Baseball: TV group pitches to buy Yankees

ANOTHER GREAT name in sports looks set to be sold to a media company just weeks after Manchester United passed into the empire of Rupert Murdoch.

The New York Yankees, one of the most outstanding teams in baseball, is on the block, Newsday reported yesterday. The team's controversial and irascible owner, George Stenbrenner, is negotiating with the media company, Cablevision, to sell the team for as much as $800m (pounds 500m), it reported.

Steinbrenner bought the Yankees of 1973 for just $10m, so he and his partners would make a handsome profit on the deal. Murdoch bought the Los Angeles Dodgers for $311m. Cablevision owns Madison Square Gardens, as well as television interests across America.

The rumours of a sale come after Steinbrenner has for years protested that, if he was not allowed to move the team to a better ground closer to the centre of Manhattan, he would dispose of the Yankees.

Though the team is much loved in New York, there is little love lost between Steinbrenner and Yankees fans. Talks are said to be continuing, and to be quite far advanced.

While Mark McGwire of the St Louis Cardinals has electrified fans all summer with the home run race, it is the Yankees who have been racking up the games. They are currently 2-2 against the Cleveland Indians in the play-offs for the American League slot in the World Series.

The San Diego Padres looked set to sweep aside the Atlanta Braves for the National League slot, as they were 3-0 up in the seven-game series on Saturday.