SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies

ANTITRUST EXEMPTION BROUGHT BEFORE THE HOUSE TODAY

     One of the "major confrontations" between owners and players
comes today on Capitol Hill, as the House Judiciary Committee's
Economic and Commercial Law Subcommittee holds hearings on
baseball's antitrust exemption (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST,
9/22).  Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-CO) expects "a lot of passion"
directed at both sides.  One baseball exec:  "It's going to be
ugly" (Steve Fainaru, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/22).  In Hartford, Jack
O'Connell recalls Casey Stengel's "rambling" testimony before the
Senate in 1958:  "Not much laughter is expected today" (HARTFORD
COURANT, 9/22).
     SCHEDULED TO TESTIFY:  Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig,
MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr, Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser, NABPL VP
Stanley Brand (representing the minors), author John Feinstein
and Sports Fans United's Adam Kolton.  Other owners, the Red Sox'
John Harrington and the Rockies' Jerry McMorris are expected to
attend.
     IS THIS THE YEAR?  While Congress has often reviewed the
exemption but taken no action, MLBPA officials "seem to regard
this as the best chance they've ever had to get the exemption
repealed, or at least limited."  But House Judiciary Committee
Chair Jack Brooks (D-TX) doubts Congress will take action this
year:  "It will probably go on into next year.  But it will be
right at the top of the radar screen then" (Mark Maske,
WASHINGTON POST, 9/22).  Rep. Jim Bunning (R-KY), a former player
and co-sponsor of the bill before the House, says chances of a
vote this year are slim:  "On a scale of 1 to 10, it's a 2,
because this is a critical election year and there are so many
other critical issues" (Mike Dodd, USA TODAY, 9/22).  Schroeder
predicts baseball will be "very apt to see action" if next year's
season seems threatened (ESPN, 9/21).  "Public anguish over the
players' strike and the owners' cancellation of the World Series
might help focus Congress' attention" (Thomas Mulligan, L.A.
TIMES, 9/22).
     PRO-EXEMPTION:  Giants owner Peter Magowan said without the
exemption the "Giants would be in Florida right now."  Magowan
added, "Congress doesn't have any business investing itself in
the midst of a labor dispute" ("Sports Center," ESPN, 9/21).
MLB's DC lobbyist Gene Callahan, comparing the movements of
franchises in other sports: "Fan stability is the Number 1 reason
here" ("Morning Edition," NPR, 9/22).  The NABPL's Brand "will
tell the committee that the minors could be devastated if
baseball loses the exemption" (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES,
9/22).
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