Q How good are the Expos?
Not very; with a 65-94 record, Montreal is last in the National League East. And General Manager Omar Minaya is bolting to the Mets.
Q When will I get my first chance to see the new team?
Spring training in February 2005. The Expos play at Space Coast Stadium, with a capacity of 8,100, in Melbourne, Fla., 90 miles southeast of Orlando on the Atlantic Coast. The Expos play in the Grapefruit League and are a traditional spring training opponent of the Baltimore Orioles.
Q When is Opening Day?
The 2005 baseball schedule has not been released, but if it follows recent form, the season would likely begin with one game on Sunday night, April 3, with most of the clubs starting play on the more traditional Monday, April 4. D.C. officials said yesterday the home opener will be April 15.
Q Where will the team play?
RFK Stadium will be refurbished for baseball. Washington's team is expected to play there for three seasons while a ballpark is being built at South Capitol and M streets SE on the Anacostia waterfront.
Q How do I get tickets? How much do they cost?
Tickets -- and ticket prices -- are not yet available. You can sign up to receive ticket information, including full and partial season ticket plans, at www.baseballindc.com or by phone at 202-266-6610. The Web site and phone number are sponsored by the Washington Baseball Club and sanctioned by the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. The list of those interested in tickets will be passed along to whatever buyer ends up with the team.
Q Where can I find the games on television and on radio?
Deals will have to be negotiated for both. MLB hopes the Expos will be part of a regional cable television package with the Orioles.
Q What are the chances for interleague games against the Baltimore Orioles?
It's possible the teams will play, but the schedule is still being tweaked by MLB.
Q Will there be any other scheduling quirks?
Normally, when American and National League teams share the same market -- Mets-Yankees, White Sox-Cubs, A's-Giants, Dodgers-Angels -- the schedule-makers try to avoid having both teams play at home at the same time. For example, in September, the Mets and Yankees shared home dates only twice.
Q Who owns the team?
As of today, the Expos are still owned by Major League Baseball. The team will be put up for bid and MLB will choose the new owners.
Q What will the Washington team be called?
The team's new owners will pick a name. The Washington Baseball Club has said it would seek public input. City officials have expressed reluctance to return to the name "Senators" since the District has no voting representation in Congress.
Q Will the entire team just be moved south?
The players' contracts stay with the franchise. The situation for front office personnel is less clear; President Tony Tavares and Manager Frank Robinson have expressed interest in remaining with the team, but their contracts expire after the season.
Q How soon can Washington expect to host an All-Star Game?
The past four all-star games were held in new parks: Minute Maid Park, Houston; U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago; Miller Park, Milwaukee; Safeco Field, Seattle. The next two -- 2005 at Comerica Park (Detroit), 2006 at PNC Park (Pittsburgh) -- were awarded on the same basis. If the new ballpark is ready, Washington could bid for the 2008 or 2009 All-Star Game.
Q Who are the minor league teams for the Expos?
This season, the Class AAA club was the Edmonton Trappers; the Class AA team was, coincidentally, the Senators, of Harrisburg, Pa. There were three Class A franchises this year: the Brevard County (Fla.) Manatees, the Vermont Expos of Winooski and the Savannah (Ga.) Sand Gnats.
For 2005, the Expos dropped Edmonton and Brevard County and picked up the New Orleans Zephyrs (Class AAA) and the Potomac Cannons (Class A).