European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 10 1999, Page 45

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 10, 1999, Darmstadt, HessePaoc12 stars and stripes timeout Friday december 10, 1999 stable ownership package makes expos Sale a Good Deal for now by Tracy Ringolsby Denver Rocky Mountain news he ownership situation in Montreal has been settled sort rejecting the sales of the Oakland a s and Kansas City royals during their fall quarterly meeting owners held a special meeting in Dallas two weeks ago and approved a restructuring of the expos in which new York Art dealer Jef Frey Loria will buy 35 percent interest in the team and become the general what did Montreal s new ownership offer that Kansas Cit Yand Oakland did to there remain questions about whether the Bay area can support both the a s andean Francisco giants. With the Long standing Lack of support for the a s plus the horrid stadium they play in coupled with the giants mov ing into a new Ballpark this Spring the feeling is if one team is to survive it s the giants. There is no sense bringing in a new ownership group until base Ball decides whether having a team in Oakland is viable. History has shown that the fan support is present in Kansas City and Kauffman stadium remains one of the nicer Ball Parks in baseball. Also there were concerns about seeing a franchise sell for $75 million which could have a. Negative Impact on the value of other franchises. And the 40-plus member partnership put together by attorney Miles Prentice created questions about whether there was enough Money Avail Able to operate the franchise until the royals plight was right de. The royals do have alternatives. Wal Mart ceo David Glass who has been in charge of the Trust that runs the team says he will reconsider and pursue buying the team. And word is an As yet unidentified potential buyer who has Strong ties to the Kansas City area has shown a Strong interest. Montreal meanwhile has a Market unto itself and the government and local business Lead ers have gotten behind plans for a baseball Only stadium that will seat 37,000 in downtown Montre Al. Work is expected to begin i february or March with plans to have it completed in time for the 2002 season in the Early 80s, the expo showed they did have a fan base. And the $50 million that Loria spaying for his interest in the team puts a $150 million value on the franchise More in line with the value of teams in other markets than the bargain Price Prentice offered. Loria made two key strategic moves with his partnership. He included Steven Bronfman son of longtime expos owners t Charles Bronfman As part of the ownership. He also will have his own Stepson David Samson move to Montreal to oversee the operation of the franchise on a full time will give the people in Montreal an Opportunity to rally to support the new ownership. What went unsaid however in approving the Sale of the expos is that baseball still left itself in position to either disband or move the franchise if positive signs of life in Montreal fail to the stadium Issue unravels or fan supports fails to material ize Loria does t have Long stand ing ties to Montreal that would make it difficult for him to move to another City. And if the owners go ahead with a proposal to consolidate by buying out troubled franchises and disbanding the teams they could make sure that Loria gets his investment Back. The expos ownership however is putting a Happy face on the Sale saying it Points to baseball s commitment to keeping baseball in the Canadian City which is the mentality the expos have to assume if there is any Chance for the franchise s survival. But it won t be an easy task to make a go of things in Montreal. While the expos were one of baseball s top draws two decades ago they have become an embarrassment to the an Era when an attendance of two million is expected and three million is a goal for most teams the expos sold Only 773,227 tickets last year an average of 9,547 per game. That s the expos smallest Atten dance since they moved into olympic stadium of a full time basis in 1977, and the second smallest since the creation of the franchise in 1969. The expos Drew Only 646,704 in 1976. The expos in fact have reached 1.5 million in attendance Only once the past six years and Haven t reached two million since 1983. Around the my West there s been another setback for san Diego Center fielder Ruben Rivera who has been limited to do duties in his native Venezuela this Winter because of a sore shoulder. The padres Are flying him to san Diego to have the shoulder examined. The goodnews is Rivera who had 23 Home runs but hit Only .195 last year has been More consistent this Winter .293 with 16 rib in 83at bats with Caracas where he has enjoyed working with be Oglivie. Oglivie is expected to be named the padres hitting coach replacing Merv Rettenmund who resigned to accept a similar Job baseball notes with Atlanta san Francisco is considering offering arbitration to left handed hitting Catcher Brent