White says Fla. may get both NL expansion teams


Both National League franchises that will begin play in 1993 could be awarded to Florida cities, league president Bill White said yesterday during an expansion committee visit to Miami.

The committee also traveled to Orlando and will visit St. Petersburg on Tuesday. Other cities in contention for an expansion team -- Denver, Buffalo and Washington -- likely will be visited in March or April.

White's comments countered speculation that the National League won't shut the American League out of the promising Florida market by putting two teams in the state. Florida's population of more than 13 million ranks fourth in the nation, but it has no major-league team.

* HALL OF FAME: Nellie Fox, Leo Durocher and Phil Rizzuto are likely to be among the 30 nominees considered for election to baseball's Hall of Fame today when the veterans committee meets.

A three-man screening panel will present the names of 15 former major leaguers as well as 15 ex-umpires, executives and stars from the Negro Leagues umpires to the so-called "old-timers" panel that votes on candidates bypassed for election by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

* METS: An examination of Frank Viola's pitching elbow revealesigns of small bone spurs, but the team said he would continue his workouts as scheduled.

Anti-inflammatory medication was prescribed for the left-hander, who underwent a magnetic resonance image examination. The MRI detected no loose bodies and the team said he would work out today.

* WHITE SOX: While Jim Palmer and Mike Flanagan were on the other side Sarasota, Fla., trying to revive their careers with the Baltimore Orioles, knuckleballer Charlie Hough was preparing to start his 20th major-league season, his first with Chicago.

"Good luck to 'em," said Hough, who at 43, is not much younger than Palmer and a few years older than Flanagan. "There's a certain thrill in playing a major league baseball game. And anybody who does it, you miss it. And of course, the money isn't bad, either."

* ATHLETICS: General manager Sandy Alderson said the club "will lose up to $5 million this year."

Alderson told the Oakland Tribune that his figure does not include the $10 million the A's will be forced to pay for the latest collusion ruling against baseball owners.

The A's will lose money in 1991 because of a payroll that will top $36 million, compared to $22 million in 1990, and $10.7 million in 1988. The A's were profitable in each of the past two seasons.

* ESPN: Jerry Reuss, the former pitcher who spent 21 years in the majors, will make his announcing debut in ESPN's baseball broadcast booth this season joining Chris Berman for late

Tuesday night games.

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