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In S.F., Matier & Ross cited sources who said that the A's are offering to drop their $48M claim against Oakland. Matier & Ross wrote the A's, in return, are looking for a "couple of million in cash, and for their Coliseum landlords to release them from having to offer up the team for sale," which they are required to do for a four-month window if they want to opt out of their current lease. Matier & Ross: "So far, it's not exactly going over like gangbusters" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/29)....Bulls Chair Jerry Reinsdorf said Monday "that he intends to involve Michael Jordan in the team's search for a new coach, and has already discussed the matter with Jordan" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/30)....In Orange County, Kingsley & Garcia profiled the Padres' Hispanic marketing effort and wrote the team is "reaping dramatic results" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/28). In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck examines the efforts of Padres President Larry Lucchino to obtain a new ballpark for the team. If such a move fails, the team could relocate to Northern VA, but Schmuck writes, "Sounds logical, until you talk to friends of the new, laid- back Larry, who have watched him embrace the Southern California lifestyle and doubt that he is all that eager to get back into the Washington rat race" (Balt. SUN, 6/30).
Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Chair J. Bruce Llewellyn "is scheduled to undergo heart surgery today and will not make a bid to buy the Vikings by the team's Wednesday deadline," according to Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Llewellyn was scheduled to meet with team owners last week, but his trip was postponed because he was admitted to a N.Y. hospital after meeting with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue last Wednesday. Llewellyn had proposed his bid through former Vikings CEO Mike Lynn, who said he would have owned "only a small part of the team" if Llewellyn had been successful. Llewellyn's departure "presumably will leave Lynn out of the bidding picture" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/30). The deadline for bids is 5:00pm Wednesday (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/30).
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "lauded" Houston leaders Monday "for their unified effort to get another team," according to John Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Williams writes that such unity "is needed to show that Houston wants an NFL team, and it apparently places this city ahead of [L.A.], its chief competitor" for a 32nd NFL franchise. Tagliabue: "The real measure of success of this meeting was that the progress and concrete plans we talked about today were beyond my imagination when I was here two years ago." Following the meeting, local business exec Bob McNair said that he hopes Houston "pushes the NFL for a fast decision," to prevent L.A. from catching up on planning for its stadium (John Williams, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/30).
THE SPORTING NEWS named Detroit its "1998 Best Sports City." TSN Managing Editor Bob Hille cited the Red Wings' back-to-back Stanley Cups, the Univ. of MI's national football title and the number of star athletes in the area as reasons for Detroit's top status. Judging criteria ranged from success of the teams to fan attendance, as well as the quality of the cities' stadiums and arenas, weather and ownership stability. The complete list of the "Best Sports Cities" can be found at www.sportingnews.com. Rounding out TSN's top 10 sports cities are: (2) Boston; (3) Dallas-Ft. Worth; (4) Chicago; (5) Denver; (6) Phila.; (7) N.Y.; (8) Miami-Fort Lauderdale; (9) S.F.-Oakland-San Jose; and (10) Baltimore-Washington DC (THE SPORTING NEWS, 7/6).