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  • CHARLOTTE MAKES PITCH TO BE TWINS SECOND OPTION IN CAROLINA

              The city of Charlotte held a public forum on the
         possibility of the Twins relocating to the area, and the
         "message" from the meeting was "if the Triad doesn't want"
         the Twins, Charlotte "will gladly step in," according to
         Foon Rhee of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.  The meeting drew 150
         people, and representatives of potential Twins buyer Don
         Beaver used the positive response "to issue a warning to"
         Greensboro-area residents.  A Triad poll released Sunday
         showed public opposition to a May ballpark referendum and
         Beaver hopes to move an MLB team to the Triad in 2001 after
         two years in Knights Castle.  Beaver's NC Major League
         Baseball VP Tim Newman said, "The message to the Triad is:
         It's your ball, hit it. ... If you swing and miss, then
         there's some other options out there.  And I think there
         might be some options here" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/16).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Twins, MLB
  • COLTS LEASE NEGOTIATIONS MOVE AHEAD AS COUNCIL GIVES BACKING

              The Indianapolis City-County Council last night "firmly
         endorsed the negotiations to keep" the Colts in the city,
         according to Robert Bell of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS. 
         Following the council's meeting, which was attended by 12
         Colts players, Owner Jim Irsay said that he "hopes to have a
         letter of agreement" with the city by December 23.  Bell
         calls the show of support "good for the Colts" because city
         officials had said that "without council backing, they would
         stop" negotiations with the team (STAR-NEWS, 12/16).
     
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Indianapolis Colts
  • FORMER RED SOX EMPLOYEE FILES COMPLAINT CLAIMING RACIAL BIAS

              The Red Sox have been accused by a former employee of
         "fostering a racial climate hostile to black employees,"
         according to Adrian Walker of the BOSTON GLOBE.  Thomas
         Sneed, an African-American former employee of the team,
         "says the team failed to fully investigate several racially-
         based incidents in which he was targeted, and even asked him
         to keep quiet about them."  Sneed, who worked for the team
         for seven years, said that on two separate occasions
         pictures in his office of his white fiancee were "defaced,"
         once with a "racial epithet," and he says he "interpreted
         the message as a clear threat of physical violence."  In a
         statement, the Red Sox "acknowledged that Sneed had reported
         the incidents," but "denied that the club had not tried to
         stop them" (Adrian Walker, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/16).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Franchises
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              MLB: In FL, Michael Mayo writes on the Marlins trade of
         P Kevin Brown yesterday, another move in the "stripping" of
         the team: "We've been bludgeoned so much since the World
         Series that we're almost punch drunk.  But we're not stupid.
    
         So strip away.  If that's the alternative to the public
         financing a $350 million stadium, then so be it" (SUN-
         SENTINEL, 12/16)....In Orlando, Brian Schmitz writes that
         the Marlins year was "a glorious season soured by the bitter
         aftertaste of financial irresponsibility" (ORLANDO SENTINEL,
         12/16)....It took the Indians just nine days to sell out the
         "bulk of their individual game tickets" for next season.  In
         all, the team sold about 900,000 tickets before sales
         stopped on Sunday (BEACON JOURNAL, 12/16)...The Reds sold
         "more than" 24,000 tickets on Saturday, the first day
         tickets went on sale for next season.  Last year's first day
         sales count was 14,800 (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 12/14).
              NHL: The Pens have sold out only two of 15 home games
         this season and are "considering a slash in ticket prices." 
         Owner Howard Baldwin: "Maybe we've got these prices at a
         level they shouldn't be at" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/16).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Miami Marlins, Franchises, MLB, NHL
  • IN TORONTO, ARE RAPTORS VANISHING INTO A LOST WORLD?

              The Raptors announced their smallest SkyDome crowd in
         franchise history as 14,562 attended their game against the
         Pacers, a "testament to the team's struggles on the court
         and its wretched record," according to Doug Smith of the
         TORONTO STAR.  The team is 2-21 (TORONTO STAR, 12/16).  In
         Toronto, Steve Simmons: "Toronto is a fragile basketball
         market and has been from the start.  But the beginning seems
         so long ago, and what was once fragile is now even more
         tenuous."  Simmons adds that the city is "rapidly losing
         interest in the rancid Raptors, with all their stories and
         all their excuses and all their ownership fights and all
         their whining" (TORONTO SUN, 12/16).  Also in Toronto, David
         Israelson wrote on the Raptors under the header, "Raptors
         Need Some Better Marketing."  Season-ticket sales this year
         are in the 9,000-10,000 "range," down from 12,000 in the
         team's inaugural season (TORONTO STAR, 12/15).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Indiana Pacers, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Raptors
  • METS IN BLACK: PROTECTING SHEA FROM THE SCUM OF THE UNIVERSE

              The Mets, "in an effort to be trendier and to appeal to
         today's kid-driven sports fashion market," will introduce
         black into the color schemes of their uniforms this spring,
         according to David Waldstein of the N.Y. POST.  The team
         will wear an "alternate black hat" with a blue brim and a
         blue and orange "NY" logo, and "will also wear a black shirt
         at times."  Mets VP & General Counsel David Howard said that
         there "is no set time" when the Mets will wear the new look,
    
         but added, "We want to be perceived as hip and updated to
         kids.  When kids walk around wearing your logo, it's like
         having a walking billboard" (N.Y. POST, 12/16).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Mets
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