Lately, everywhere I look I see signs that major league baseball is coming back to Washington. The signs are in the air, they're on the street, on buses, on cars, in the subway. The whole town is lousy with positive signs. "Baseball in '87." Only a fool, and possibly Jim Honochick, could misread them.
We're getting baseball. And we're getting it in 1987. (Of course I'm sure. You know how these things work. The first step is the idea. The second step is the committee to implement the idea. The final step is the bumper sticker. Can 20,000 BMW drivers be wrong?) Sometime next year Peter Ueberroth will announce the expansion schedule, and we'll be on it. This act will make Ueberroth quite popular in the local neighborhoods, including two that may figure prominently in his job future, Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Now look, we've had baseball here twice before and lost it both times. And this is not, as any political consultant will tell you, a strong record to run on. Let's not screw it up again. Let's be Boy Scouts. Let's be prepared. We've got to fill the skill positions with the best people we can find. And by skill positions I don't mean catcher, pitcher, short, second, and center, I mean the "feel the motion of the ocean, get a grip on the ship" skill positions.
Remember that just yesterday the San Francisco Giants announced they would be moving across the bay. Do you really want a season ticket to the "Annapolis Senators"?
Team Owners: The Pep Boys. Manny, Moe and Jack.
Groundskeeper: There's only man in this city for this job, one man with the necessary philosophical and emotional commitment to the environment, none other than James Watt. RFK will be the only all-concrete field in baseball (so it can be used as a parking lot when the team is on the road). Get your bids in now so you have a chance to purchase the air rights, or the leases for oil drilling in the outfield.
Booster club president: Dick Lowe, very recently of TCU.
Bullpen car driver: John DeLorean.
Bullpen car passengers: Anne Burford, John Riggins.
Bullpen car paint job: Earl Scheib.
Broadcasters: Ronald Reagan, Howard Cosell and Pee-Wee Herman.
Team Mascot: Hulk Hogan.
Anthem singer: Mary O'Dowd, the Yankee Stadium songstress whose version of "O Canada" was, shall we say, original.
Courtroom singer: Lonnie Smith.
Back-up singers: Keith Hernandez, Dave Parker, Dale Berra, Enos Cabell, Jeff Leonard.
Operator of the JUGS gun: Clint Eastwood.
Organist: Michael DeBakey.
Escorting relieved pitchers to the showers: Making sure the water doesn't just trickle down, David Stockman.
Team physician: The obvious choice is Stan Lavine, surgeon to the stars on the Redskins and Maryland Terrapins. But we're looking for a different type of doctor, aren't we? We're looking for someone to help us through the lean early years of the franchise, someone who'll help us find pleasure in pain. You know who I mean, don't you? Put your hands together and get your ya-yas out for Dr. Ruth Westheimer. And to back her up I'm nominating Dr. B.J. Mycoskie, the team physician for the Texas Rangers. If Toronto and California win the divisions, he ought to get a full share. After his injections, Billy Martin's lung collapsed and Willie Wilson was sidelined with an allergic reaction.
Team caterer: Schedule permitting, Curtis Strong.
Team travel agent: An experienced performer, ousted UDC president, Robert L. Green.
Bullpen phone: E.T.
Keeper of the Red Juice: John Milner.
Statistician: Martin Feldstein.
Scorekeeper: Tulane student Gary Krantz.
Ticket managers: Pete Rozelle, Georgia Frontiere.
Publicity hound: Mary Lou Retton.
Promotions director: Don King.
Self-promotions director: Rita Jenrette.
Demotions director: Margaret Heckler.
Bat Boy: Pete Rose Jr. (We could probably find a job for his dad, too.)
Trainer: Woody Stephens.
Assistant Trainer: Mike Trainer.
Assistant to the assistant: Pie Traynor.
General Manager: Capt. Lou Albano.
First Base Coach: Phil Mahre.
Third Base Coach: Steve Mahre.
Bullpen coach: Mahre Koch.
Comptroller: Bert Lance.
The assumption here is that the team will again be nicknamed the Senators, on the theory that if you keep trying, eventually you're bound to get it right. Historically this isn't a good town for nicknames: Terrapins, Hoyas, Capitals, Federals, Bullets (which moved with the team from Baltimore, where at least it was alliterative), Redskins, Diplomats. They are all boring, except the "Dips," which is also self-incriminating. I'd like to see "Unindicted Co-Conspirators" on the uniforms, but these are baseball players, not tractor-trailers.