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Volume 24 No. 157
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          MLB: In FL, Michael Mayo writes on the Marlins trade of
     P Kevin Brown yesterday, another move in the "stripping" of
     the team: "We've been bludgeoned so much since the World
     Series that we're almost punch drunk.  But we're not stupid.

     So strip away.  If that's the alternative to the public
     financing a $350 million stadium, then so be it" (SUN-
     SENTINEL, 12/16)....In Orlando, Brian Schmitz writes that
     the Marlins year was "a glorious season soured by the bitter
     aftertaste of financial irresponsibility" (ORLANDO SENTINEL,
     12/16)....It took the Indians just nine days to sell out the
     "bulk of their individual game tickets" for next season.  In
     all, the team sold about 900,000 tickets before sales
     stopped on Sunday (BEACON JOURNAL, 12/16)...The Reds sold
     "more than" 24,000 tickets on Saturday, the first day
     tickets went on sale for next season.  Last year's first day
     sales count was 14,800 (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 12/14).
          NHL: The Pens have sold out only two of 15 home games
     this season and are "considering a slash in ticket prices." 
     Owner Howard Baldwin: "Maybe we've got these prices at a
     level they shouldn't be at" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/16).