Vincent may support Japanese group American League notes

March 25, 1992

Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent and the head of baseball's ownership committee plan to support a Japanese-backed bid to buy the Mariners, a Seattle newspaper reported yesterday.

Two sources who asked not to be identified said Vincent and Fred Kuhlmann, president of the St. Louis Cardinals and chairman of the ownership committee, told the Seattle-based buyers' group they would endorse the sale, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Approval requires the support of 11 of 14 American League owners and seven of 12 National League owners.

Vincent and Kuhlmann told The Baseball Club of Seattle on Friday that they would support the offer by Hiroshi Yamauchi, president of Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. Ltd., and by Western Washington business leaders, the sources said.

But Kuhlmann denied he told the buyers' group he supports the bid and said he only intends to present the proposal to the ownership committee.

Through a spokesman, Vincent declined comment.

Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan put the team up for sale in December for $100 million. The prospective buyers have raised that amount, plus $25 million to operate the team.

Smulyan refused to comment on the report.

* TIGERS: Alan Trammell, sidelined since March 14 because of a stiff back, has been cleared by a doctor in Los Angeles and will play tomorrow night against the Astros.

If all goes well, Trammell is convinced he can be ready to take his regular spot in the lineup when the Tigers open the season April 6 against the Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit.

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