ST. PAUL, Minnesota -- Major League Baseball would allow the Twins to leave Minnesota,
Gov. Arne Carlson said after meeting Monday in Milwaukee with acting commissioner Bud
Selig. Carlson and a group of legislators flew to Milwaukee to ask Selig how Twins owner
Carl Pohlad's deal to sell the Twins to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver would fare
with team owners.
"There will be permission for Carl Pohlad to leave if a stadium is not
built," Carlson said after a meeting with Selig, who also is owner of the Milwaukee
Three-fourths of the American League's owners and half the owners in the National
League must approve a team sale and relocation. But Selig indicated that might not be a
problem in this case.
"For anybody to think in this day and age you can consign an owner to either
uncompetitiveness or bankruptcy is sheer folly," Selig said at a Milwaukee news
Selig also urged a quick resolution, saying "further delay is just patently unfair
to the Twins. That's who gets hurt."
Pohlad has said he can't afford to lose any more money in the Metrodome, and that the
team must have a baseball-only stadium with revenue from suites, club seating, and other
He signed a letter of intent Friday to sell the team to Beaver, but the Minnesota
Legislature can void the sale by approving a publicly subsidized ballpark before Nov. 30.
Carlson plans to call a special session the week of Oct. 20 to deal with the issue.
"Nov. 30 will be enforced," Carlson said. "The Legislature has two
choices: build and keep the Twins or don't build and let them go."
But another possible bidder for the Twins, Clark Griffith, remains unruffled by all the
talk of a move to North Carolina.
Griffith, son of former Twins owner Calvin Griffith, said no matter what Selig
suggests, it's not in the league's interest to move the team south.
"Selig should ... explain how moving a lame duck team, placing the team in a
bandbox ballpark for a number of years, then moving it to a smaller market is a
solution," he said.
Griffith said he expects to have his investment group's bid ready to present to Pohlad
by the end of next week.
At about $80 million, it probably falls about $50 million to $70 million below Beaver's
But Griffith said the local deal likely involves less debt than the Beaver offer, an
arrangement he contends should appeal to the league and fans because it would allow new
owners to put more money into talent.
"You want people dealing with baseball players, not bankers," he said.
Griffith said the team would still need a new stadium under his group's ownership, but
could survive financially for several more years in the Metrodome.