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MAYORAL CANDIDATE HAYDEN SAYS DODGERS SALE IS MAYOR'S FAULT
Published January 10, 1997
L.A. mayoral candidate and State Sen. Tom Hayden blamed Mayor Richard Riordan for the decision by Peter O'Malley to put the Dodgers up for sale, according to Jodi Wilgoren of the L.A. TIMES. Hayden: "The Mayor's key error was asking Peter O'Malley to lead the charge for an NFL team and then ... changing positions and dropping O'Malley from the starting lineup." In '95, Riordan "encouraged" O'Malley to look into building an NFL stadium on Dodger property in Chavez Ravine. After the idea was met with "massive criticism" at City Hall and in the neighborhood, Riordan joined other city leaders in endorsing the L.A. Memorial Coliseum as the No. 1 choice for bringing in a team. O'Malley later signed on to the Coliseum effort, but, Wilgoren notes, "some believe that his frustration over the city's about-face ... contributed to his decision to sell the team" (L.A. TIMES, 1/10). In Washington, columnist Tom Boswell wonders what the proposed sale by O'Malley "tells us about baseball." Boswell: "O'Malley has given baseball's owners a sword. Every time the union gets on its soapbox, the owners can say, 'Your salaries are so high that even O'Malley sold'" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/10).