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Carlson asks baseball for more time
Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota's government needs at least one more year to put together a stadium plan for the Twins, Gov. Arne Carlson wrote Thursday in a letter to acting commissioner Bud Selig. The governor's letter came a day after the House sponsor of a stadium proposal withdrew his bill because it didn't have nearly enough support to pass.

"I strongly encourage major league baseball to delay any action on the Minnesota Twins to allow the state of Minnesota more time to work out a long-term solution to keep baseball in our state," Carlson wrote.

Although Carlson believes there is widespread support for baseball, he said it may take a year or more to find a solution. That contrasts to comments the governor made in November about the demise of major league baseball in Minnesota.

Twins owner Carl Pohlad has been negotiating to sell the team to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver, who would apply to move the franchise after this season.

But several major league owners are concerned about sending the team into a market that won't have a major league ballpark for at least two years.

Pohlad has not yet signed a definitive agreement with Beaver's group, and owners say they won't make any decisions until after May 5, when voters in the Greensboro-Winston-Salem area decide on a sales tax increase to fund a ballpark.

Selig said he hadn't received the letter yet and wouldn't comment. He has said in the past he has concerns about keeping the Twins in Minnesota without a new ballpark.

Minnesota has asked baseball to provide hundreds of documents as part of an antitrust investigation regarding a possible move, and baseball and the Twins have sued in federal and state courts to quash the subpoenas.

Minnesota has asked the federal court to stay out of the case, and a hearing before U.S. District Judge David Doty is scheduled for March 18.