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MLB TO OFFER COMPENSATION FOR TEAMS MOVING IN REALIGNMENT?
Published September 19, 1997
MLB owners adjourned their meetings in Atlanta Thursday "without solving their realignment riddle. But make no mistake: Realignment is approaching, and more than likely will affect no more than seven teams, possibly as few as five," according to Jerome Holtzman of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The owners also extended their original realignment deadline from September 30 to October 15 and "indicated it could be delayed further if necessary." Of note is that "a simple majority vote from both leagues will remain the manner of deciding the issue, but if settlement is not achieved before or immediately after the World Series, a two-thirds majority would be required" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/19). NEW PLAN: In N.Y., Murray Chass writes that a "key" in approving a compromise plan of two leagues, with four NL divisions and two AL divisions, is convincing the Astros to move to an AL Midwest division. Chass: "If the planners want the Astros to move, they will very likely offer a financial inducement." It is also "possible" that the Giants could be compensated for any economic loss stemming from the A's joining them in the NL (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19). In Houston, Alan Truex writes that while Astros Owner Drayton McLane wants to be in the same division as the Rangers, he "doesn't want the Astros to move." Truex: "Privately, other owners blame McLane for the ... stalemate" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/19). ESPN's Peter Gammons reported last night from Atlanta that Selig "hopes to have this realignment done in three weeks. Then, he has to take it to the union, which begins another story" ("SportsCenter," 9/18).