SBD/27/Franchises

MLB NEWS & NOTES: COULD LEAGUE PICK UP TAB ON TWINS?

          One MLB owner "has suggested" that the league purchase
     the Twins for the same price, $140M, offered by prospective
     buyer Don Beaver, according to Sid Hartman of the
     Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  The Twins would then remain in MN
     run by the Pohlads for two years.  If a new stadium is not
     built, then MLB, "not the Pohlads would make the decision
     whether to move the team."  Twins President Jerry Bell: "I
     did hear something like that.  But it didn't come up in any
     of our meetings."  Hartman writes the MN Legislature should
     holds talks with Pohlad about his investment in a new
     facility, for "[d]eep in his heart, Pohlad still wants to
     keep baseball here" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/27).
          NOTES: The Blue Jays have shifted their Wednesday home
     opener from the traditional afternoon start to a night game
     "in a bid to draw more customers," but Jays VP/Ticket Sales
     George Holm said that "a sellout is not expected" (Toronto
     GLOBE & MAIL, 3/27).  In Toronto, Mark Zwolinski reports
     that the Jays "will have trouble attracting 40,000 fans" on
     Opening Day (TORONTO STAR, 3/27)....Hal Bodley profiles
     Devil Rays Owner Vince Naimoli in today's USA TODAY. 
     Bodley: "If you think George Steinbrenner is a hand-on owner
     ... you should spend a day with Naimoli.  He's involved in
     every detail of the team" (USA TODAY, 3/27).  The Rays
     announced that "several thousand" tickets will go on sale
     for Tuesday's home opener, a game which had been "previously
     billed as a sellout" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/27)....In AZ, Steve
     Wilson profiles D'Backs General Managing Partner Jerry
     Colangelo, and writes that Colangelo "has taken more than
     his share of cheap shots.  Next week, an Arizona team will
     open its first Major League season in a winning ballpark
     that should be a source of statewide pride.  He's earned
     some applause" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/27)....The Orioles named
     David McGowan as the new public address announcer at Camden
     Yards (WASHINGTON POST, 3/27)....Tom Cummings, the voice of
     the Lipton Tennis Championship since '88, will replace Jay
     Rokeach as the Marlins P.A. announcer (MIAMI HERALD, 3/27).

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