In what could be a case of "much ado about nothing," A's GM Sandy Alderson and Orioles Owner Peter Angelos are engaged in a verbal war over the site of Cal Ripken's record-breaking consecutive-games-played streak. The A's have "been blessed with the home date" on August 18 and the Orioles want it. But Alderson, apparently "perturbed about reports" the Orioles had attempted to lure A's manager Tony LaRussa for their vacant managerial position and in disagreement over Angelos' position not to use replacement players, has "all but said the Orioles are not going to get" the game. Alderson: "You can be assured we're not doing a hell of a lot to cooperate with Angelos and the Orioles. I'd like nothing more than to see Ripken break the record at Oakland Coliseum. ... I'd expect Mr. Angelos to see the game personally. ... He'll enjoy the game from the third deck." Angelos: "I have no idea what (Alderson) is talking about and I have some doubt he knows what he is talking about. ... Maybe having pickup teams as major league baseball has him in an unhappy state." Alderson: "Cal Ripken means more to Baltimore than he does to us, but that doesn't mean all of baseball should accommodate Baltimore. Maybe the game should be played in the Sistine Chapel or something" (Robert Kuwanda, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/9).
Peter Karmanos' purchase of the Whalers last year "dissipated the cloud of uncertainty that had hung over the franchise" since it's entry into the league in 1979. While Karmanos, a Detroit "computer tycoon," has giving the team stable ownership, it doesn't mean the "city of insurance people has suddenly clasped this team to its collective bosom." After five home games, the Whalers are averaging just 10,741 fans per game, but team officials are not "wringing their hands just yet," or even "crying about their lease." GM Jim Rutherford: "It was something I hoped would change. But being realistic, we know we've got a lot of work to do here." When he bought the team, Karmanos pledged to keep the team in Hartford for four years (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/9). TO HELL AND BACK: Brian Foley, who has put up $750,000 to operate the CBA's Harvard Hellcats said the league has scheduled a conference call today to vote on his offer to "revive" the team. Foley said his "best guess" is that league owners will vote in favor of having the Hellcats return to play next season. He said his "first prerogative is for the team come back this season," but that he is "committed to this franchise for the long term" (Roy Hasty, HARTFORD COURANT, 2/9).
"Beating the rap" that St. Louis is not a football town, FANS Inc., the civic group in charge of bringing the Rams to St. Louis, announced that 72,000 applications had been received for 46,000 personal seat license (PSL) slots. The applications included deposit checks ranging from $250 to $4,500. Now, the "last hurdle" between bringing the Rams from L.A. to St. Louis is NFL owners, who will vote on the move in March. Demand for the PSL's is "so great" that one in every three applications will be rejected by a computer that randomly selects PSL winners. If an applicant is not selected by the computer, they "will get a choice of bowing out of the process and getting their deposit back or being put on a waiting list." Rams President John Shaw said the response was "obviously overwhelmingly impressive." (Lorraine Kee, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/9). There were more PSL requests than seats in the new-domed stadium, "even the highest price PSL's ($4,500) were completely sold out" (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 2/9). FANS Inc. used a "combination of television ads, infomercials, print ads and even a call to civic pride to get area residents to buy PSL's" (Virgil Tipton, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/9).