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Pohlad Asks For Major League Support
Twins Owner Expected To Go To The League This Week

MINNEAPOLIS, Posted 2:16 p.m. March 15, 1998 -- Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad is expected to ask Major league Baseball's executive council Tuesday for its support to sell and move the team, according to Sunday's Star Tribune, which quotes an unnamed high-ranking baseball official.

The signing of a final agreement between Pohlad and businessman Don Beaver could result in moving the team to North Carolina. But any sale deal must be approved by three-quarters of American League team owners and a majority of the National League owners.

"I've done everything I can to keep baseball here," Pohlad said. "Nobody seems to care whether the Twins stay or not."

He would not comment on whether he plans to sign the final sale agreement.

There is a March 31 deadline in Pohlad's letter of intent to sell the team. If the final purchase agreement isn't signed by then, the commitments to sell expire, unless the letter of intent is extended.

Interim baseball commissioner Bud Selig said that the Twins matter is not formally on the executive council's agenda, but "we expect Carl Pohlad to give us a progress report on what is developing in Minnesota. I still believe that baseball cannot succeed in Minnesota without a new stadium." But baseball has a policy of seeking local owners. No major league team has moved since 1972.

Minneapolis lawyer Clark Griffith and St. Paul Saints owner Mike Veeck have said they want to buy the Twins.

"My deal is still there," Griffith said of an $86 million cash offer for the team, which Pohlad has publicly rejected. Griffith's offer has never been formally made because Pohlad is prohibited from any sale talks with other prospects while his letter of intent with Beaver is in force.

Beaver's purchase price is about $140 million.

Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission chairman Henry Savelkoul, head of the agency that owns the Metrodome where the Twins play, said he will travel to St. Petersburg, Fla., to monitor the owners' meetings.

If given the chance, Savelkoul said he would advise owners that there could be local buyers for the team.

Savelkoul also said he would tell owners that there are enough votes in the Minnesota Senate to pass a stadium bill during the waning days of the legislative session.

Vic Moore, chief aide to Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, said that Moe would like to see a stadium vote come to the Senate floor to "send a message" that "we're interested in keeping major league baseball here. If at least one house takes a vote, we can do that."

There doesn't seem to be any support for a new stadium in the House, where an earlier bill died this session in committee.