- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2006

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

An investment group led by local businessmen Fred Malek and Jeffrey Zients met in Milwaukee yesterday with Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig in the final round of talks to determine the new owner for the Washington Nationals.

The Malek/Zients group, one of eight teams vying for ownership, met with Selig to introduce newer investors, including Howard University president Patrick Swygert, and Anthony A. Lewis , president of Verizon Washington, D.C., and chairman-elect of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce.

The meeting comes after MLB president Bob DuPuy met in the District on Monday with members of a group led by the family of local real estate mogul Ted Lerner. That meeting was also called to introduce new black members, including former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater and BET executive Paxton Baker. The Lerner bid would also include former Atlanta Braves executive Stan Kasten.

Selig was not expected to make a decision immediately following the meeting yesterday, people with knowledge of the talks said, but could reveal his selection by week’s end.

Sources said Selig likely will choose between the Lerner or Malek/Zients group, but that a group led by Indianapolis communications executive Jeff Smulyan is still under consideration.

MLB officials did not return messages requesting comment.

Tim Lemke

Got a question about the Nats? Mark Zuckerman has the answers. To submit a question, go to the Sports Page

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