BASEBALL: The Dodgers have opened an office in Tokyo,
"the first such office ever opened" by an MLB team. The
Dodgers' Eizaburo Kohrogi will oversee the new office under
his new title of Dir of Asian Relations (L.A. TIMES, 4/29).
...In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reports that Mike Veeck and
his partners will continue to operate the St. Paul Saints of
the Northern League this season, "because nobody has stepped
up to pay the big price being asked for the franchise"
(Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/30)....In Toronto, Garth
Woolsey writes that the Blue Jays are "surely" worth less
now than when a group led by Murray Frum offered what was
thought to be more than C$150M to buy the team from
Interbrew. With attendance, TV viewership and "prospects"
down and the competition "getting tougher," Woolsey writes
there "has to be unease at the top and it's only a matter of
time until it should be raining down on everyone in the
organization" (TORONTO STAR, 4/30).....Red Sox 3B Tim
Naehring was to meet with Red Sox CEO John Harrington about
creating a miniature Fenway Park in Boston. Naehring's
company, Athletes Reach Out, already has built a Little
Fenway in Cincinnati (Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 4/29).
NOTES: Viacom Chair Sumner Redstone, on his interest in
buying a sports franchise: "I think what I won't do that
others have done -- I won't risk Viacom. I'll take a lot of
risks, but I never could take it to the point where Viacom
is at risk" (L.A. TIMES, 4/29)....In Minneapolis, Sid
Hartman reports that Vikings co-Owner Wheelock Whitney
denied a recent report that he and other members of the
Vikings board sold the team to Tom Clancy "to make sure that
Roger Headrick didn't get it." Whitney also disputed
Hartman's sources, who claim that Clancy won't be approved
by the NFL because of his lack of financial backing
(Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/30)....RDV Sports VP/Marketing
Cari Coats said that the Dazzle and Illusion are two of the
top six names being considered for Orlando's WNBA expansion
team. Other names "thought to be discussed are Spirit, Oz
and Miracle." Meanwhile, more than 2,000 season tickets
have been pledged for next season (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/30).