POHLAD MUM, BEAVER CAUTIOUS ABOUT TWINS' FUTURE
Twins Owner Carl Pohlad "gave no public hint as to what
his plans are" after Thursday's legislative defeat of a new
ballpark, but MN Gov. Arne Carlson said the team was likely
headed to NC, according to Weiner & Whereatt of the
Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Carlson: "He has no choice but to
move the Twins out of Minnesota. It's become apparent that
the Minnesota Twins will leave our state." Carlson "left
open the door" for another special session if enough
legislators indicate they would change their positions and
vote for a new ballpark (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/15).
In St. Paul, Patrick Sweeney reported that some legislators
said they believe Pohlad's agreement to sell the team to NC
business exec Don Beaver "is far from a done deal," and some
legislative leaders speculated that a stadium for the Twins
"could be an issue" when lawmakers return for the '98
session in January. But Twins President Jerry Bell said,
"My instructions are, beginning next week, to begin
negotiating the definitive agreement with the people from
North Carolina" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/15). Clark
Griffith, son of former owner Calvin Griffith, still wants
to buy the team. Griffith plans to talk with Cubs
broadcaster Steve Stone, who represents a group interested
in building a stadium for the Twins (PIONEER PRESS, 11/16).
REAX: In Minneapolis, Dane Smith, on the Twins'
legislative defeat: "Chalk one up for the most powerful
special interest group of all: an aware and aggressive swarm
of citizens with their minds made up" (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/16).
Columnist Dick Youngblood called the politicians who voted
down the stadium plan "demagogues," and added, "Add up all
the invective, throw in the political posturing, and you
have to wonder why Pohlad has stood it for so long" (STAR
TRIBUNE, 11/15). But in St. Paul, columnist Jim Caple: "If
the Pohlads need someone to blame, they should look in the
mirror" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/17). In Minneapolis,
Robert Whereatt offered 10 reasons for why the ballpark was
defeated. Among them, No. 1: "There was suspicion that Carl
Pohlad was bluffing;" and No. 8: "Minneapolis legislators
fled from the plan" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/15).
CAUTIOUS CAROLINIAN: Don Beaver on Friday said, "There
are still things going on up there, so we'll stand by."
Beaver said he would "consider" an MLB request for more time
to work out a deal in MN. He also "stressed" Friday that
unless voters in Guilford and Forsyth, NC, counties approve
a May 5 referendum to impose a 1% prepared-foods tax to help
finance a ballpark, MLB owners "would not allow the team to
relocate here" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 11/15). In
Raleigh, Chip Alexander: "Right now, Triad residents don't
appear any more eager to put their money in the pot than the
Minnesota taxpayers" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/16).