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Baseball fans, prepare for 3 more years of Selig
Selig gets extension, but no decision on Expos home
Aug. 19, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports
PHILADELPHIA -- Bud Selig's term as baseball commissioner was extended for three years through 2009 in a unanimous vote by owners Thursday.
On the final day of a two-day meeting, owners also approved starting a baseball World Cup and baseball television network. The World Cup, which must be approved by the players' association and the International Baseball Federation, most likely will not start before 2006.
The 70-year-old Selig, whose family controls the Milwaukee Brewers, has been in charge of baseball since September 1992, first as acting commissioner for six years. He was given a five-year term in July 1998, and three years later owners extended his term through 2006. As recently as last year, he said his current term would be his last, but owners persuaded him to change his mind.
Selig didn't put a decision on the Montreal Expos up for a vote, prolonging a vexing situation that began when the franchise was bought by the other 29 teams in 2002.
Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said Wednesday that the meetings with government officials in the four areas will take place within 10 days but didn't specify any communities. A baseball official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said a meeting will be set up with Northern Virginia; Washington, D.C; Las Vegas; and Norfolk, Va.
Bud Selig, 70, will continue to serve as baseball's commish through the 2009 season.(AP)
Washington and Northern Virginia remain the focus of most baseball owners, several of them have said in recent weeks. No consensus between the two has emerged, and baseball wants the communities to pay most of the costs of a new ballpark for the team.
"There is nothing yet we can tie a ribbon on and sign," DuPuy said after a meeting of the relocation committee that lasted about 90 minutes. "We're continuing the process of trying to get things clarified and trying to ensure that whatever offer, whatever stadium deal is ultimately accepted, ensures the ultimate success of the Expos."
Stadium sites, land acquisition, government funding and legislation, and road construction are among the items being talked about.
"Eventually, these discussions are going to have to evolve to a point where either we say or the municipality or governmental entity says, 'We're as far as we can go. This is the deal that we've got before us,"' DuPuy said.
While DuPuy spoke in the hotel lobby, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos sat in the cafe, about 40 feet away. Angelos is against moving the Expos to either Washington, about 40 miles from Camden Yards, or Northern Virginia's site in Loudoun County, near Dulles International Airport, about 60 miles from Baltimore.
Angelos says a team that close to the Orioles would severely cut into his franchise's revenue. He does not object to moving the Expos to Norfolk.
"I've made my statement," Angelos said. "Presumably, my colleagues are aware of it and, hopefully, they concur in my conclusion."
Selig, who will make the decision based on the consensus of owners, has said he doesn't want to hurt any franchise. There has not been agreement among owners over whether a team in Washington or Northern Virginia would cut into the Orioles' ticket and broadcast revenue.
"There are varying studies that have been done," DuPuy said. "Some of it is qualitative, some of it is quantitative, and everyone has their own view on that subject."
While Monterrey, Mexico, and Portland, Ore., have not officially been eliminated, they currently are not the focus of the relocation committee.
"I don't think right now it's necessary that we meet with all six groups," DuPuy said.
The bid by San Juan is not under active consideration. Baseball moved 22 Expos' home games from Montreal to Puerto Rico in both 2003 and 2004 in an effort to increase revenue.
The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
"The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the greatest liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." H.L. Mencken