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WARNER DENIES "GUARANTEE" FOR NORTHERN VA TEAM
Published February 24, 1995
VA Senator John Warner said his staff director was wrong when he said Warner "would not support efforts to repeal baseball's antitrust exemption because Northern Virginia had been offered an expansion team." Grayson Winterling told the WASHINGTON POST yesterday that MLB expansion committee Chair John Harrington offered Warner a team if the Senator would not join the fight to eliminate the antitrust exemption. Warner said "he does not support repeal of the antitrust exemption, but bristled at Winterling's statement he had been 'bought.'" Warner: "Regrettably, my staff person unintentionally misspoke" (Joe Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/24). FL Senator Bob Graham said yesterday that Warner's "episode demonstrates the need to lift the antitrust exemption, so baseball can't act like a 'cartel' and use promises of teams to protect its interests in Congress" (Topkin & Dahl, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/24). CNN's Bob Lorenz said the MLB Expansion Committee also denied the report Northern VA had been promised a team in exchange for Warner's vote ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 2/23). MACK SAYS EXPANSION CLOSE: FL Senator Connie Mack said yesterday that he believes the Tampa Bay area will receive an expansion team. Mack: "My conversations with representatives of Major League Baseball lead me to conclude we're going to be happy with their announcement on expansion." Two expansion teams could be rewarded at a March 7-9 owners meeting in Palm Beach, FL (Topkin & Dahl, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/24). USA TODAY's Hal Bodley reports owners have decided to give Phoenix and St. Petersburg teams for '98, but are wrestling with the cost of entry and how TV and licencing revenue will be distributed to the new clubs (USA TODAY, 2/24). Unofficially, the top two vote getters among the 7,000 names submitted in Tampa Bay's name-the- team contest are Tampa Bay Pelicans and Tampa Bay Manatees. Majority Owner Vince Namoli and minority owners will have the final say on a name (Bob Chick, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/24).