By poor-mouthing the Marlins' operation. Huizenga may be looking for an excuse to liquidate his baseball holdings to help cover his other corporate costs, which include the recent purchase of Value Rent-A-Car for $77.5 million. He also could be positioning himself to make a stock offering of the Marlins, as he did with the Florida Panthers last year. In that deal Huizenga sold half the NHL team to the public and reaped $70 million. In any case, it's unlikely he'll sell the franchise (estimated value: $123 million) to a buyer who would move it. That would diminish the value of Pro Player Stadium, and Huizenga has indicated recently that he has no interest in unloading that property.
Acting baseball commissioner Bud Selig affirms that Huizenga is losing as much as he says he is on the Marlins. But skeptical South Floridians aren't likely to have their doubts about Huizenga's bottom line allayed soon. According to The Miami Herald, Marlins president Don Smiley agreed to show the team's books to reporters last week, then canceled the meeting.
Games and Sweet Music
The World Scholar-Athlete Games unfolded over the past two weeks at the University of Rhode Island with a very international, decidedly un-Olympic feel. The nearly 2,000 competitors, students ages 16 to 19, from 144 countries and all 50 states, played with, as well as against, their counterparts from other countries. "We had kids from Israel and Egypt playing doubles tennis together," says Dan Doyle, the former Trinity College basketball coach who created the Games, which were first held in 1993. "We had kids from Ireland and Northern Ireland on the same basketball team. There were cultural differences, and not everybody loved everybody else. But everyone got along."
Held under the auspices of the Institute for International Sport, the Games featured seven sports and several Division I-A prospects, including seven-foot Ajou Deng of Sudan, who has a basketball scholarship from UConn. Some students eschewed the rough and tumble for such cultural endeavors as dance, theater and music. Paul Fede, a two-sport star at Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket, R.I., opted to play the French horn. "It's a sacrifice not to play sports at the Games," Fede said. "But the idea of people from all over the world coming together to play in an orchestra appealed to me more."
Lefthander Ila Borders, the only woman to pitch in a regular-season professional baseball game (SCORECARD, June 16), was traded last week from the Class A Northern League St. Paul Saints to the Duluth-Superior Dukes. Saints manager Marty Scott wanted to "give her a chance to pitch more and find out more about her ability."
The Dukes have the league's worst ERA, so they were happy to get Borders for infielder Keith English. The 23-year-old English, however, was a bit unnerved. "I'll probably be the most hated person in St. Paul—they're losing their Ila," he said shortly after the deal. Then he added, "I got traded for a girl. It can't get any worse than that."
Poor English was wrong on both counts. St. Paul fans never booed him, but that's because things did get worse. Before he played a game for the Saints, they demoted him to the Canton (Ohio) Crocodiles of the Frontier League.
A Legend Remembered