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ESPN's Dan Patrick reported the Pirates sale to Kevin McClatchy has apparently hit a few last-minute snags, but McClatchy said "baseball isn't going to let this thing come undone over a couple of million dollars" ("SportsCenter," 1/9). McClatchy is still several million dollars short of the debt-to- equity ratio set by MLB, and some Pittsburgh Council members are questioning his interest in staying in town if he gets MLB's approval to buy the club (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/10)....Snow postponed a conference between CFL Stallions Owner Jim Speros and Baltimore city officials to discuss the fate of the CFL champs. Speros previously said he would keep the team in Baltimore if 20,000 fans pledged money for '96 season tickets by Monday. The drive only produced 13,000 ticket requests (Montreal GAZETTE, 1/10). Speros said it would take a "stroke of luck" for him to stay in Baltimore (TORONTO SUN, 1/10)....Raiders tickets will be marketed much differently next season, according to the S.F. CHRONICLE. Meetings are planned with season-ticket holders to address complaints and answer questions concerning group seating and marketing strategies (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/4)....The Sabres have been meeting with their Canadian Advisory Board as part of the team's continuing efforts to improve relations with Ontario fans (Sabres).
Former Magic assistant George Scholz's reverse discrimination lawsuit against the team began Tuesday in Orange County Circuit Court. Scholz, who is white, says he was fired in 1992 so the Magic could hire a black assistant coach to replace him. Dan Brodersen, Scholz's attorney : "We feel we have an abundance of evidence that the Magic was receiving pressure to hire a black coach and they acted on that pressure by terminating George." According to the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, Brodersen also said current coach Brian Hill and former boss Matt Goukas confided to Scholz that the team was feeling community pressure to add a black assistant and that they had drawn up a list of qualified black candidates a month before Scholz was fired (John Romano, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/10). Among those subpoenaed to testify in the trial, which will be broadcast on CourtTV: Goukas, ex-Magic guard Scott Skiles, trainer Lenny Currier, Magic President and Part-Owner Bob Vander Weide, and local sportscaster Glen Dehmer. Scholz, who was unable to find another job for two years, is currently head coach at Jacksonville Univ. (Tim Povtak, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/10).
NL President Leonard Coleman, in Houston to drum up support for an Astros season ticket drive, hinted they might be allowed to move to VA if projections are not met. According to the HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Coleman said it would be unfair to force Owner Drayton McLane to continue assuming huge losses. Coleman: "We can't look at a private entrepreneur and say year after year you've got to run up deficits. ... If Houstonians step up to the plate, we'll be in good shape" (John William, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/9). Since McLane's November announcement that he would give the city one more chance, only 3,500 season tickets have been sold -- 900 of which are new orders. The Astros need to sell approximately 18,000 more season tickets and at least 12,000 other seats per game to meet the attendance goal of 2.5 million fans next season (WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/10).