SBD/13/Franchises

EXPOS PRESIDENT SAYS TEAM IS NOT FOR SALE, BUT ...

     Expos President Claude Brochu denied a report Friday that
linked the Expos to one of the losing Northern VA baseball
groups.  Brochu: "I want to reassure people that the Expos are
not for sale.  We haven't even received any offers."  Brochu did
say that Bill Collins, head of Virginia Baseball Inc., does not
want to wait for MLB's next round of expansion.  But Brochu
added, "There is no question of him buying the Expos."  Collins,
meanwhile, said his group would "continue to pursue the
possibility of purchasing and relocating a current franchise."
Brochu said talk of a possible sale started after Collins met
with Brochu last week -- not about selling the team, but about
expansion.  Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau, noted the rumor came
from a Toronto newspaper:  "It's a phony.  Mind you, the fact
that it comes out of Toronto is significant -- a balloon out of
Toronto about Montreal moving to Washington.  Ho, ho" (TORONTO
STAR, 3/11).  Columnist/former Expos P.R. man Richard Griffin
writes, "If the business community responds to what surely is a
crisis situation in the history of the ballclub, then baseball
remains in Montreal.  If not, then there is a wealthy suitor at
the bottom of the ladder waiting to elope with the franchise to
Northern Virginia" (TORONTO STAR, 3/11).  Peter Gammons notes the
"distinct possibility" that former Tampa group leader Vince
Piazza will make a "considerable offer" for the team.  Gammons
predicts the sale price of the Expos "will be closer than you
might imagine" to the $173M price for the Orioles (BOSTON GLOBE,
3/12).  For more on Northern VA, see #11.
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Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, MLB

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