SBD/18/Leagues Governing Bodies

MLB OWNERS MEETINGS: TURNER IN TOWN TO VOTE ON DODGERS

          MLB owners began their three-day quarterly meetings
     yesterday in St. Petersburg, FL.  In N.Y., Murray Chass
     writes that Braves Owner Ted Turner plans to make a "rare
     appearance" at the meetings on Thursday "to try to block"
     Rupert Murdoch's bid to purchase the Dodgers.  A lawyer,
     familiar with Turner's plans: "He's going to try to keep
     Rupert out; that's why he's going."  Turner, who has not
     attended an owners meeting in nine years, will miss a Time
     Warner board of directors meeting the same day (N.Y. TIMES,
     3/18).  One MLB Owner, on Turner's appearance: "Ted is going
     to try and twist some arms, but there's not more than three
     [NL] clubs against it."  In L.A., Ross Newhan identified the
     three clubs as the Braves, Padres and Giants (L.A. TIMES,
     3/18).  The AP's Ronald Blum said that Turner's decision to
     attend was the "biggest news" of Wednesday's 4 1/2-hour
     council session (AP/DETROIT NEWS, 3/18).
          REAX: League owners will vote on the sale of the
     Dodgers to Murdoch on Thursday. In L.A., Newhan wrote that
     MLB officials continue "to endorse Dodger owner Peter
     O'Malley's contention that the sale will be approved. Some
     said that only the [Padres] and/or the Padres and [Braves]
     may vote against it, but some hedged their forecasts."  A
     top MLB official, on Thursday's vote: "It's very close. 
     Nothing is ever easy, but I'm hopeful (it will be approved)"
     (L.A. TIMES, 3/17).  Ray Richmond of DAILY VARIETY wrote
     under the header, "Rupe Deal In the Clear: No Major
     Opposition Expected In Dodgers Vote."  Richmond reports that
     while "pockets of resistance ... clearly exist," no
     "significant opposition appears to exist that would block
     the deal in the 11th hour" (DAILY VARIETY, 3/18).  In San
     Diego, Tom Cushman wrote that given Murdoch's history, if
     the sale is approved, MLB owners will "have tossed gasoline
     on a house already in flames. ... If baseball welcomes him,
     it deserves him" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/17).  

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