SBD/7/Franchises

WILL STRONG SHOWING IN NLCS HELP MARLINS' OWNERSHIP CHANCES?

          How the Marlins fare in the NLCS against the Braves
     "might affect team President Don Smiley's ability to buy the
     club from Wayne Huizenga," according to Barry Jackson of the
     MIAMI HERALD.  Smiley is in the process of distributing
     circulars to 15 "or so people who have expressed interest in
     joining his investment group."  Jackson reports that while
     "several potential investors say they have not decided,"
     including Amancio Suarez, who owns Miami-based Cosmo
     Communications and has a minority interest in the Heat, "a
     long playoff run might persuade potential investors to
     commit."  Jackson adds that "those with knowledge of the
     situation say it's unlikely but not out of the question"
     that a trip to the World Series could "prompt Huizenga to
     change his mind about selling" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/7).  
          HIT AND RUN: In Chicago, Paul Sullivan, on Huizenga's
     $89M, offseason investment in the Marlins: "In the minds of
     many of Huizenga's fellow owners, he is pulling off the
     biggest hit-and-run in baseball history, raising the ante
     for other owners by overpaying players madly in his
     obsessive pursuit of a championship and then folding his
     cards. ... Huizenga helped escalate everyone's future
     payroll while knowing all along he couldn't create enough
     revenue to prevent the Marlins from losing millions. ... But
     its aftereffects may be felt by other teams for years to
     come" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/7).

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