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Baseball Notes

November 22, 1998| From Staff and Wire Reports

Twenty-five years after George Steinbrenner and a group of investors purchased the New York Yankees for $10 million, he appears close to selling the team for a record price.

Speculation grew Saturday that Steinbrenner was nearing a deal with Cablevision Systems Corp., which would pay more than $600 million for the World Series champions. Steinbrenner would continue to run the team.

This would be the second highest price ever for a sports franchise, behind the pending $1-billion sale of the English soccer team Manchester United to Rupert Murdoch.

The record price for a baseball franchise is the $311 million Murdoch paid for the Dodgers this year.

Although a sale is not imminent, Steinbrenner's ongoing talks with Cablevision apparently have heated up.

"As far as I know there's nothing that's been signed," a lawyer involved with the team told the New York Times. "But they are probably close to a handshake. It's very, very warm."

Steinbrenner met for two days in Cleveland with his limited partners to brief them on a potential sale.

"He hasn't finalized it yet," another associate said of Steinbrenner. "There are a few things he has to work out," he said.

Steinbrenner owns 60% of the Yankees and in the proposed deal, he would sell "a significant portion" of that share. Some of the limited partners also would sell shares, but others would retain interests.

"We discussed the possibilities before us, and we have several," Steinbrenner said.

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The Oakland Athletics signed pitcher Tim Worrell to a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Worrell made $1 million last season.

Worrell, 31, started last season with the Detroit Tigers, making four starts, before being claimed on waivers by the Cleveland Indians. He was then traded to Oakland in July.

The right-hander was a combined 2-7 with a 5.24 earned-run average.

Worrell is 18-30 with four saves and a 4.51 ERA in 186 games with San Diego, Detroit, Cleveland and Oakland.

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Dick Sisler, 78, whose home run won the National League pennant for the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies, has died in Nashville. The cause of death was not disclosed.

A first baseman-outfielder, Sisler was the son of Hall of Famer George Sisler. He spent eight years in the majors with St. Louis, Philadelphia and Cincinnati before becoming a manager.

His best season was 1950 when he batted .296 with 13 homers and 83 runs batted in.

In the final game of the regular season that year, his three-run homer in the 10th inning beat the Brooklyn Dodgers and clinched Philadelphia's first pennant in 35 years.

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Former Minnesota Twin executive George Brophy, a key figure in signing and developing many of the team's top players, died at Edina, Minn., from aplastic anemia, a blood disease he had battled for 13 years. He was 72.

Brophy worked for the Twins from 1960 to 1985 and was the team's vice president of minor leagues and scouting from 1970 to 1985, making roster moves that helped the Twins win the 1987 World Series. He worked as a special assignment scout for the Astros until 1996.

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