SALE OF PIRATES IN JEOPARDY AGAIN? TCI'S LIBERTY MOVING IN?
MLB has rejected Adelphia Communications Chair John Rigas'
offer to buy the Pirates, according to today's PITTSBURGH POST-
GAZETTE. Halvonik and Belko report that MLB has deemed Rigas'
$85.15M bid "inadequate because it didn't provide enough
operating capital." Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy: "It's
unfortunate. We had every reason to believe -- and we still
believe -- that John Rigas is acceptable to [MLB], so we're going
to try to make the deal acceptable to them." Murphy will meet
today with another prospective owner, a meeting that arranged by
Pirates Chair Vincent Sarni, who had set yesterday as the "final
deadline" for Rigas to complete his purchase of the financially
troubled franchise. Reports are that the prospective buyer is
Liberty Media, a subsidiary of TCI. Bill Craig, GM of
PrimeSports KBL, said the prospective group included a
businessman from the East Coast and another from CA. Craig said
both parties "had promised" to keep the team in Pittsburgh.
Penguins Owner Howard Baldwin denied that he was the CA
businessman to whom Craig was referring, but said he "remained
interested" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 6/27).