CONGLOMERATES: SI's Tom Verducci examines the Marlins-
Dodgers trade and notes that talks began when Fox TV CEO
Chase Carey called Marlins President Don Smiley about Wayne
Huizenga's SportsChannel FL. The Marlins "are one of only
six" MLB teams for which Fox doesn't have local broadcasting
rights. Asked if there was a possible connection between
the trade and Fox's interest in Huizenga's RSN, Fox Sports
Senior VP/Media Relations Vince Wladika said, "If anyone is
looking for some smoking gun, they will be looking for 500
years. It just doesn't exist. There's no connection
whatsoever." MLB Acting Commissioner Bud Selig: "The long
tentacles of media conglomerates are something that we have
to watch very carefully. We watched this (trade) very
closely, and there's no evidence of any link" (SI, 5/25).
...In Ft. Worth, T.R. Sullivan examines Disney's ownership
of the Angels: "So far, Disney has run the Angels like the
corporate giant it is, seemingly more concerned about the
financial ledger and corporate image than the division
standings. Disney seems to lack the reckless passion for
winning associated with George Steinbrenner, Peter Angelos
or Ted Turner" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/22).
NOTES: In N.Y., Gerald Eskenazi reports that sales of
equipment with the Jets' new retro logo "have taken off."
Last year, the Jets were in the bottom third of leaguewide
sales, "but now they are among the top dozen in the league"
(N.Y. TIMES, 5/22)....Top of the Third Inc., a company
comprised of former Dodgers Owner Peter O'Malley's three
children and the 10 children of his sister, Terry Seidler,
has purchased the Stockton Ports, the Brewers' affil in the
single-A California League. The Stockton Record put the
purchase price at $1.75M (AP/ESPN SportsZone, 5/21)....The
Eagles have exercised their option with Lehigh Univ., the
site of the team's '96, '97 and '98 training camps, to
return to the school during the summer of '99 (Eagles).
....The A's and the League of Women Voters will host a
mayoral candidate forum prior to the A's game vs. the O's
tomorrow (A's)....Former Knicks & Spurs F Charles Smith has
become a part owner of the USBL CT Skyhawks (USBL).