Steve Story, trustee of the late Hugh Culverhouse's estate, announced that no offers will be solicited and no offers will be accepted for the Buccaneers, according to a report in this morning's TAMPA TRIBUNE. Story said that decision came after he met with Joy Culverhouse on Friday: "The Bucs are not on the block. This stance is not just for this season, but for the foreseeable future as well." Bucs coach Sam Wyche said that he and the players were "relieved" by the decision: "I told the team -- there was applause all around." The TAMPA TRIBUNE's Tom McEwen writes that the announcement "put to rest" concerns that the Bucs would be "sold and shipped to Baltimore or St. Louis or Sacramento or Orlando" (Tom McEwen, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/12).
Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris said four potential buyers of the Athletics "have been cleared by Major League Baseball and American League officials as able to pay" the $85M asking price. None of the four potential buyers are from the Bay Area, but all are committed to keeping the team in Oakland. Harris said the process of reviewing the books would take from 30 to 60 days. "After that the most viable buyer would emerge." However, Harris noted that there is a "second tier of buyers," which included local groups that had joined together as syndicates as potential buyers. The team's owners, the Haas family, put the team up for sale in April '94. A's CEO Walter Haas set a price of $85M for anyone who would keep the team in Oakland. Some experts say the team would be worth $120M in the open market. If no buyer who would keep the team Oakland is found by December 1, the Haas family said it plans to seek other offers (Gregory Lewis, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 9/10).
Capitals holdout Kevin Hatcher is "threatening" to play the '94-95 season for the IHL's Detroit Vipers. Detroit TV reports say the Vipers have offered Hatcher a contract that would pay him in excess of $1M a year plus incentive bonuses. Hatcher began practicing with the Vipers squad on 9/9, but a deal has yet to be signed. But a source close to the Vipers ownership called the salary reports "ridiculous": "I can't see us paying NHL-type money" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/11). Hatcher: "I don't know if I want to jump the gun right now and sign a contract tomorrow or anything. But I think it's in the back of my head." Another source close to the Vipers stressed, the contract would include an out-clause so Hatcher could immediately join the Caps if he were to re-sign with them (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 9/11).
In Baltimore, Tom Keegan reports that former Orioles president Larry Lucchino, organizing a group to purchase the San Diego Padres, is close to closing the deal. Lucchino will not have to invest any money, but in return for brokering the deal, he will become the Padres president and be granted a small equity in the team (Baltimore SUN, 9/11). Sources in San Diego dispute the report saying that no movement is expected by the three potential buyers as long as the strike continues (DAILY sources, 9/11).