News Briefs: Winter 1996

The American League approved Disney's acquisition of 25% of the California Angels, with the right to buy the remainder upon the death of owner Gene Autry. Disney, which immediately assumed operating control of the Angels, notified the city of Anaheim that it could back out of the deal unless an agreement to renovate Anaheim Stadium was signed within 60 days. Disney is demanding $110 million in renovations, including the elimination of about 20,000 outfield seats to turn The Big A into The Littler A. After repeated expressions of concern over his financing, Kevin McClatchy's bid for the Pittsburgh Pirates is on the verge of final approval, while in Detroit, the future of a plan to replace Tiger Stadium could be decided on March 19 by local voters. Meanwhile in Baltimore, Peter Angelos has informed the city that if its deal-so-good-even-Art-Modell-can't lose-money is accepted by the Browns, his lease on Camden Yards gives him the right to equivalent terms for the Orioles.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is still seeking to hire a Director of Marketing -- a position which Arlen Kantarian of Radio City Music Hall was expected to fill a year ago. A Wall Street Journal article by Stefan Fatsis reported that Acting Commissioner for Life Bud Selig gave Kantarian a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum prior to the recent owners' meeting but was turned down; the article also quotes a source close to Kantarian as saying he's still interested, but that MLB refuses to give him the authority he believes necessary to do the job well. But why should the owners delegate authority to professional managers when they did so well for them-selves in 1994-95? Speaking of which, Selig recently passed Fay Vincent and Spike Eckert for sixth place on the Commissioners' tenure list. Happy Chandler and Peter Ueberroth are less than two years ahead...

Copyright © 1996 Doug Pappas. All rights reserved.
Originally published in the Winter 1996 issue of Outside the Lines, the SABR Business of Baseball Committee newsletter.

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