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         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).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, Oakland Athletics

         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).

    Print | Tags: Franchises

         "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.

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, LA Rams
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