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Published June 2, 1998
SAYONARA NOMO: The Dodgers' decision to designate P Hideo Nomo for assignment means he will be traded, sent down to AAA Albuquerque or become a free agent within 10 days, and Bill Plaschke of the L.A. TIMES writes, "Since Fox purchased the franchise from the O'Malley family this spring, the epitome of patience has already cut loose their two most popular players [Piazza and Nomo] for the same essential reasons: Neither man was committed to playing [in L.A.], and both were causing a visible distraction with their presence" (L.A. TIMES, 6/2). Nomo's agent, Don Nomura: "We had noticed things after the change (in ownership). There was a different environment here. That was obvious, and Hideo wanted to be in a different environment" (L.A. TIMES, 6/2). A Nippon TV commentator, during a Japanese report on Nomo: "Now that Peter O'Malley is gone, the organization has changed --it has become a 'money first' team" (L.A. TIMES, 6/2). OTHER NOTES: Vikings co-Owner Wheelock Whitney on Tom Clancy's failed bid: "[T]he fact of the matter is that we trusted Clancy when he made that bid, and if he didn't have the money, he shouldn't have made the bid in the first place" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/2)....The investment banker for Marlins President Don Smiley said yesterday that Smiley "will be able to close on his purchase of the team this month," following an 11-month search for investors. Chip Gesner said the deal is "not going to fall through" (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 6/2)....Raiders draft pick Leon Bender, who died of unknown causes on Saturday, will count $240,000 against the team's salary cap this season and $960,000 next season. Bender had recently signed a five- year, $3.45M deal, including a $1.2M signing bonus with the team. Under NFL rules, 20% of his prepaid bonus will count against the cap this year, with the remainder counting against the cap next season (Mult., 6/2)....Fox NHL analyst John Davidson, and NHL brothers Scott and Rob Niedermayer, are "said to be prepared" to become co-owners of the WHL Edmonton Ice. Ice Owner Ed Chynoweth will remain a majority partner in the team which could move to British Columbia next season (EDMONTON SUN, 6/2).