So how come TalkBackers are slow to get in the spirit of the holidays? Could it be the second annual "Let me ruin your holiday" concert given by the D.C. Council, conducted by Linda Cropp, featuring soloists Adrian Fenty and David Catania, narrated by WRC-4's Tom Sherwood?

I must confess that when MLB announced that we would get a team last year, I had mixed feelings. I had been so fed up with how Washington had been treated by MLB that I had lost interest in baseball years ago. But as an old Washington Senators fan, it was hard not to like the Nationals who played over their heads. It's also hard not to like Frank Robinson, who somehow epitomizes what can be good in sports. So I became an enthusiastic supporter of the Nationals and joined friends in buying season tickets.

Hence, it is with more than a little chagrin that I read how MLB believes this city might not have met expectations because the Nationals were only able to sell 2.7 million tickets this year. Well, enough is enough. It seems clear that MLB will do everything it can to ensure that this franchise fails.

Jerome P. Akman, Washington

Nah, MLB doesn't want the Nats to fail. But are you the same Jerome whom Clinton Portis role-plays at Redskins Park?

Why is it so fashionable to blame everything on the D.C. Council, including the loss of Esteban Loaiza and Hector Carrasco, because the council dithered on the stadium deal? Shouldn't blame for the Nationals' inability to bid on free agents and a lack of a TV deal be laid at the appropriate doorstep -- Major League Baseball?

David Griffith

Bud Selig and his MLB Gang might have helped the process by getting more involved. Still, Selig did not want to sell the team until the council approved the lease that it seems to approve every five months.

How can MLB ask $450 million for a franchise they paid less than half that amount for? Are they not interested in getting the franchise off to a healthy start -- or does the profit motive override good sense? Their greed is palpable. One would think that a healthy franchise would be everyone's goal.

J.H. Hill, Irvington, Va.

Selig is trying to make the other 29 owners whole, after they've paid the bills for the Expos-Nats.