MLB OWNERS MEETINGS: TURNER IN TOWN TO VOTE ON DODGERS
MLB owners began their three-day quarterly meetings
yesterday in St. Petersburg, FL. In N.Y., Murray Chass
writes that Braves Owner Ted Turner plans to make a "rare
appearance" at the meetings on Thursday "to try to block"
Rupert Murdoch's bid to purchase the Dodgers. A lawyer,
familiar with Turner's plans: "He's going to try to keep
Rupert out; that's why he's going." Turner, who has not
attended an owners meeting in nine years, will miss a Time
Warner board of directors meeting the same day (N.Y. TIMES,
3/18). One MLB Owner, on Turner's appearance: "Ted is going
to try and twist some arms, but there's not more than three
[NL] clubs against it." In L.A., Ross Newhan identified the
three clubs as the Braves, Padres and Giants (L.A. TIMES,
3/18). The AP's Ronald Blum said that Turner's decision to
attend was the "biggest news" of Wednesday's 4 1/2-hour
council session (AP/DETROIT NEWS, 3/18).
REAX: League owners will vote on the sale of the
Dodgers to Murdoch on Thursday. In L.A., Newhan wrote that
MLB officials continue "to endorse Dodger owner Peter
O'Malley's contention that the sale will be approved. Some
said that only the [Padres] and/or the Padres and [Braves]
may vote against it, but some hedged their forecasts." A
top MLB official, on Thursday's vote: "It's very close.
Nothing is ever easy, but I'm hopeful (it will be approved)"
(L.A. TIMES, 3/17). Ray Richmond of DAILY VARIETY wrote
under the header, "Rupe Deal In the Clear: No Major
Opposition Expected In Dodgers Vote." Richmond reports that
while "pockets of resistance ... clearly exist," no
"significant opposition appears to exist that would block
the deal in the 11th hour" (DAILY VARIETY, 3/18). In San
Diego, Tom Cushman wrote that given Murdoch's history, if
the sale is approved, MLB owners will "have tossed gasoline
on a house already in flames. ... If baseball welcomes him,
it deserves him" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/17).