The proposed sale of the World Series champion Anaheim Angels from The Walt Disney Co to Arturo Moreno has been approved by baseball's ownership committee and will be voted on by all owners next week.
Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said Friday the committee met by telephone conference call earlier this week to consider the deal, which is worth about US$185 million.
Moreno, a native of Tucson, Arizona, would become the first Hispanic controlling owner in the major leagues. He used to own a small interest in the Arizona Diamondbacks and currently owns a part interest in the NBA's Phoenix Suns. His net worth has been estimated at US$940 million by Forbes magazine.
Disney bought a 25 percent share of the Angels and took control of the team from founding owner Gene Autry in 1996 and purchased the remainder of his team following his death in 1998. Anaheim won its first World Series title last year, beating San Francisco in seven games.
Disney also has made inquiries about selling its other team, the NHL's Anaheim Mighty Ducks. The sale of the Angels is the major item on the agenda for next week's meeting. The committee considering the future of the Montreal Expos met Wednesday in Chicago, and DuPuy briefed commissioner Bud Selig the following day, but DuPuy said no decisions on the Expos are imminent.
Portland, Oregon, Northern Virginia and Washington all are interested in obtaining the Expos, who were bought by the other 29 teams before the 2002. Government officials in all three areas have proposed financing for a new ballpark, but complete plans have not yet become law.
Dusty Baker's All-Star coaching staff will have a local feel. Baker asked St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Pittsburgh Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon to be part of his staff for the All-Star game, hosted by the Chicago White Sox on July 15. He said Friday both accepted.
La Russa's managerial career began on the South Side. Named the White Sox's skipper on Aug. 2, 1979, he was 522-510 in seven-plus seasons. He was named AL manager of the year in 1983 after leading the White Sox to a major-league best 99-63 record and the AL West title.
"I thought about Tony and him being a former White Sox. Kind of going back to where he first started," Baker said, explaining his reason for picking La Russa. "I know the amount of people he knows in Chicago, that went into that.."