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Dodgers bidder adds investor

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 4, 2003

LOS ANGELES -- Former New York sports executive David Checketts has assembled part of the financing for his $620-million bid to buy the Dodgers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The paper reported Monday that Checketts has gained a commitment from billionaire financier George Soros, who has agreed to put up less than $100-million in equity in what would be his first investment in a sports franchise.

The Los Angeles Times also said Checketts has lined up two banks and is seeking a third to secure financing of $300 million. The newspaper reported the banks are J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and FleetBoston Financial Corp.

Even with those commitments, Checketts remains more than $200-million short of his financing goal, the newspaper reported.

Checketts started in professional sports with the Utah Jazz. In 1994, he was appointed to run Madison Square Garden, which oversees the New York Knicks and Rangers.

Meanwhile, Dodgers minor-league pitcher Masao Kida was released from a hospital two days after being injured in a car accident. Teppei Shiokawa, a passenger in the vehicle driven by Kida and the interpreter for Dodgers pitchers Hideo Nomo and Kazuhisa Ishii, had exploratory surgery.

ANGELS: Left-hander Jarrod Washburn, who led the team with 18 victories last season, sustained a mild sprain in his pitching shoulder trying to avoid a collision during fielding practice and expects to be sidelined for up to 10 days.

ASTROS: Right-hander Shane Reynolds pitched three pain-free innings in his first game appearance since back surgery in June.

A'S: Manager Ken Macha and general manager Billy Beane watched a short video produced by the commissioner's office on speeding the game.

BRAVES: Manager Bobby Cox is expected to sign a two-year extension this week through 2005.

CARDINALS: Manager Tony La Russa left for his home in Oakland to attend the trial of a defendant accused of assaulting one of his daughters. Details of the crime against Bianca La Russa, 23, were not released. La Russa said in a statement that the trial begins this week for a crime that happened several years ago.

CUBS: Sammy Sosa is suing the Illinois Department of Revenue over a $45,000 tax bill from 1998, saying he already paid taxes on the income in California and other states. ... Sosa missed his third straight game with a tight right quadriceps. He may return today against the Angels.

GIANTS: Third baseman Pedro Feliz arrived at camp after being delayed in the Dominican Republic because of an age discrepancy that makes him 27, two years older than he stated.

METS: Bullpen coach Rick Waits had triple bypass surgery and is not expected to rejoin the team for at least five weeks.

PADRES: With his right arm resting in a sling, closer Trevor Hoffman vowed not to let his most recent shoulder surgery sideline his career. "I don't think there's any doubt in my mind," the right-hander said. "I will be back closing games in a Padre uniform." ... Right-hander Brandon Villafuerte got the team's first save of the spring, closing out a 7-6 victory over the Rangers despite letting the potential tying run reach second with one out.

REDS: Left-hander Jimmy Anderson was impressive in his quest for the fifth spot in the rotation, pitching four scoreless innings against the Phillies.

ROCKIES: Shortstop Juan Uribe is scheduled to have surgery on his broken right foot Wednesday and is likely be sidelined for more than a month.

ROYALS: Outfielder Mark Quinn re-injured his left hamstring, and second baseman Carlos Febles was hit on the left hand by a pitch. Both are day to day.

WHITE SOX: The team agreed to one-year deals with 23 of its pre-arbitration players, leaving ace left-hander Mark Buehrle as the only player without a contract. "We just don't think the offer's right," Buehrle said.

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