D.C. City Council Chairman Sterling Tucker will make a presentation on behalf of baseball's return to the nation's capital at the Thursday meeting of National and American League club owners in Tampa, Fla.
Tucker's presentation, most likely before a joint session of the leagues, will be the first by a city official since the Washington Senators left in 1971 to become the Texas Rangers.
Tucker is not going to propose a specific lease agreement for a club at RFK stadium or endorse any particular prospective owner, an aide said. He may suggest that the so-called Galbreath lease proposal under which rent increases as attendance does, be used as a starting point for negotiations.
The Council chairman intends to place particular stress on the overall decrease in crime in the city and in the stadium area, plus the projected July opening of a subway station at the stadium.
Other area officials already have, or will, send telegrams supporting the return of baseball to Washington and emphasizing their belief that the game will prosper here. They include D.C. Mayor Walter E. Washington, Montgomery County Executive James P. Gleason, Prince George's County Council Chairman Amonett, Fairfax County Board Chairman Jack Herrity, Arlington County Board Chairman Joe Wholey, Prince George's County Executive Winfield Kelly, Metro general manager Ted Lutz and th Armory Board, the stadium's landlords.
It is not known whether the club owners will discuss any proposals regarding Washington, including the possible switch of the Oakland A's here as a National League team.
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the operators of the Oakland Coliseum threatened legal action before Finley paid $231,000 in back rent for the 1976 baseball season.
Finley, who said the A's lost $581,000 last year, admitted that the payment was tardy. He said the delay was because of an oversight on his part because he was preoccupied with his lawsuit against baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn.
Officials of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Inc., the private nonprofit firm that runs the facility, confirmed that they had been pressing for payment. Most of the charges were incurred before the baseball season ended.
"It's been an irritant getting the money," said Ray Ward, assistant general manager of Coliseum, Inc.
Finley said the first he heard of it was in letter two weeks ago from Robert Nahas, coliseum president.
"I called my controller and said' let's take care of this, it's embarrassing," Finley said.
Nahas, Ward, Oakland City manager Cecil Riley and others said Finley had been late before in meeting his obligations to Coliseum, Inc.
"This is not an atypical situation for Finley," Riley said. "This is not the first time there has been a problem where they have almost had to pull teeth to get him to pay money he owed."