Owners wonder about Giants: Which bay to go?

ST: LOUIS — ST. LOUIS -- The Giants will be playing next year in a city by a bay -- but whether it is Tampa Bay or San Francisco Bay is unclear.

Baseball owners left their quarterly meetings here yesterday with the issue undecided. Next year's schedule was written so the Giants could play in either place, and the race is on in both cities.


On Wednesday, the owners delayed voting on the proposed sale of the club to an investment group that intends to move it to the Florida Suncoast Dome in St. Petersburg.

The owners said more information was needed from the Florida group, but others, including National League president Bill White, said every opportunity should be given to San Francisco to keep the team.


Giants owner Bob Lurie, asked about the status of the team, would say only: "It remains the same."

After years of unsuccessful attempts to get a new stadium built in San Francisco, Lurie signed an agreement in August to sell the club and agreed not to consider other offers.

Vincent J. Naimoli, the lead investor of the Florida group, said yesterday that he is confident the deal will go through.

But Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said the group only presented its partnership agreement to the owners Wednesday. Two of the proposed investors, both from Pennsylvania, dropped out of the group yesterday, Reinsdorf said.

Meanwhile, a group is being formed in San Francisco by George Shinn, owner of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, and has requested financial information necessary to make an offer. White said he would bring the offer before the league if Lurie won't.

Jackie Autry, executive vice president of the California Angels, said, "It's the owners desire to maintain that franchise in San Francisco if possible."

Four bond issues to fund new stadiums in the San Francisco area have been rejected by voters. The team says it needs to replace the aging Candlestick Park.

Meanwhile, Ron Brown, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said at a news conference in Baton Rouge, La., that he had no interest in being the new baseball commissioner.


Brown has been mentioned in speculation about candidates to succeed Fay Vincent.

"I am totally focused on doing everything I can to see that Bill Clinton will be elected the next president of the United States," Brown said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.