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MLB OWNERS MEETINGS: TURNER IN TOWN TO VOTE ON DODGERS
Published March 18, 1998
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).