SBD/10/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 91: IMPASSE DECLARATION LOOMS

         Ownership sources confirmed that if a settlement can not be
    reached, MLB owners plan to declare an impasse in negotiations
    and unilaterally impose a proposal that includes a cap on players
    salaries by December 19.  The two sides return to the bargaining
    table today and negotiations are scheduled to run through the
    weekend.  MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr said he does not expect a
    breakthrough:  "I have no reason ... to believe their position
    has changed at all" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 11/10).  The
    union is not expected to make any new proposals.  Management
    negotiators have developed a revised proposal but will see how
    talks develop before deciding whether to present it at these
    sessions (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/10).
         REPLACEMENT PLAYERS:  A senior exec with the Detroit Red
    Wings has told WJR-Radio in Detroit that baseball owners will
    open spring training in 1995 with replacement players, and plan
    to lure fans back to ballparks by cutting ticket prices in half.
    According to the source, owners believe that large numbers of
    striking players will break ranks and cross picket lines either
    during spring training, or early in the '95 season.  The Red
    Wings are owned by Mike Ilitch, who also owns the Detroit Tigers
    (WJR Radio, 11/9).
         REAX TO OWNERS AD:  The players yesterday were not pleased
    with the owners full-page advertisement in yesterday's editions
    of USA TODAY, which restated the owners' concerns about the
    game's economic health.  Fehr: "The ad was timed and phrased to
    be provocative.  It's a clear indication that they are thumbing
    their nose at the world and the mediator.  If you take it at face
    value, there's no reason to talk to them."  But MLB Acting
    Commissioner Bud Selig maintained that the letter merely restated
    the owners position and was not designed to be "confrontational"
    (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Detroit Tigers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • GOP TAKEOVER OF CONGRESS MAY STRIKE OUT ANTITRUST EXEMPTION

         The Republican takeover of Congress figures to have an
    effect on the congressional dispute over whether to repeal
    baseball's antitrust exemption.  Many GOP legislators have gone
    on the record and said they would support any attempts to take
    away the exemption.  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will become chair of
    the Senate Judiciary Committee and is likely to be more
    sympathetic to any future moves on the players' behalf than the
    outgoing chair, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE).  And on the House side,
    Rep. Jim Bunning (R-KY) -- a former ballplayer -- is expected to
    use his new clout to be an even stronger advocate for the players
    than when his party was in the minority.  A senior staffer at the
    Senate Judiciary Committee predicts that the GOP takeover favors
    the players: "If they see that the strike is still going on or
    the owners are threatening a lockout from spring training, I
    think Congress will very much say that ... this is ridiculous"
    (Larry Tye, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 41: THE RUMOR MILL CHURNS

         Negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA are set to resume
    today, the first time the two sides have met twice in one week
    since October 4-5.  Reports vary widely this morning on
    concessions that could be made by either side, and whether there
    should be cause for optimism.
         LET'S OPEN ON A POSITIVE NOTE:  NHL Senior VP & Dir of
    Hockey Ops Brian Burke was quoted on ESPN Radio yesterday as
    saying, "I am optimistic that a deal can be worked out to save
    the season" (Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 11/10).  ESPN's Jack
    Edwards reports an unnamed management source told the AP that "a
    lot hinges" on today's meeting, and if the "tone continues to
    improve" through next week, games could be played by December 1.
    Edwards did add, "Others aren't so optimistic" ("SportsCenter,"
    11/9).  One management source "said that if negotiators make
    significant progress today, they will meet throughout the weekend
    in hopes of producing an agreement next week" (Helene Elliott,
    L.A. TIMES, 11/10).      JUST ADD COLD WATER:  According to the
    CANADIAN PRESS, NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow denied making any
    specific proposals:  "Since the league rejected our last proposal
    on Oct. 10, we have not made another proposal -- not at all"
    (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/10).  One "ranking league official":  "I was
    pretty excited about things getting done, the reports I heard,
    the papers I've been reading, a seven-hour meeting, ESPN saying
    good things -- everything was very positive.  Turns out it was a
    joke. ... They were together for four hours tops, and that might
    be stretching it.  Nothing got done" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES,
    11/10).  Agent Steve Freyer:  "From speaking with the people who
    were involved, there certainly were no concessions specifically
    made on either side"  (Stephen Harris, BOSTON HERALD, 11/10).
         WHOLE LOTTA SOFTENIN' GOIN' ON?  In Boston, Nancy Marrapese
    cites sources who say the union "has softened its stance and
    could be willing to accept a deal that includes the elimination
    of Group 1 free agency, a far more restrictive salary arbitration
    system and a rookie salary cap.  In return, the players would
    want their 1994-95 salaries paid in full" -- no matter how many
    games are canceled (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/10).  The AP was also
    reporting that the players had "softened their stance" on a
    rookie cap.  Burke, who suggested such a move could "jump-start"
    the talks:  "I wish that were the case" (CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    11/10).  In Washington, Len Hochberg reports that the league is
    "softening its stance" on arbitration.  According to a fax sent
    to the 26 teams Monday night, "the league would agree to a
    arbitration for 'a group of players in a modified form to be
    negotiated'" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/10).  In L.A., Helene Elliott
    reports, "if pushed," the league would drop its payroll tax for a
    rookie cap.  "Instead of a hard salary cap, the NHL has proposed
    a compensation pool that would be divided among all clubs to pay
    rookies each season.  Clubs that exceed their allotment, as they
    might to pay an exceptional rookie, would pay a penalty.
    Salaries in players' second and third seasons would follow a
    predetermined formula and could be supplemented by bonuses" (L.A.
    TIMES, 11/10).  Steve Freyer said the NHLPA might accept a rookie
    cap, but added, "Is it a deal-maker?  No."  Bruins President & GM
    Harry Sinden concurs:  "It's a very important piece, but
    certainly secondary to the primary problem of tying salaries to
    revenues."  Sinden said it was "ridiculous" for the players to
    think they might be paid for a full season (Stephen Harris,
    BOSTON HERALD, 11/10).
         UNITED HOCKEY LEAGUE?  Edmonton-based agent Rich Winter
    leads a group that is seeking to form a new league if this season
    is canceled.  Winter:  "This may be less pie-in-the-sky than
    people think."  Winter said there is interest among owners of IHL
    franchises "in large, modern buildings in large cities" (Joe
    Lapointe, N.Y. TIMES, 11/10).
         TEAM NOTES:  WJR-Radio in Detroit cited a Red Wings official
    who said the team was "penciled in" for a $3M loss for the '94-95
    regular season (WJR, 11/9)....In Dallas-Ft. Worth, Mike Heika
    writes the Stars "are skating on relatively thin ice" compared to
    "established franchises."  Stars President Jim Lites:  "There's a
    definite reality starting to overcome us. ... It's hard to get
    the momentum back" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/10)....The K.C.
    Blades and Minnesota Moose played an IHL game in San Jose.  The
    17,190-seat arena "was slightly more than half full."  The game
    was for the benefit of Sharks season-ticket holders, with no
    tickets sold (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL, San Jose Sharks, Southwest Sports Group, UHL, Walt Disney
  • NHL GETS ONE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT

         As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, NHL
    officials and linesmen are in the process of considering a league
    offer that would see them earn 72.5% of their annual salaries
    even if they don't officiate a single game this season.  The NHL
    has told officials that they will also receive credit for
    seniority as if they had actually been working.  The NHLOA is
    expected to ratify the CBA by early next week (Al Strachan,
    TORONTO SUN, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
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