Sports Briefs

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2002

Flood cancels volleyball match

The Homer volleyball teams had their matches against Houston canceled Thursday due to flooding on the lower Kenai Peninsula.

Sprewell appeals suspension, $50,000 fine

NEW YORK -- Latrell Sprewell filed two appeals against the New York Knicks on Thursday, including one for a $50,000 fine that was not previously disclosed. Sprewell's appeals were filed by the players' union one day after his unofficial banishment from the team was lifted and he was allowed to return to practice.

Expos to play some games in Puerto Rico in 2003

SAN FRANCISCO -- As many as 20 Montreal Expos home games could be moved to Puerto Rico next year under a plan baseball officials discussed Thursday before Game 5 of the World Series.

In addition, management and union officials discussed the possibility of moving the season-opening series between the Seattle Mariners and Athletics from Oakland to Japan.

The commissioner's office operates the Expos on behalf of the other 29 teams, which bought the franchise earlier this year from Jeffrey Loria, who purchased the Florida Marlins. Baseball officials want to move the team from Montreal, where the Expos drew just 812,000 fans this season, but have pretty much ruled out a relocation for 2003.

Charlotte, N.C., Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C., have also been considered for Expos' home games, but the focus is on Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, one lawyer familiar with the discussions said Thursday on the condition of anonymity.

The shift of games was discussed Thursday during a meeting that included Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer; Rob Manfred, the owners' top labor lawyer; and three officials of the players' association.

''The discussions are ongoing,'' said Gene Orza, the union's No. 2 official. ''They'll be some information sharing going on. It's a complicated subject. It's one of those subjects that when you delve into it, you realize it's more complex than would otherwise appear to be the case.''

Manfred and Expos general manager Omar Minaya declined comment, and DuPuy did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Puerto Rican officials would like the Expos to play three six-game homestands in San Juan, in April, May and August, the lawyer said. The other alternative would be to play two 10-game homestands, he added.

On Oct. 3, officials of the Expos and the commissioner's office toured Bithorn Stadium and discussed the possibility of playing Expos' games there with Ramon Cantero Frau, Puerto Rico's economic development secretary.

DuPuy plans to start discussions after the World Series for a permanent owner for the Expos. Commissioner Bud Selig said in January that he would be open to considering a relocation after a new labor contract -- which was agreed to in August. He called Washington ''the prime candidate.''

Baseball officials intend to have additional discussions on moving the Mariners-Athletics series to Japan when a team of major league All-Stars goes there next month.

An Oakland-Seattle series would be the second time regular season games are played there. The Chicago Cubs and New York Mets split a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome two years ago.

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