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Major league creativity revives stadium issue

September 05, 2012

I love the idea of putting a baseball stadium right up against a newspaper office building that’s 80 percent windows. What could happen? And while we’re at it, let’s put the new police department shooting range right next to the ward for people recovering from nervous breakdowns.

I’ve never understood this town, which is why I stay here.

At this juncture, I feel compelled to point out that we have one group of people in City Hall fretting over how we’re going to find a use for a big, wide-open void in the middle of the city, one that was left empty by the demolition of the former hospital.

Then we have another group of people in City Hall trying to shoehorn a new baseball stadium into a cramped section of downtown that is a relatively functioning commercial center, and a place where the neighbors don’t want the stadium in the first place.

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So ... oh, never mind. I’m sure there are all kinds of reasons why the obvious solution wouldn’t work. At the old hospital site there’s probably all kinds of medical goop encapsulated underground that would have to be isolated and removed by men in moon suits. And you know how it’s always entertaining when a dog gets loose in the outfield? Well, it’s a lot less cute when the dog’s carrying a severed limb in its mouth.

By the way, I would like to clear up one enduring mystery surrounding the new stadium proposal. I, me, moi, am the secret private donor who’s going to be shelling out 15 million clams to make the finances work. Yes, no, thank you. No — hold your applause. Well shucks, you knuckleheads, you’re embarrassing me, really.

Yup, made my pile when I sold the rights to those Winnie the Pooh Ninja action figures.

Really, I would happily pay whatever it took just to build the stadium — anywhere — just so everyone would shut up about it and put a lid on this ongoing discussion that is entering, what, its 14th year?

I confess, I find it kind of charming to think I would be able walk right out of The Herald-Mail offices straight into a luxury box. In fact, for all I know, this whole thing is a conspiracy on the part of my bosses to get me to occasionally show up for work.

Still, I can understand all the gripes. But then just when I think that I’ve heard enough evidence to conclude that this project is a bad idea, along comes a claim by opposition that’s so confounding that it sends me scurrying back to the other side.

And I am specifically referring to the effort to “Save Historic Municipal Stadium?” Historic Municipal Stadium? Oh stop it, please. I love ya, but stop it. Willie Mays played here once, so all of a sudden we’re supposed to think it’s Fenway?

I’m curious: Precisely which concrete blocks in Municipal Stadium do they find to be the most historic, the ones with the historic urine stains in the men’s washroom or the ones in the outfield wall that are being buttressed by two-by-fours?

And I can’t help but notice that the people who all of a sudden want to hang on to the historic old stadium don’t spend a lot of time there. Maybe all that history is just too overcoming, and they’re afraid they will pass out.

But perhaps they can explain to the Washington Nationals how all the mold that grows on the walls after the routine clubhouse flooding is historic, and they’ll take back their demand that their players not get within a quarter-mile of the place.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at timr@herald-mail.com.

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