Bottom is not about baseball, but about economic development; let's combine the baseball initiative with high-speed rail and a bus transfer station and a national slavery museum; let's do baseball in Chesterfield; let's keep it at The Diamond, but fundamentally rebuild the ball field and add bumper cars.
No wonder the whole thing imploded. Most things do when they lack cohesive leadership, and are built around ever-changing stories.
The stadium site would be part of a 17.5-acre property between the Manchester and 14th Street bridges, with a clear view of the river and downtown skyline.
"How good would a ballpark look there?" asked John T. "Trib" Sutton III, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis of Virginia, a real estate brokerage that is handling the sale of the property for Reynolds......However, Richmond officials say they didn't consider the casual conversation a pitch for a new stadium site and that they don't have any formal proposal to consider.
"Unequivocally, we are not considering any proposal for a baseball stadium on that site," Tammy D. Hawley, the mayor's press secretary, said yesterday.
By the way, if you haven't made time to periodically read the comments in the Times-Dispatch (especially on news stories that deal with race, sports or politics), do yourself a favor. My favorite comment on the latest ball field proposal echoes DePompa's blog post. TD reader "Rayzor" writes:
New month, new baseball article. Sadly, it’s the same old non-committal load of crap we see with each story:
"Reynolds Packaging Group has MENTIONED to city officials INFORMALLY the POSSIBILITY OF a minor-league baseball…"
"Richmond officials say they didn’t consider the casual conversation a pitch for a new stadium site…THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY FORMAL PROPOSAL…"
"Unequivocally, we are NOT CONSIDERING ANY PROPOSAL for a baseball stadium on that site"...
...With all the staff cuts at the RTD lately, whoever has landed the plum assignment of the weekly baseball story will have job security for years to come.
I’ll be on vacation next week, so I’ll miss the next installment of…"Baseball in Richmond: Will They or Won’t They? No. They Won’t."