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BASEBALL EXTRA | AROUND THE LEAGUE

Twins Threaten to Move . . . Again

May 28, 1997

Angered that the Legislature took no action on their stadium proposal during this year's regular session, the Minnesota Twins reiterated Tuesday that they will ask for permission to sell or move the team.

The club hopes to get that approval at the June 10-12 owners meetings in Philadelphia and would begin taking offers immediately.

Owner Carl Pohlad spoke publicly on the subject for the first time since January, when the Twins made their first proposal to help pay for the stadium. Joined at the news conference by sons Bob and Jim, along with team President Jerry Bell, Pohlad said the team's previous offer no longer stands.

The Twins had proposed paying $15 million and giving the state 49% ownership of the team to help pay for a new stadium expected to cost more than $400 million. The Legislature considered several options to pick up the public share, including a cigarette tax, a state-run casino and slot machines at Canterbury Park race track. The session ended May 19 without a vote on any of those options.

Although lawmakers have said they would make the stadium issue a priority during the 1998 session, Pohlad said that will be too late. Jim Pohlad said the deadline for legislative action is the end of the baseball season.

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Hideki Irabu and the New York Yankees remained close to agreement on a $13-million, four-year contract, which could be finalized by today.

Both sides have agreed to the financial terms of the deal, which includes a $7.5-million signing bonus, but were still negotiating contract language.

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