Loose ends remain

Updated: December 4, 2003, 7:21 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Rights for Puerto Rican television are holding up a deal that would bring the Montreal Expos back to San Juan for 22 games next season.

However, the dispute should not jeopardize an agreement, promoter Antonio Munoz said Thursday.

"We want the Expos games to be transmitted locally by us," Munoz said.

Major League Baseball wants the games to be part of the Latin American package it distributes.

"That is one of the main problems," Munoz said.

Dates, opponents and some demands by players remain unsettled, Munoz said. He spoke with major league officials Wednesday and hopes to hold a meeting Monday to finalize an agreement.

The current proposed schedule for San Juan has games against the New York Mets (April 9-11), Florida (April 13-15), Milwaukee (May 18-20), San Francisco (May 21-23), Toronto (July 2-4), Atlanta (July 5-7) and Pittsburgh (July 8-11).

Munoz, who paid baseball $6.6 million to bring 22 Expos games to Hiram Bithorn Stadium last season, wanted to bring in Philadelphianext year, but said the schedule couldn't be worked out.

Players have said the travel schedule should take them only between the Caribbean island and the U.S. East Coast -- not to more distant locations in the mainland. Last season, the Expos had to go from Puerto Rico to Seattle.

The Expos were bought by the other 29 major league teams before the 2002 season, and baseball has discussed a permanent move with groups from Northern Virginia; Portland, Ore.; and Washington, D.C.

Tim Brosnan, baseball's executive vice president for business, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press