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Deal? What deal?

- This is on in a series of updates as the National League expansion decision nears. The vote is expected June 12. We know we reported Saturday that two prominent baseball owners said no deal has yet been struck on where the two expansion teams will end up. But in our continuing effort to keep you informed on what people at least think might happen, we bring you yet another passage from a story in The National sports daily:

"Sources indicated Thursday that in exchange for receiving $70-million (of the $190-million) of the expansion money, the American League would agree to expose some of its talent in an expansion draft. And the AL also would agree not to oppose the selection of two Florida cities, something many AL owners have said in the past they would prevent."

Baseball columnist Peter Pascarelli also wrote of the supposed compromise:

"The NL would be less reticent about expanding to Miami and St. Petersburg-Tampa, which many feel are the best markets and ownership groups among the six finalists.

"For several weeks, Miami and Denver were believed to be the front-runners. But uneasiness about Denver as a market, as well as about the stability of its ownership group, has surfaced.

"Subsequently, there have been reports that Wayne Huizenga, who heads the Miami group, had sustained huge stock reversals in recent weeks that could total close to $200-million. Orlando, which was thought to be out of the running, got a boost with a positive cover story in Time magazine. Through it all, St. Petersburg has appeared to be the most stable of the prospective franchises. The one negative is its domed stadium, which some owners do not support."

Confused commissioner

Commissioner Fay Vincent is smart enough to know he will not make all 26 owners happy when he issues his ruling this week on distribution of the $190-million in expansion entry fees. But he is equally perplexed over how the leagues were unable to solve the issue on their own.

"It is a purely economic issue," Vincent said. "For 26 business people not to be able to resolve a purely economic issue seems to me to be too bad. It is a matter that should have been settled between the leagues."

_ Compiled by Times staff writer Marc Topkin.

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