The Diamondbacks say they're happy to be in the NL and that's where they would prefer to remain.

Jerry Colangelo, the team's managing general partner, met Thursday with Commissioner Bud Selig when Arizona played in Milwaukee.

As part of the Diamondbacks' admittance as an expansion team in 1998, Major League Baseball reserved the right to move the franchise to the AL through November 2002.

Colangelo said recent market research shows 85 percent of his team's fans want Arizona to stay in the NL.

The AL West has lobbied for the Diamondbacks, and the major league realignment committee is scheduled to release its report at next week's owners meeting in Cooperstown, N.Y.

SAFE AT HOME: Terry Francona's job is safe despite the Phillies' terrible slide. In fact, the club is trying to extend the manager's contract beyond the 2000 season.

GM Ed Wade came to Francona's defense, saying the team's second straight late-season collapse was not the manager's fault. The Phillies, 13 games above .500 and in playoff contention a month ago, have lost 13 of 14.

"We're happy with the job Terry's done," Wade said. "The problems we're having right now could happen to a first-place club, a last-place club or a middle of the pack club. We're depleted right now." . . .

The Giants plan to extend the contract of Manager Dusty Baker beyond the 2000 season, the team's executive vice president said. Baker, 50, has one season remaining on his current $700,000-a-year agreement. . . .

Tony La Russa said he likely will wait until the Cardinals' season is over to decide whether to accept a two-year, $3 million contract extension as the team's manager.