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Volume 24 No. 160

Franchises

          Former Dodgers Exec VP Fred Claire will hold a press
     conference in Pasadena today (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/24). 
     National reaction to the team's dismissal of Claire and
     manager Bill Russell continues.  In DC, Thomas Boswell
     writes that "it's sad to see the Los Angeles Dodgers getting
     Foxed" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/24).  In L.A., J.A. Adande writes
     "the Fox folks have turned this season into a bad sitcom.
     ... Everything the Dodgers stood for has been erased. ...
     Dodgers fans deserve better.  But baseball doesn't" (L.A.
     TIMES, 6/24).  But Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations
     Vince Wladika downplayed the changes to the team since the
     Fox Group acquired the franchise: "We think that anytime you
     have one corporation take over another, there are obviously
     going to be some changes" (AP, 6/23). 
          THIS NOT JUST IN ON FOX'S MLB BROADCAST: USA TODAY's
     Michael Hiestand notes that Fox's "Insider" segment on its
     MLB coverage Saturday suggested Rockies manager Don Baylor
     will be fired after the All-Star break but did not mention
     anything about the Dodger firings announced Sunday night. 
     Hiestand: "So is there a problem with Fox's interoffice
     mail?  Conglomerates, after all, long ago made 'synergy'
     their mantra."  Fox Sports Exec Producer Jeff Terenzio
     called covering the net's coverage of the Dodgers "one of
     the most tricky editorial decisions we've faced. ... We'd
     have to be completely accurate" (USA TODAY, 6/24).          
          WHERE ARE THE ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD? The Dodgers are
     drawing nearly 10,000 more fans per game than the Angels,
     and in L.A., Eric Noland wrote it is "a source of some
     bewilderment for the entertainment wizards at Disney.  But
     they were aware when they bought into the Angels they were
     inheriting a boxcar of baggage" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/23).

          NO KING GEORGE HERE: In K.C., a source close to George
     and Bobby Brett discounted a report in Tuesday's K.C. STAR
     that said the Bretts turned down an offer to join the Lamar
     Hunt-Western Resources bid for the Royals, in part because
     the group wouldn't agree to appoint George Brett the team's
     president and MLB rep: "What's really preposterous is the
     notion that George would want to be the official rep to
     major-league baseball.  Can you imagine George wanting to
     show up at all these league meetings, briefcase in hand,
     wanting to sit next to the George Steinbrenners and the Ted
     Turners and the Jerry Reinsdorfs?" (K.C. STAR, 6/24).  
          BILLS DUE: The Bills "are barely halfway" toward
     reaching their goal of $11M in luxury seat sales, and are
     expressing "disappointment" that Rochester-area businesses
     are standing on the sidelines.  Bills VP/Operations Bill
     Munson and Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Thomas
     Mooney were scheduled to meet with area media yesterday to
     drum up support.  The Bills have until December 1 to reach
     their $11M goal.  So far, they have secured $5.4M "in paid-
     up revenue" (Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 6/23).
          NOTES: Yesterday, the A's drew a season-high 45,169 for
     their interleague game against the Giants (S.F. CHRONICLE,
     6/24).  Both teams, in conjunction with Fox Sports Bay Area
     and JCPenney, will award 30,000 tickets this summer to
     students with perfect attendance (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/24).
     ...In Chicago, "several dozen bus loads" of Indians fans
     helped the Cubs draw 39,006 on Wednesday.  Cubs 1B Mark
     Grace: "They have kind of a cult following like Deadheads"
     (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/24)....In Miami, Marlins fan Jan Bohan
     has set up a program called "Fans for Kids" to distribute
     unused Marlins tickets to children.  Bohan said she grew
     "sick of the negativity" surrounding the team and wanted to
     see kids use the ducats (MIAMI HERALD, 6/24)....In Denver,
     Vicki Michaelis reports that the Clippers "have shifted from
     their earlier stance of making" Mike Bibby the top pick in
     tonight's NBA Draft.  Clippers Owner Donald Sterling met
     with Bibby's agent, David Falk, on Tuesday, and league
     sources said that the meeting "made Sterling more mad than
     anything."  Michaelis: "Falk no doubt reminded Sterling of
     his considerable influence in the NBA" (DENVER POST, 6/24). 
     

          The Bucks increased prices for season-ticket holders
     for next season, according to Bob Wolfley of the MILWAUKEE
     JOURNAL SENTINEL.  The increases are from $46 to $54; $41 to
     $47; $31 to $36; $28 to $32, and $1 increases among the $22,
     $19, $14 and $11 price points.  The team decreased ticket
     prices in four sections from $41 to $36.  The Bucks did not
     raise prices last year (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/24).

          Shruti Misra, a Las Vegas resident who has real estate
     holdings in NV, CA and NM, "has offered to purchase the
     Vikings" for $180M, according to Matt Jacob of the LAS VEGAS
     REVIEW-JOURNAL.  A representative for Misra confirmed Monday
     that Misra has submitted the bid.  If Misra buys the team,
     "she will have the option to relocate" it.  According to
     documents obtained by the REVIEW-JOURNAL, Misra would pay
     $50M in cash, with the remaining $130M to be financed
     through a loan provided by U.S. Guarantee Corp.  Misra's
     "net worth is not known" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 6/23). 
          DEAL NOT LIKELY? In Minneapolis, Vikings attorney John
     Mooty said that the team received something from Misra last
     week.  Mooty: "We received a document.  I advised them it
     was not in a form that we could entertain.  As far as I'm
     concerned, we don't have anything that constitutes a bid
     that can be considered by the owners."  Mooty said that he
     advised Misra's reps to revise the document and resubmit it,
     but said he hasn't received a reply (Jerry Zgoda, STAR
     TRIBUNE, 6/24).  Mooty, on Misra's reported $180M offer:
     "[T]he price reported in the Las Vegas newspaper is not in
     conformity with the document we've received.  The bid is not
     adequate.  Secondly, we've indicated a very strong
     preference for someone that's intending to keep the team in
     Minnesota" (Greg Johnson, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/24).

          "The odds of the Nets moving to Long Island just might
     have gotten better" after Charles Wang's Long Island-based
     Computer Associates "put in a bid" to purchase the team with
     plans of moving it out of NJ, according to Michael James of
     the N.Y. DAILY NEWS.  A company spokesperson "refused to
     confirm or deny sources' contentions that Computer
     Associates has offered" $150M, but one league source said
     that a "bidding war," which includes Islanders co-Owner
     Howard Milstein -- as well as a consortium of NJ business
     execs intent on moving the team to Newark -- "is brewing." 
     The league source added that the NJ business execs could
     close the deal for $175M if it does so by Tuesday, "which,
     coincidentally, comes just before a possible NBA lockout." 
     Nets officials could not be reached (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/24).