Angels Owner Jackie Autry said this weekend that she and her husband, Gene, don't "have the stomach to deal" with the "pressures" of baseball and will sell a minority interest in the team to former MLB commissioner Peter Ueberroth. The labor dispute, "media criticism," and the "rising cost" were among Autry's reasons. Jackie Autry: "If I could just be an owner and deal with what happens between the white lines, it would be a perfect world." Ueberroth is in the process of buying 25% of the team with an option to buy the remaining 75% upon the death of Gene Autry, 87. Ueberroth will also take over as managing general partner and handle the day-to-day operations of the club. Autry attended her first exhibition game on Friday and said she "wasn't particularly thrilled about seeing replacement players" (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 3/26).
In Quebec, the Partis Quebecois caucus has given the provincial government the go ahead on a "reasonable" plan to help the Nordiques, who are struggling financially and want a new arena. Assistance may come in the form similar to the low- interest loan the previous Liberal government gave to the business consortium that bought the Expos four years ago (WASHINGTON POST/LE SOLEIL, 3/25).
The sale of the Northwest Entertainment Group by Arthur Griffiths to Seattle billionaire John McCaw is questioned by Peter Ladner, publisher of BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER. Although Griffiths claims he is still in control of the Group, "why, unless McCaw put one over him, would Griffiths surrender control of this once proud civic aspect." Ladner writes that Griffiths could have remained majority partner if he found more financial partners, but it seems McCaw "knew how to force Griffiths to give it to him." Ladner writes that McCaw would "be a fool to do anything except give the fans all they want and more" (BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER, 3/20 issue).
Devil Rays Owner Vince Naimoli sat for a Q&A with the TAMPA TRIBUNE about his plans for the MLB expansion team. Naimoli on being fan friendly: "It's got to be an overall fun experience for the fans. You're never going to win every game, but there are other aspects about coming to the park. Like when you go to Busch Gardens or Disney World. You leave there and you feel good. That's the atmosphere we want to create." Naimoli said he would have rather acquired the Giants because they "would have gotten an established organization. On the other hand, any organization has its own culture. And this one we can build in accordance with our culture" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/26).