Thirty-five minutes of the hour-long House-Senate conference on the city's fiscal 1986 appropriations were spent yesterday debating whether Congress should or should not wish the nation's capital good luck in its efforts to bring the national pastime back here.
After debate and rebuttal, proposal and counterproposal, the conferees concluded they were deadlocked. The report, they agreed, would simply state that the House had its opinion and the Senate its opinion.
The intractable problem arose because different cities across the country are competing to get approval by major league baseball owners for a baseball franchise.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) had added to the House bill a seemingly innocuous amendment amounting to a pat on the back for the District's baseball campaign. But senators representing states with baseball-hungry constituents saw it another way.
"New Jersey is the most deprived market in the country without baseball," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), a conferee.
Meanwhile, legislation to transfer RFK Stadium from the federal government to the District, which has been approved in the House and by a Senate committee, ran into potential delays.
Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D-Mo.) said he wanted to require the D.C. Council to approve any award of a master lease at the stadium to a team owner, voicing concern that Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke might get a lease and control the stadium when another group might own the baseball team. The city considers stadium ownership essential to get a team.