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MLB MEETINGS, PART II: MLB SMILES ON MARLINS PRESIDENT
Published March 19, 1998
MLB's Ownership Committee granted Marlins President Don Smiley "initial approval" to purchase the team, according to Craig Barnes of the Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL. Final approval is contingent on MLB's full examination and ownership endorsement. Smiley: "It's more than a vote of confidence. It's a strong endorsement." Barnes: "There are indications that Smiley might seek resolution at the owners' meetings in June" (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 3/19). LEAVE IT TO BEAVER: In MN, La Velle Neal writes that prospective Twins Owner Don Beaver "acknowledged Wednesday that if stadium funding isn't secured" in NC, it could "kill" his deal to buy the team. Beaver: "You can't approve a relocation without a place to play." Neal adds that the comments "acknowledged" what other MLB officials have been "saying for months: The decision to move the Twins can't be made until a May 5 referendum in two North Carolina counties in the Triad area." Beaver also dismissed a previously announced March 31 deadline to sign a deal with Twins Owner Carl Pohlad: "I don't know if March 31 is of any significance. ... We are not worried about deadlines or anything like that" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/19). NOTES: Frank Robinson will address owners today about speeding up the game. One idea is to have umpires keep hitters in the batters box and make pitchers deliver the ball within 12 seconds when there are no runners on base....Red Sox CEO John Harrington said a schedule has been completed for the '99 season that includes "much the same schedule for interleague play." It must be approved by the MLBPA (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/13). MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr said he expects interleague play to continue in '99, with some "refinement" to avoid the "abundance of two- game series teams were forced to play" in '97 and this season. Fehr: "The basic belief is it is a good thing. But there are complications" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/19).