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RATING THE MAJOR PLAYERS: FAILING GRADES ABOUND
Published September 16, 1994
"THE GREAT LAKES GANG": In the latest issue of THE SPORTING NEWS, Steve Marantz profiles the Acting Commissioner Bud Selig, White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf, Cubs President Stanton Cook, Braves Chair Bill Bartholamay and Twins Owner Carl Pohlad -- "the Great Lakes Gang" -- who engineered the "coup" to dump Fay Vincent in '92 and now stand as "the most powerful coalition of owners." Some believe that if a new coalition rises up to challenge them, it could be "The Merchandisers" -- the Astros' Drayton McLane, the Rockies' Jerry McMorris, the Royals' David Glass, the Giants' Peter Magowan, the Tigers' Mike Ilitch the Marlins' Wayne Huizenga, and possibly the Mariners' John Ellis. Of that group, Glass, the CEO of Wal-Mart, "may be the most influential" (THE SPORTING NEWS, 9/19 issue). BULLPEN CALL: Agent Tom Reich said replacing Richard Ravitch with Red Sox CEO John Harrington would move baseball's shutdown "a giant step closer to settlement." Reich: "If this is going to get resolved, [Harrington] and a couple of others like him are going to have to get even more prominently involved in negotiations. ... John Harrington is one of the best minds in the business, and if there's hope for a resolution -- and it looks very hopeless right now -- it rests in the minds of people like Harrington." Reich called relations between Ravitch and Don Fehr "downright hostile" and "unacceptable": "This is not the Middle East" (Joe Giuliotti, BOSTON HERALD, 9/16). LAST-MINUTE MOVES: San Diego-based agent Tony Attanasio said he was encouraged by three unnamed owners to call Selig Tuesday night to offer a concept that Attanasio said, "seemed to draw some interest from Selig." The plan was based on the payroll and revenue tax plan, with an increase in the tax. Attanasio suggested a 5-year trial, "during which either side could reopen after two or three years." He also proposed joint ventures and that the MLBPA be involved in choosing the next commissioner. Attanasio was told by Brewers General Counsel Wendy Selig-Prieb that they would weigh the proposal. The next day, her father, Bud Selig, cancelled the season. Attanasio: "It made me realize that the whole thing was predetermined, as the union had tried to tell me. The owners never had a Plan B, never made a counterproposal" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 9/16).