PHILADELPHIA -- Major League Baseball is pushing back its
decision on where to relocate the Montreal Expos until after the All-Star break.
Baseball officials, who postponed deciding the team's future
home in both 2002 and 2003, had targeted the July 13 game in
Houston as their goal.
"I'm confident a decision will not be made before or at the
All-Star Game," Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer,
said Friday after speaking on a panel at the annual convention of
the Associated Press Sports Editors. "It's our goal to have
narrowed down our decision by the All-Star Game and be focused in."
Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia appear to be the leading
contenders to land the Expos, bought by the other 29 teams before
the 2002 season. Other areas trying to land the team include Las
Vegas; Monterrey, Mexico; Norfolk, Va.; Portland, Ore.; and San
Juan, Puerto Rico.
The next step in the process will take place when DuPuy meets
Wednesday with commissioner Bud Selig in Milwaukee and briefs him
on the findings of the sport's relocation committee, a baseball
official said on the condition of anonymity. Selig will then decide
how the decision to select a location will unfold.
After baseball decides on what area it wants to move the team
to, it will attempt to negotiate a letter of intent with that
community, the official said.