SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 95: IS THE TIDE TURNING?

         The baseball labor negotiations adjourned Saturday "with a
    glimmer of hope," as owners will prepare a new proposal to be
    offered on Thursday in Washington, DC. Representatives of both
    sides met on Saturday for only about 15 minutes, but the
    principals departed "expressing renewed hope that a settlement is
    at least possible" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 11/13).  Word of
    a new proposal, after two-and-a-half days of discussions led by
    mediator William Usery in Rye Brook, NY, "is the first tangible
    sign of progress in the stalled labor talks in months" (Steve
    Zipay, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 11/13).  Red Sox CEO John Harrington, who is
    heading the owners' bargaining team:  "It is fair to say that
    this weekend was mutually productive. We've listened to what the
    players have said, and I think we're aware of their concerns to a
    greater degree" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 11/13).  Usery:
    "Both sides have been dealing in good faith" (N.Y. POST, 11/12).
    But MLBPA Exec. Dir. Donald Fehr remained cautious:  "We'll just
    have to wait and see what happens Thursday.  We'll be there"
    (Jayson Stark, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/13).  Braves President
    Stan Kasten said of the meetings scheduled for this week: "The
    understanding is that we will not leave until we have a deal"
    (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/14).
         THE PROPOSAL:  According to Sunday's N.Y. TIMES, the owners
    had a proposal ready to submit on Friday, but Usery convinced
    them to hold off, "fearing the proposal, retaining the [salary]
    cap concept, would be counterproductive."  Murray Chass writes
    that the new proposal will "come from the owners' desire to
    position themselves with a more realistic proposal to implement
    unilaterally if and when -- sometime next month -- they declare
    an impasse in the negotiations" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/13).  Although
    "sources" said the cap might be removed from the new deal,
    Harrington would not confirm that (Steve Zipay, N.Y. NEWSDAY,
    11/13).  But Hal Bodley writes that "owners will scrap the salary
    cap and replace it" with a "luxury tax."  However, "if the tax is
    too high, the union will reject the proposal because it would
    restrict spending" (USA TODAY, 11/14).  One "prominent baseball
    person" expected the owners to make a luxury-tax proposal, and
    believed the owners now favored a negotiated settlement based
    around a taxation system rather than the salary cap (Jayson
    Stark, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/13).
         WINTER MEETINGS:  With general managers beginning their
    annual meetings today in Phoenix, Peter Gammons writes that
    "there is a growing rift between the majority of general
    managers, who have to run the baseball operations and the owners
    and lawyers who have messed things up."  Discussions at the
    meetings will revolve around "downsizing payrolls" because of the
    losses of the strike and the "huge loss in national TV dollars"
    (Peter Gammons, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/13).
    

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  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 45: PLAYERS OFFER DRAWS A YAWN

         "To the players, it was a 'significant' concession.  To the
    owners, it was nothing," according to Damien Cox in Saturday's
    TORONTO STAR.  On Thursday, the NHLPA had offered a proposal
    "initially portrayed as a comprehensive scheme that would control
    entry-level player salaries through a variety of methods.  As it
    turned out, the proposal contained concepts, but no hard
    numbers."  One league official told the CANADIAN PRESS the offer
    was "the most insignificant concession in the history of labor
    negotiations" (TORONTO STAR, 11/12).  One GM:  "I thought we had
    a deal in the works.  Now I'm convinced we won't have a season.
    This thing has no teeth, no bite" (Jim Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY,
    11/12).  NHLPA VP Marty McSorley, on an ownership rejection of
    the players' offer:  "It would mean that there is no desire
    whatsoever for compromising.  It's an attempt for absolute
    control" (Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 11/12).
         THE LEAGUE'S OFFICIAL RESPONSE:  A statement was released on
    Friday by NHL Senior VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash:  "The NHL
    has not been offered a rookie cap.  Rather, the union has made
    some proposals relating to entry-level players, which are being
    considered as the negotiating process continues" (WASHINGTON
    POST, 11/12).
         WHAT ARE THEY AFTER?  In Toronto, Gare Joyce writes, "The
    players are willing to commit to a financial hit to get the game
    going again. ... But the league sounds as if it wants not just a
    quick fix but a far-reaching one to boot" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    11/12).  In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont writes Bettman and NHL
    owners want a "grand slam":  "The owners won't say it, but they
    must relish the union's softening.  Undoubtedly, they'll keep
    pushing Bettman to get more, bargain for a real rookie cap and an
    overall salary cap.  That's why their response on Friday was only
    a desire to keep talking at the table" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/13).
         THIS WEEK:  Sources say the NHL is preparing a counter-offer
    for tomorrow or Wednesday, when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and
    NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow are in Toronto for Hall of Fame
    ceremonies (CP/Vancouver PROVINCE, 11/13).
         DEADLINE TIME?  This morning, Dupont reports there could be
    a "significant change" in the NHLPA's strategy:  the possibility
    that the union "might pick a date in the near future and insist
    on a contract settlement -- effectively a drop-dead date" (BOSTON
    GLOBE, 11/14).
         PLAYERS TALK TOURNEY:  The NHLPA is considering several
    "major arenas" across North America for an international
    tournament this winter if the lockout continues.  Arenas
    mentioned:  The Palace at Auburn Hills, the Rosemont Horizon, and
    sites in Minnesota, Hamilton and Saskatoon.  Palace/NBA Pistons
    President Tom Wilson:  "We'd be very interested."  NHLPA execs
    say the tournament could begin in late December or early January,
    after Wayne Gretzky and other stars finish their planned tour of
    Europe (Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 11/13).  Gretzky's agent, Mike
    Barnett, has "hit a few snags" in organizing the European tour,
    with available arenas (7,000 or more) the biggest problem.
    Barnett expects a 5-city tour from December 1-12 (Kevin Paul
    Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/13).  The Hamilton tourney raised
    $500,000 for Ronald McDonald Charities of Canada and $200,000 for
    minor league hockey (Mult., 11/14).
         QUOTE-BOARD:  Montreal writer Jeff Blair on the 4-on-4
    tourney:  "It was no worse than your average all-star game with
    better goaltending" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 11/13).  Flyers GM Bobby
    Clarke, a former NHLPA President:  "Read Marvin Miller's book and
    you'll know what Bob Goodenow is doing. ... If players start
    thinking management is the enemy, then we've got big problems"
    (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Detroit Pistons, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NHL, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Philadelphia Flyers, Wilson Sporting Goods
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