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Lerner Group Wins Bid for Nationals Baseball Team

Washington-area developer Theodore Lerner will become the owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team, says Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

Lerner, a real estate magnate who grew up in Washington, D.C., will pay around $450 million for the team once known as the Montreal Expos. Some Washington politicians, including City Council member Marion Barry opposed the Lerner bid, saying it did not have enough African-American representation.

Eight groups had been bidding fiercely for the franchise for more nearly a year. Several City Council members had warned of "all sorts of backlash" over the selection of the Lerner group. Still, baseball's 29 team owners are expected to approve the deal this month. The Lerners would assume operation of the Nationals by the middle of June.

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Allison Keyes is an award-winning journalist with almost 20 years of experience in print, radio, and television. She has been reporting for NPR's national desk since October 2005. Her reports can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition Sunday.