In a historic move that could trigger a significant financial realignment of Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians are expected to announce plans to make the ballclub a publicly traded company.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the American League team plans to issue stock, possibly to enable Indians owner and Chairman Richard E. Jacobs to raise cash for a bid to buy the National Football League franchise the league awarded this week to Cleveland for the 1999 season.
A spokesman for the Indians declined to comment Thursday.
"I'm not allowed to comment on this issue at all," said Bob DiBiasio, the club's vice president of public relations.
Sources have told the Tribune that Major League Baseball owners approved the Indians' proposal last summer and that an announcement could come within the next week or so. Under the plan, the Indians would issue two classes of stock, with Jacobs maintaining control of voting interests.
"There will be a lot of people watching to see how it works," a Major League source said.
Anderson injures hand
VIERA, Fla. -- Baltimore Orioles center fielder Brady Anderson was to undergo X-rays today to determine whether he suffered a broken bone or a severely bruised left hand in an exhibition game against the Florida Marlins.
Anderson was struck just above the ring finger of his left hand by a throw while stealing second base during the sixth inning.
"I thought I heard it," Anderson said. "It made a loud sound."
Red Sox sign Lemke
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Less than a week before opening day, the Boston Red Sox found their second baseman -- Mark Lemke.
Lemke, looking for a job since being cut loose by Atlanta in the offseason, agreed to a minor league contract with the Red Sox.
Boston had been searching for someone to play second ever since Jeff Frye tore his anterior cruciate ligament early in spring training and was lost for the year.
Either Mike Benjamin, Donnie Sadler or Lou Merloni will play second until Lemke, 32, is ready. Mike Gallego was released.
Bisons fall to Mud Hens
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Toledo Mud Hens roughed up Buffalo relief pitcher Marcus Moore to rally for a 6-3 victory.
Starter Rick Krivda and Eric Plunk combined to pitch six scoreless innings for the Herd, but Moore gave up six runs and eight hits in three innings to blow a 3-0 lead.
Brandon Wilson had two hits and an RBI for the Bisons, who were to play New Orleans today at 1 p.m.