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BASEBALL EXPANSION II: REAX FROM THE WINNERS AND LOSERS
Published March 9, 1995
ARIZONA: Fans will be able to make deposits on season tickets Friday, with a $50 deposit necessary. Brochures will be available at Saturday's Plaza celebration outside America West Arena, and will be printed in newspapers across the state Sunday. Monday, Circle-K Stores and Bank One branches will have brochures available. Fans will have until Tuesday to submit ticket requests for top-priority seats, with seating for those accepted after Tuesday determined through a lottery. Rich Dozer, who will become president of the club: "We might have 20,000 season tickets right off the bat" (Bob McManaman, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/9). Colangelo was apparently "angered" about leaks to the media that the team would be named the Arizona Diamondbacks (Eric Miller, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/9). TAMPA BAY: Negative reaction to the name Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the Tampa Bay area is widespread. From an editorial in today's TAMPA TRIBUNE: "To name our expansion team the Devil Rays is wholly baffling. There are few less comely creatures in the sea, the use of the word 'Devil' has may pious people discombobulated, and all human beings who give a care for the sound of language are wondering how such a choice could have been made" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/9). CNN reported that a Tampa TV station conducted a call-in poll on the name. The count was 26 for and 1,300 against ("Sports Tonight," 3/8). Team merchandise will be available today, and fans are invited to attend a 5pm press conference at the ThunderDome. Area malls are expected to have merchandise on sale today (Joel Poiley, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/9). ORLANDO/NORTHERN VA: Leaders from both areas' groups expressed optimism at Expansion Committee Chair John Harrington's assertion that two additional teams could be added before 2000. According to the WASHINGTON POST, baseball officials have told "people associated with the Northern Virginia groups that the area is the front runner for the next round." Russel Ramsey, a member of Virginia Baseball, the favored of the two Northern VA groups: "There has not been a single owner or representative who has not said we will be the next team" (Maske & Lipton, WASHINGTON POST, 3/9). Virginia Baseball spokesperson Mike Scanlon says the group is in the market for an existing franchise if there is no announcement today regarding future expansion (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/9). Orlando group leader Norton Herrick: "Naturally, I'm disappointed. But we still don't know what they're going to say about the second round of expansion. We expect to be a part of that" (Tracy & Leboewitz, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/9). VIVA BEISBOL? In L.A., Bob Nightengale reports that sources say Mexico City is one of the leading candidates for the second wave of expansion. Dodger President Peter O'Malley: "I'm for Mexico City. In our league, that would be great" (L.A. TIMES, 3/9).