Twins, Expos Are Safe for Now
Unable to eliminate teams this season, Bud Selig sounded a familiar baseball cry Tuesday: Wait ‘til next year!
Stung by a streak of legal losses, the commissioner backed down from folding the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos this season but vowed to shrink the major leagues by 2003.
The Minnesota Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal to lift the injunction forcing the Twins to honor their 2002 lease at the Metrodome.
Owners voted Nov. 6 to eliminate two teams but did not specify which ones. Their labor negotiators later told the players’ association the Twins and Expos were targeted.
Montreal, which joined the major leagues in 1969, is likely to exist for only one more season.
The Expos have drawn few fans in recent years and owner Jeffrey Loria is in the process of selling the franchise to the other teams for $120 million. Loria also is buying the Florida Marlins from John Henry for $158.5 million, and deals are likely to be approved by major league owners next Tuesday.
The commissioner will appoint someone to run the Expos.
The attempt to eliminate the Twins could result in government funding for a new ballpark in Minnesota, which would ensure the team’s long-term survival. Selig could then turn to other candidates for contraction.