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Volume 24 No. 156
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          MLB owners, "barring a sudden compromise," will leave
     Atlanta today "without a realignment plan, a process which
     may drag out for another month or two," according to I.J.
     Rosenberg of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  After two days of
     meetings, "the owners realize that their leadership has not
     done enough homework.  There are too many plans, too many
     questions and too many problems" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
     9/18).  In DC, Mark Maske reports that the realignment
     debate "seems to grow more contentious and problematic by
     the day."  Acting Commissioner Bud Selig: "Do I think there
     will be a vote (Thursday)?  If I had to answer right now,
     I'd say the answer would be no" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/18).  
          WHERE THEY'RE AT: USA TODAY's Hal Bodley reports the
     realignment committee has "proposed a compromise plan that
     circumvents an opposition group" of NL owners.  The new
     format, with seven teams changing leagues, "appears to have
     the best chance of being approved" (USA TODAY, 9/18).  In
     Chicago, Jerome Holtzman reports that owners "have dumped"
     the radical plan and "have downsized" to relocating seven or
     nine teams.  One owner who requested anonymity: "Bud Selig
     is no longer trying for a bases-loaded home run.  He's now
     trying for a double" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/18).  ESPN's Peter
     Gammons: "One owner said to me when they leave here tomorrow
     morning, he's afraid there's going to be absolute gridlock."
     More Gammons: "The problem is, all these deals that Bud has
     made over the years have come back to roost ... it's almost
     as if the game is owned and operated by thirty Jesse Helms.'
     ... My guess is ... they're talking about either two or
     three weeks up to 45 days ... that'll set back a lot of
     ticket sales, they may end up losing some of the revenues
     they gain by having more games in their time zone"
     ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/17).
          GIANT OPPOSITION: Giants Managing General Partner Peter
     Magowan, who is opposed to realignment, has "expressed his
     views early and often, even before he had an opportunity to
     register his objections with his fellow owners," according
     to Murray Chass of the N.Y. TIMES.  He "won no friends among
     the realignment strategists."  Chass adds that some owners
     are "upset with Magowan because they say he is creating a
     non-issue" in opposing the A's move to the NL West.  One
     owner: "They're not going to stay in Oakland.  They're going
     to be gone" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18).  Magowan added yesterday
     that the MLBPA should be included in the debate: "We
     shouldn't be doing things the players want no part of. 
     That's one of the lessons we should have learned from the
     strike" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 9/18).  In Phoenix, Pedro
     Gomez writes that D'Backs Managing General Partner Jerry
     Colangelo "is being viewed as the villain during these
     owners meetings" for refusing to move to the AL.  Gomez: "A
     few owners ... quietly spoke of Colangelo with contempt"
     (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/18).  Colangelo was reportedly asked in
     meetings yesterday to move to the AL, but one ownership
     source told Jerome Holtzman: "All he said was, 'I want to
     stay in the National League'" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/18).
          NOTES: MLB President & COO Paul Beeston was profiled by
     Paul Crane on CNNfn's "Sports inc."  Beeston: "I'm a Bud
     Selig man. I think he's done a lot" ("Sports Inc.," CNNfn,
     9/17)......An arbitrator is expected to rule after the World
     Series if MLB umpires must carry stopwatches to time breaks
     between innings to give proper time for TV commercials.  The
     umps have refused, "saying they were not required to hold up
     games for the benefit of TV."  MLB filed a grievance that
     went to a hearing in August (USA TODAY, 9/18).