YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Hurdles Mounting for Glazer

June 22, 2003|ROSS NEWHAN

Cross-ownership rules in the NFL and Major League Baseball continue to be an obstacle to Tampa Bay Buccaneer owner Malcolm Glazer's bid to buy the Dodgers, but the more significant hurdle, sources say, could be mounting concern among baseball owners regarding the club's management if he successfully satisfied the ownership rules and reached an agreement with News Corp.

It is believed that Glazer would leave the operation of the Dodgers to his son, Edward, who is based in Los Angeles, but the family's lack of baseball background and what one high-ranking baseball official said were "other concerns" involving "management credentials" have made "us a little leery."

Said a top official of a National League team: "Look, [News Corp. Chairman] Rupert Murdoch has a lot of leverage with baseball [through his national and regional TV contracts]. If this is the deal he wants, it would be difficult for us not to approve it. However, this is a premier franchise and there's a lot of static going around among the owners in terms of operational concerns. Bob Daly [the Dodger chairman] may not have had any baseball background, but he had operated some major corporations in that market."

NFL rules require league owners to use independent resources in the purchase of a team in another sport and independent management in the operation of it. If Glazer is unable to satisfy the NFL and baseball on those and other levels, it is believed that a group headed by former Seattle Mariner owner Jeff Smulyan would jump to the forefront of the bidding. Smulyan is interested in the Dodgers only if News Corp. includes six of its television stations, which it has been reluctant to do but might be forced to in a desire to sell the team.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday June 24, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball Hall of Fame -- It was incorrectly reported in a Sports story Sunday about the Baseball Hall of Fame that Jim "Catfish" Hunter doesn't wear a cap on his hall of fame plaque. Hunter wears a cap without a team insignia.

Cap Caper

Why would Roger Clemens want to retire when he still has a lot of little boy in him, as evidenced by his childish snit over which cap he wants to be wearing on his Hall of Fame plaque? Clemens said he wants to go in wearing a New York Yankee cap rather than a Boston Red Sox cap, and that if he doesn't get his way he won't go to the induction ceremony. In fact, Clemens said he would gather up relatives and reporters and have his own ceremony in Palm Springs on the same day of the Cooperstown induction.

"How do you think our 60 Hall of Famers feel about that?" Jeff Idelson, the Hall's vice president of communications and education, said of a Clemens edict that has clearly left a bad taste and is premature considering he won't be eligible for the ballot until 2008, providing he retires at the end of this season.

As to which cap a player is wearing when bronzed, it's a decision between the player and the Hall. Gary Carter, who will be inducted in July, wanted to be shown in a New York Met cap, having won his only World Series title with the Mets in 1986 and being still employed by the club as an instructor, but the Hall convinced him that a Montreal Expo cap was more representative of a career in which he played far longer and did far more in Montreal.

"As a history museum, we want the logo to be representative of history, emblematic of where the player left his most indelible mark," Idelson said. "When a person walks into the museum 50 years from now, we want the cap to make sense from a historical perspective."

Clemens has made a mark with the Yankees, winning two World Series, one Cy Young Award and notching his 300th win and 4,000th strikeout last weekend. As with the case of Carter, however, he pitched far longer and was far more productive in Boston. Of course, he carries the wound of then-Boston general manager Dan Duquette's proclaiming he was in the twilight of his career when allowed to leave as a free agent after the 1996 season.

The cap question has become more of an issue since Wade Boggs, who won't be eligible until December 2004, suggested that he preferred to go in as a Tampa Bay Devil Ray rather than a Yankee or Red Sox, raising the specter of a club offering the player payback -- in money or job -- if he picks their cap. Boggs has yet to meet with Hall officials to make a final decision.

"History is not marketable, not for sale," Idelson said.

Maybe Catfish Hunter had the right answer when inducted in 1987. Unable to choose between the Yankees and Oakland Athletics, his plaque has no cap.

Paulie on Paul

National League catchers Ivan Rodriguez, Javier Lopez, Mike Piazza, Benito Santiago and Mike Matheny are all running ahead of Paul Lo Duca in the All-Star voting. Others may be as well if the full tabulations were revealed. It comes down to the deserving Dodger catcher needing the votes of peers or NL Manager Dusty Baker to be selected. The tabulations have a certain dad steamed.

"Pathetic," Paulie Lo Duca said before leaving Los Angeles on Friday to return to his home in Sedona, Ariz., where he owns the Brooklyn Cafe, is generally known as Brooklyn Paulie and will try to organize an 11th-hour ballot campaign.

Los Angeles Times Articles