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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Crucial Hearings Begin in Legal Battle Over Expos Deal

Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail provides a few more details about the Expos arbitration, which began today.

More than 30 witnesses are expected to testify, including MLB President Bob DuPuy. Bud Selig's testimony has yet to be scheduled. Former MLB President Paul Beeston has already given a videotaped deposition which will be entered into evidence. Plaintiffs' lawyer Jeffey Kessler anticipates a ruling by August.

MLB insists the pending action won't affect the timing of its decision on the Expos' future, even though the federal judge hearing the case has directed MLB to give 90 days' notice before the Expos are sold or moved. That shouldn't be a problem -- even if MLB adheres to its stated timetable and makes a decision by the All-Star break, that would allow a sale or move by mid-October, which is the earliest the club could realistically go anywhere.

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