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Mixed Signals

From USAToday:

Baseball's relocation committee is leaning toward recommending one of two proposals from the Washington, D.C., area to be the Montreal Expos' permanent home.

The committee is split on whether the District or Northern Virginia should get the team.

But later, the story quotes Bud Selig:

One of the main topics of conversation today is expected to be Selig's concern for putting a team in the Washington area and the impact that would have on the Baltimore Orioles.

Selig believes baseball made an unwise decision when it allowed the Kansas City A's to relocate in 1968 to Oakland, across the bay from the San Francisco Giants.

"That was done without assuming what it was going to do to San Francisco," Selig said. "The leagues were more concerned about having a rivalry with each other than doing the right thing. As a result there's been a fortune lost in those cities over the past 36 years."

There are the tea leaves. Can you read them?

A companion piece by Hal Bodley provides a useful list of advantages and disadvantages for each contender. Bodley ranks the Northern Virginia site first, ahead of DC. But the Vegas bid (3rd) - with a privately financed, $400m stadium proposal - looks intriguing. Monterrey (5th) could expand international interest by hosting the team while Vegas builds a stadium. Apart from that I give it no shot - Mexican League baseball is dying on the vine. Norfolk (4th) and Portland (6th) seem outsiders to me, but who knows? To my mind, history says DC, but the future says Vegas.