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Columbus Clippers Partner with Washington Nationals

The Columbus Clippers will become the Triple-A ball club for the Washington Nationals for the next two seasons. The Clippers announced the deal this afternoon.

Clippers officials celebrated their new affiliation with the Washington Nationals at an afternoon press conference. According to Clippers President Ken Schnake, the team considered offers from several major league clubs.

"If there is one partnership out of the three that has the potential to go longer than two years," says Schnake, "I think it's this one with these people and this is the perfect time right now."

The short length of the deal may position the Clippers for a future agreement with the Cleveland Indians or Cincinnati Reds. The Indians and Reds both have Triple-A agreements that expire after the 2008 season. The agreement however does not affect plans for the new Huntington Park stadium.

"The affiliation has no bearing on the stadium, that's an independent project, we have a franchise, there will always be a Columbus Clippers team here. The new stadium is just an added bonus that comes down the road in a couple of years."

Columbus began looking for a new major-league partner when its 28-year affiliation with the New York Yankees came to an end.