SBD/12/Franchises

FRANCHISE NOTES

          BASEBALL: In N.Y., gossip columnist Neal Travis creates
     a scenario in which, following a World Series win this year,
     "maximizing their value," Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner
     sells his team for around $500M and buys his home-town Devil
     Rays "for less than half that price."  Travis: "I'm not
     saying the owner has actively explored this scenario" (N.Y.
     POST, 5/12)....ESPN's Peter Gammons, on Cubs P Kerry Wood:
     "It's just wonderful for the Cubs.  They're a team that in
     the '90s [has] really struggled. ... But now to put out
     there on WGN all the time, they have their home-grown hero
     that people will look forward to pitching every five days"
     ("SportsCenter," 5/11).  Wood, on whether he sees himself
     getting endorsements soon: "I've had six starts.  I don't
     think it's commercial time yet" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/12).
     ..Former Durham Bulls Owner Miles Wolff Jr. will be the
     owner of a new Quebec City franchise in the Northeast League
     of Professional Baseball.  The Quebec City team, yet
     unnamed, will begin play in '99.  Wolff also is Commissioner
     of the independent Northern League and President of Baseball
     America, the bi-weekly publication (Northeast League).
          EN FUEGO: In its inaugural season, the MLS Fire is
     drawing an average crowd of 29,413 per game at Soldier
     Field.  Fire GM Peter Wilt: "This isn't going to be typical
     throughout the year.  Especially when we get to weeknight
     games."  The Fire has only five weekend dates among its 13
     remaining home games (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/12).

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