Mayne who they would like to keep to share the catching chores with Doug Mirabelli Fernando Valenzuela who began the mexican migration to los Angeles has resurfaced this Winter with Hermosillo of the mexican Pacific league. He allowed one hit in four shutout innings in his debut. No Central Quincy Carter the Chicago cubs second round draft Choice in june of 1996 who quit on game into the 1999 season at class a Daytona to concentrate on being the quarterback for the University of Georgia has indicated he will report to the cubs minor league Spring training. There s even the possibility Carter 22, will forgo his final two years of eligibility at Georgia. Right now i can t Tell you what i will do said Carter who turned Down a scholarship to Georgia tech out of High school but after two years in the minors enrolled at Georgia Pitts Burgh Catcher Jason Kendall who dislocated his right ankle on july 4, got permission to begin full workouts last week and after initial sessions is convinced he will be 100 percent by the Start of Spring training former Colorado manager Jim Leyland who accepted a scouting position with St. Louis said he also had inquiries from Florida but did t want to create the feeling he was looking Over the shoulder of marlins manager John Boles who succeeded Leyland in Florida. No East Atlanta speedster Rafael fur Cal who led pro Ball with 96 stolen bases at class a Myrtle Beach during the summer is leading the dominican Winter league in hitting with a .360 average at escogido., Florida right hander Alex Fernandez still trying to rebuild his right shoulder from surgery two years ago has been ordered to extend what was supposed to be a 10-week non throwing period this of season to 14 weeks Fernandez who has two years and $14 million left on his con tract was voted the no come Back player of the year after going 7-8 with a 3.38 Era but has t thrown a pitch since the first week of september Philadelphia s contract with free agent closer Mike Jackson guarantees him $3 million for one year. He can add $500,000 each for30,40 and 50 appearances and a the associated press Trainer Jimmy Warfield right helps Cleveland indians Center fielder Kenny Lofton off the Field after he dislocated his left shoulder diving into first base during game 5 of the Al division series on oct. 41 in Cleveland. Similar Deal for 2001 becomes guaranteed if he appears in 40 games and does t end the sea son on the disabled list with Elbow or shoulder problems. Al West Seattle s Only ongoing talks about a Trade of Ken Griffey jr., Are with Cincinnati where the word is reds general manager Jim Bowden has become obsessed with acquiring Griffey who grew up in Cincinnati. Texas wants to re sign third baseman Todd Zeile but Zeile is delaying a decision hoping he can return to los Angeles if the dodgers contract with Adrian Beltre is voided. And the con Cerns continue for the rangers about the durability of Ruben Mateo who is scheduled to take Over in Center Field. Mateo has been bothered by stomach prob lems during Winter Ball in his native dominican Republic. The rangers think he has an ulcer. Mateo has super tools but has played Only 302 games the past three seasons it never hurts to ask. Bill Stoneman Al ready had decided to resign a Montreal s vice president of baseball operations and return tothe banking business when he decided to inquire about the general manager s Job in Ana Heim which he wound up get Ting. Al Central the Chicago White sox would Ike to hang on to James Baldwin to provide a Veteran presence i their rotation. They however remain puzzled by Baldwin s split personality As a Pitcher. He is 7-12 with a 6.88 Era in the first half of the season the past two years and 18-7 with a 3.61 Era in the second half Cleveland is looking at Omar Vazquel hitting Lead off in Light of the expectation Center fielder Kenny Lofton will miss at least half the 2000 season if not All of it because of pending sur Gery on his left rotator cuff. The bigger concern is who will play Center Field. The indians Aren t excited about any free agent possibilities and the two in. House options Are Jacob Cruz and Dave Roberts. Roberts has More experience in Center but his Only asset is Speed. He hit .238 but did finish third on the team with 11 stolen bases in 143 at bats with the indians last year. Cruz had 10 Home runs and 48 rib in 290 at bats at aaa Buffalo last year before tearing a ligament in his right thumb Larry Parrish fired As Detroit s manager turned Down a coach ing Job with Montreal. He plans to remain with the tigers As a scout. Al East Yankee fans will pay the Price for Success. The Yankees Are raising ticket prices More than10 percent. Box seats will go from $50 to $55, a hike that be comes even bigger considering that in 1996 the tickets sold for$25 Baltimore hired its seventh pitching coach in seven years giving Sammy Ellis the Job. The orioles Haven t had the same pitching coach in pack to Back seasons since Dick bosnian 1992-94 ,

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