The sale of the Dodgers took another step along the procedural road Wednesday.
Tom Ostertag, baseball's general counsel, and Robert Kheel, the National League lawyer, briefed the major league ownership committee on details of the sale to Rupert Murdoch's Fox Group and presented a copy of the purchase agreement to committee chairman Bill Bartholomay, chairman of the Atlanta Braves. The agreement is unsigned, pending approval by the committee for Fox and the Dodgers to affix the appropriate signatures.
Dodger Vice President Bob Graziano said the committee will distribute a synopsis of the agreement to major league owners, who will vote on it after the committee makes a recommendation to the ruling executive council.
The next regularly scheduled owners' meeting is in January, but acting Commissioner Bud Selig reiterated that he may call a special meeting for November, at which the vote would be taken.
"Hopefully it will happen before January," said Graziano, representing owner Peter O'Malley here. "We don't expect Fox to initiate a major redirection of the Dodgers, but it would be appropriate if they participated in planning for 1998. If we have to wait until January for [ownership] approval, that planning will have been done already."