MLB EXPANSION: TAMPA, PHOENIX MAY WAIT A LITTLE LONGER
Baseball's owners may delay a decision to expand until the
sport's labor problems are settled, according to this morning's
TAMPA TRIBUNE. "Increasing opposition" among some owners could
"kill or delay" expansion. Reds Owner Marge Schott: "Expansion
should be taken off the board at the meeting. We've got other
things to worry about." Eight negative votes among the 28 owners
are needed to delay the process. Most owners will not comment on
expansion "because it is a negotiable item before the players
association." But one unnamed owner said "expansion remains
likely and that Tampa Bay is certain to get one of the teams."
MLB's expansion committee recommends adding two teams "quickly"
and two more "a few years later" (Henderson & Carlson, TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 2/28). Columnist Tom McEwen reports in addition to
Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, the Dodgers, Braves, Reds and
Mariners oppose expansion. McEwen writes, "The awarding of
franchises to St. Petersburg will get done, not necessarily at
Palm Beach, but before April 1, the date financing for a Phoenix
stadium disappears" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/28).