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POHLAD MUM, BEAVER CAUTIOUS ABOUT TWINS' FUTURE
Published November 17, 1997
Twins Owner Carl Pohlad "gave no public hint as to what his plans are" after Thursday's legislative defeat of a new ballpark, but MN Gov. Arne Carlson said the team was likely headed to NC, according to Weiner & Whereatt of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Carlson: "He has no choice but to move the Twins out of Minnesota. It's become apparent that the Minnesota Twins will leave our state." Carlson "left open the door" for another special session if enough legislators indicate they would change their positions and vote for a new ballpark (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/15). In St. Paul, Patrick Sweeney reported that some legislators said they believe Pohlad's agreement to sell the team to NC business exec Don Beaver "is far from a done deal," and some legislative leaders speculated that a stadium for the Twins "could be an issue" when lawmakers return for the '98 session in January. But Twins President Jerry Bell said, "My instructions are, beginning next week, to begin negotiating the definitive agreement with the people from North Carolina" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/15). Clark Griffith, son of former owner Calvin Griffith, still wants to buy the team. Griffith plans to talk with Cubs broadcaster Steve Stone, who represents a group interested in building a stadium for the Twins (PIONEER PRESS, 11/16). REAX: In Minneapolis, Dane Smith, on the Twins' legislative defeat: "Chalk one up for the most powerful special interest group of all: an aware and aggressive swarm of citizens with their minds made up" (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/16). Columnist Dick Youngblood called the politicians who voted down the stadium plan "demagogues," and added, "Add up all the invective, throw in the political posturing, and you have to wonder why Pohlad has stood it for so long" (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/15). But in St. Paul, columnist Jim Caple: "If the Pohlads need someone to blame, they should look in the mirror" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/17). In Minneapolis, Robert Whereatt offered 10 reasons for why the ballpark was defeated. Among them, No. 1: "There was suspicion that Carl Pohlad was bluffing;" and No. 8: "Minneapolis legislators fled from the plan" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/15). CAUTIOUS CAROLINIAN: Don Beaver on Friday said, "There are still things going on up there, so we'll stand by." Beaver said he would "consider" an MLB request for more time to work out a deal in MN. He also "stressed" Friday that unless voters in Guilford and Forsyth, NC, counties approve a May 5 referendum to impose a 1% prepared-foods tax to help finance a ballpark, MLB owners "would not allow the team to relocate here" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 11/15). In Raleigh, Chip Alexander: "Right now, Triad residents don't appear any more eager to put their money in the pot than the Minnesota taxpayers" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/16).