BASEBALL EXPANSION GETS A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE
Phillies Owner Bill Giles, a member of MLB's expansion
committee, said that MLB owners are expected to award two
expansion franchises by February to begin play in '97 (Bill
Chastain, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/16). But a report in the ST.
PETERSBURG TIMES notes that Red Sox CEO John Harrington outlined
a timetable that calls for the committee to make a recommendation
and owners to vote on it in late January or early February. Then
if expansion is approved, the committee will take an additional
4-6 weeks for a second round of interviews with the prospective
cities. That would put an expansion announcement in March (ST.
PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/16). The fee has not been set, but one
expansion applicant estimated it would be about $125M per team.
Several ownership sources say the vote "almost certainly will be
to add teams." During the labor negotiations, both sides have
offered proposals that involved sharing money gained from
expansion (Bill Chastain, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/16).
PADRES SALE: MLB owners "gave the go-ahead" for TV producer
Tom Werner to sell the Padres to TX software millionaire John
Moores. Former Orioles President Larry Lucchino, who would run
the team, said the sale is expected to be completed in a few
weeks (AP/BOSTON GLOBE, 12/16).