SBD/11/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 61: ODDS AND ENDS

     READ THE FINE PRINT:  This morning's CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports
that "several lawyers for both sides predicted" MLB owners "will
be unable to sell any major-league teams until there is a new
collective bargaining agreement."  Agent Tom Reich:  "Anyone who
buys a team until there's an agreement is a moron unless there's
an indemnification."  Acting Commissioner Bud Selig doesn't think
"any sales will be delayed."  Selig:  "Each deal will have to be
worked out differently."  The Pirates, A's, and Padres are
currently on the block (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/11).
     "OWNERS BENCH RAVITCH":  According to Bill Madden of the
N.Y. DAILY NEWS, Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris  -- who "has always
been classified as a moderate among owners" and "viewed as the
one with the most experience in dealing with labor unions" -- may
be the new point man for the owners when negotiations resume.
Madden:  "One thing that has become clear in the two-month hiatus
since the players walked:  Dick Ravitch is no longer batting
cleanup for management" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/9/94).
     THE LEGAL LINE-UP:  In Sunday's NEW YORK TIMES, Murray Chass
writes that MLB owners "face a legal wilderness of decisions that
history says they will mess up."  For anyone who has lost track
of the decisions that the owners must make, here's a run-down: do
owners "impose their 45-day freeze on player transactions?"; if
owners impose the freeze, "do they unilaterally suspend the
provision in the expired basic agreement that provides for triple
damages if clubs are caught colluding again?"; do owners "declare
an impasse" in the negotiations for a new labor agreement?; if
the owners declare an impasse, do they impose a salary cap?; if
the owners decide to declare an impasse and implement the salary
cap, "do they first make another proposal, changing the economics
to conform to the revenues from the strike-shattered season?"; do
owners appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court for a ruling on last
week's decision by the Florida State Supreme Court? (N.Y. TIMES,
10/9).
     BACK TO THE BASICS:  In Sunday's DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
Richard Alm provides a comprehensive review of the state of the
industry.  "Baseball is resilient.  In its 125 years as a
business, it has survived player revolts, rival leagues, the
Black Sox scandal and the rise of the National Football League,
National Basketball Association and other rivals for sports fans
dollars.  Whether it can weather this latest crisis will depend
on how successful the sport is in finding a way to put a good
product on the market and win back its customers" (DALLAS MORNING
NEWS, 10/9).
     MEANWHILE, IN ARLINGTON: The FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
recently conducted a mail-in survey of 3,200 people who purchased
seat bonds for the Rangers.  On a 16% response rate, the survey
found that about 25% of respondents were very dissatisfied, 14%
enough to not renew next year.  The other 11% "griped that they
were renewing only because the felt locked into the tickets by
their seat bonds."  80% of all respondents said they would renew
season tickets -- "of those, 69 percent gave unqualified yeses."
STAR-TELEGRAM Dir of Research Gary Kromer noted it wasn't a
"scientific survey," but said:  "It's a good indicator of the
depth of feeling among these particular fans" (STAR-TELEGRAM,
10/9).
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