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Volume 24 No. 156
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Franchise Notes

In Memphis, Michael Sheffield notes prospective Grizzlies Owner Robert Pera must cross "numerous hurdles" before his deal to purchase the team "is finalized -- most of all, approval by the NBA." The league will conduct a "study of Pera's finances, not only to show he can afford to buy the team but also run it." Pera also must "present the league with a management team that will be in charge of operations." Finally, if it "hasn't been done already, he has to meet with the owners of the other 29 NBA teams." Sources said that Pera is "maintaining a low profile until the process moves along" (MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/15 issue).

MATH CLASS: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick notes Yankees President Randy Levine recently clained StubHub "has caused the fall in home attendance." Levine also said the team is exploring more “fan-friendly alternatives for next year.” Mushnick: "More fan-friendly? Like what? Unless it’s greatly reduced ticket and concession prices, the Yankees still will be five years too late! From the day new Yankee Stadium opened, the Yankees stretched and surpassed the limits of logical affordability" (N.Y. POST, 6/15).

LEARNING THE HARD WAY: Browns President Mike Holmgren Thursday said the team is "not for sale." He said he talks to Browns Owner Randy Lerner "all the time." Holmgren: "I assume he'd tell me 'cause we have a very open, honest relationship" (, 6/14). In Ohio, Tim Bielik wrote Lerner is the "most invisible owner in all of sports and for a franchise that has been fledgling for 13 years like the Browns have been, that's nowhere near acceptable." He also has helped run EPL club Aston Villa "into the ground." Lerner has "not only ruined one football team, but two." The Browns need "a more aggressive owner and one that's more willing to be in the public." Lerner "shouldn't be a Dan Snyder or Jerry Jones type of owner, but something like a Dan Gilbert would be great for the team" (, 6/12).

LOVE TO HATE: In Ft. Lauderdale, Criag Davis noted Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen ranks as the "least respected manager in the game" according to a poll in Men’s Journal of 100 MLBers. The survey is the July edition of the magazine. Guillen said, "I don’t get paid for people to like me, I get paid to win games. In my career, I’ve got a World Series championship and two playoffs. There’s a lot of great managers in baseball that are very good guys, and they don’t got (bleep)" (, 6/13).