COLUMNS

Nats should earn $85 million more than last year

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • March 23, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz

With all the buzz over which group will land ownership of the Nationals, some insiders speculate that Major League Baseball might want to hold onto the team. Last year, the Montreal Expos earned only $15 million, making it the biggest loser in the league. Ironically, now before the first game, the team is starting out to be the biggest winner. The Washington Nationals are expected to earn about $100 million in local revenue this season. And we’ve hardly begun!

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Washington Nationals infielder Nick Johnson signs autographs before the start of a spring training game against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday. The Nationals are receiving more fan support than the Montreal Expos last year.
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Bunning

Batting practice

Politicians are brushing up on their baseball skills in time for the celebrity game planned by the DC Baseball Association. The usual suspects – City Council and members of Congress – will be drafted, including Hall of Famer, Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning. They’re waiting for a date from the Sports Commission but if it fits into their schedules, Michael Bolton and Dionne Warwick are warmed up, too.No April fools

Thirty lucky area youngsters will have the first tour of the new RFK Stadium with the VIPs who made it all happen on April 1, compliments of Turner Construction and the DC Baseball Association. They’ll check out the locker room, dugout, and even get to throw a pitch from the state-of-the-art hydraulic lifted mound, which enables the field to double as part of the soccer field.

Who’s the next golden throat?

Today are the invitation-only auditions for the job of public address announcer for the Nationals. Charlie Brotman, the voice of the Washington Senators, along with two representatives from the Nationals, will choose his successor. “This is not just picking the best voice,” Brotman says. “The person has to keep up the energy for 81 home games.”

Royal soccer fan

The U.S. Soccer Foundation knows that royalty draws – and they’ve scored a coup. Prince Albert of Monaco has agreed to serve as the Honorary Chairman for their 10th anniversary dinner on Sept. 15 in Washington.

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Bush

Family jewels

Ann Hand, jewelry designer to the movers and shakers, can still recall when she was “so scared to have a retail store.” Now, the MacArthur Boulevard collection is doing so well, she’s opening a second location in early May. And Ann is thrilled that granddaughter Ashley Taylor, who has been working with her since she graduated from USC last year, has agreed to manage the new Georgetown shop near the Four Seasons Hotel. Yep, she admits the jewelry business always fares better in a Republican administration – even First Lady Laura Bush wears Hand’s Liberty pin.

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Clinton

The (heart) beat goes on

Vernon Jordan reports that Bill Clinton’s recovery is going well. The D.C. lawyer visited the former president last week at his NY home and says when he arrived, Clinton had already walked two miles, napped, and welcomed good conversation.

My way

Lebanese Americans want to protect their heritage by raising awareness of the social and political situation in Lebanon. They’re doing it in a big way on April 5 at the Ritz Carlton. Singer-songwriter Paul Anka will not only pick up an award from the American Task Force for Lebanon, but will entertain at the group’s gala as well.

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