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Report: NL could still vote this week on expansion

Denver and Miami appear set as the National League's expansion cities for 1993 and an announcement and vote still could take place at an owners meeting in Santa Monica, Calif., Wednesday and Thursday, it was learned Sunday. The National League had announced Wednesday that the vote, originally scheduled for the Santa Monica meeting, would be delayed indefinitely to give the major-league ownership committee time to study financial statements and partnership agreements from respective groups and individuals in the six cities under consideration.

Why the possible reversal now?

According to a National League owner, baseball was embarrassed by criticism of the delay, which touched off speculation and the belief there might be a hidden agenda.

"We are all aware that it may not make sense to expand at a time of economic recession, but the process is in place, we have been committed to it by the last three commissioners, and there is no real reason to delay it," said the owner, who requested anonymity.

"We need to go ahead, to put down rumors that we are not going to expand at all."

In addition, it is believed that nothing is going to shake support for Denver and Miami. However, some owners are concerned about the snub of St. Petersburg-Tampa and needed to be convinced about Miami's comparative strength.

NL spokeswoman Katy Feeney said early this morning she was not aware of a change in plans, but that "anything's possible. I suppose if they want to they could speed it up."

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