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Published June 16, 1998
PUCKETT UP? In St. Paul, Charley Walters reports of talk that Kirby Puckett could "become a significant investor in the Twins, and that owner Carl Pohlad and his family might help finance Puckett's portion, even if the Pohlads sell the team." Walters adds that Ogden Entertainment Services, which operates the Target Center for the Timberwolves, "is undergoing management changes at its New York headquarters and will curtail its aggressive attempt to control operations at the Metrodome" (PIONEER PRESS, 6/16). NOTES: In Seattle, Mariners CF Ken Griffey Jr. blamed Microsoft exec Chris Larson, who reportedly owns 30% of the team, for vetoing the trade of P Randy Johnson: "This one is Chris Larson. Everyone agreed to the trade except one person, Larson." Mariners CEO John Ellis: "I absolutely cannot comment because it just isn't true" (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/15)....In TN, David Williams examined the public's confusion over the role of the Memphis and Shelby County Sports Authority. Exec Dir Ross Bartow: "Do people know what a sports commission can do? I'd say no. I've got to ... get out to civic clubs and meet with people, continue to answer questions that are out there" (COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/15)....In Phoenix, the WNBA Mercury lead the league in season-ticket holders with "more than 9,000" (AZ REPUBLIC, 6/16)....In Tampa, after announcing a $5M increase in payroll, Lightning GM Phil Esposito said that new Owner Art Williams has agreed to pour another $1M into the budget for player salaries for the '98-99 season (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/16).