Friday, December 17, 2004

Randy Johnson Trade Held Up By DC City Council Vote 

Washington, DC -- In a surprising development, the Washington, DC City Council Thursday night voted to add a controversial measure to a proposed three-way deal between the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Arizona Diamondbacks involving Randy Johnson. The measure, which passed by a 10-3 vote, requires the New York Yankees to give Alex Rodriguez plus approximately $130 million dollars to the Diamondbacks.

"I am not trying to kill the deal," said council chair Linda W. Cropp, who introduced the private financing measure. "I'm putting some teeth in it because I'm really disappointed with what Arizona got from the Yankees and Dodgers. C'mon, we have no idea how healthy Brad Penny or Shawn Green will be next year. And let's not forget that this isn't a greal deal for the Dodgers, either."

A separate amendment to require the Diamondbacks to establish the Will Carroll Memorial Labrum Institute with separate Glaus, Sexson, and Green wings with some of the $130 million failed by voice vote.

When asked after the meeting if the Council would intervene to add requirements to the 4-year, $33 million contract with pitcher Russ Ortiz, Cropp responded, "No, y'all are on your own with that one."

The Yankees had no representative at the meeting and were not available for immediate comment. But one DC Council member said he did not think the Yankees would approve of the change.

"We'll have to see how the Yankees react," said Councilman Jack Evans, a Yankees proponent. But he said he expects the council will have to change the legislation to keep the deal alive. "We'll have until the end of the year to change this," Evans said.

This morning, Major League Baseball President and Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy said, "The legislation approved by the District of Columbia City Council last night does not reflect the deal the Yankees, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks signed and relied upon after being invited by Randy Johnson to consider the Yankees as his home for the next three years. The legislation is inconsistent with our carefully negotiated agreement and is wholly unacceptable to Major League Baseball. Look, it's every Yankees' fan God-given right to have the best pitcher in baseball on their team, and this puts that right in jeopardy."

The vote is being viewed as a rebuke to the Yankees' continued financial dominance of baseball, one year after signing Alex Rodriguez and while they continue to pursue All-Star centerfielder Carlos Beltran. Politically beleaguered New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's only response to the vote was, "Cropp's not planning on moving to Brooklyn, is she?"

It was not clear if the Council would take any further action on the Johnson trade. Reports out of San Francisco suggested, however, that some Giants fans were petitioning the Council to add a similar amendment to the Giants' free agent signing of catcher Mike Matheny to a 3-year $10.5 million contract.

And to think I had some bad things to say about Linda. I take them back...LOL
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