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Published May 22, 1998
CONGLOMERATES: SI's Tom Verducci examines the Marlins- Dodgers trade and notes that talks began when Fox TV CEO Chase Carey called Marlins President Don Smiley about Wayne Huizenga's SportsChannel FL. The Marlins "are one of only six" MLB teams for which Fox doesn't have local broadcasting rights. Asked if there was a possible connection between the trade and Fox's interest in Huizenga's RSN, Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Vince Wladika said, "If anyone is looking for some smoking gun, they will be looking for 500 years. It just doesn't exist. There's no connection whatsoever." MLB Acting Commissioner Bud Selig: "The long tentacles of media conglomerates are something that we have to watch very carefully. We watched this (trade) very closely, and there's no evidence of any link" (SI, 5/25). ...In Ft. Worth, T.R. Sullivan examines Disney's ownership of the Angels: "So far, Disney has run the Angels like the corporate giant it is, seemingly more concerned about the financial ledger and corporate image than the division standings. Disney seems to lack the reckless passion for winning associated with George Steinbrenner, Peter Angelos or Ted Turner" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/22). NOTES: In N.Y., Gerald Eskenazi reports that sales of equipment with the Jets' new retro logo "have taken off." Last year, the Jets were in the bottom third of leaguewide sales, "but now they are among the top dozen in the league" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/22)....Top of the Third Inc., a company comprised of former Dodgers Owner Peter O'Malley's three children and the 10 children of his sister, Terry Seidler, has purchased the Stockton Ports, the Brewers' affil in the single-A California League. The Stockton Record put the purchase price at $1.75M (AP/ESPN SportsZone, 5/21)....The Eagles have exercised their option with Lehigh Univ., the site of the team's '96, '97 and '98 training camps, to return to the school during the summer of '99 (Eagles). ....The A's and the League of Women Voters will host a mayoral candidate forum prior to the A's game vs. the O's tomorrow (A's)....Former Knicks & Spurs F Charles Smith has become a part owner of the USBL CT Skyhawks (USBL).