SBD/28/Leagues Governing Bodies

Print All

         Baseball owners and players will meet again at the
    bargaining table again Tuesday.  "The question is whether they
    have anything serious to discuss."  Union officials would not say
    yesterday whether they will have a counter-proposal ready for the
    session, which will take place at a conference center outside of
    Washington, DC.  At the last session, nine days ago, the owners
    put an escalating payroll tax plan on the table that the players
    have already said "is impractical in its present form."  The two
    sides are to meet separately today with Special Mediator William
    Usery (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/28).  The Tuesday
    session could be brief "because the players are expected to
    reject the tax proposal the owners made last week and they will
    not have the counterproposal the owners hope to see" (Murray
    Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/26).
         DECLARING AN IMPASSE:  It appears the owners are close to
    declaring an impasse and imposing their salary cap.  They have a
    meeting for all 28 owners scheduled for December 5 in Chicago,
    where such a move would likely take place (Mult., 11/25-28).  In
    a memo dated November 22, MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr warned the
    players of the owners' intentions (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES,
    11/26).  Braves President Stan Kasten said some system either
    agreed by both sides, or implemented by the owners, has to be in
    place by Dec. 6, because the next day is the deadline for clubs
    to offer arbitration (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/28).  In
    Baltimore, Tom Keegan predicts without a settlement by spring
    training, the new Congress will repeal the labor portion of
    baseball's antitrust exemption (Baltimore SUN, 11/27).
         BAGWELL OF GIFTS:  Both Phil Rogers (Dallas) and Tracy
    Ringolsby (Denver) note that the signing of Jeff Bagwell by the
    Astros may give a clue to what baseball's economics will look
    like post-settlement.  Rogers notes that the owners are offering
    a new tier of restricted free agency for five- and six-year
    players in both proposals on the table.  "Some believe owners
    eventually will sweeten the deal by taking away the right-of-
    first refusal to match offers for those players, rolling back the
    threshold for free agency from six years to four years."  Bagwell
    was at the end of his 4th year (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/27).
    Ringolsby notes that Houston is one of the teams in "financial
    limbo."  Astros owners Drayton McLane has projected losses of
    more than $22M for '94, and Astros GM Bob Watson has been
    "ordered" to get the '95 payroll below $30M (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,
         REVENUE SHARING:  The N.Y. TIMES obtained a copy of the so-
    called revenue sharing plan the owners agreed upon in Ft.
    Lauderdale last January.  Fifteen teams would have to pay into
    the fund in proportion to their revenue:  Yankees, Blue Jays,
    Braves, Orioles, Dodgers, White Sox, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers,
    Indians, Phillies, Cubs, Giants, Tigers and Athletics.  And 11
    teams would receive pay outs from the $22.957M fund:  Cardinals,
    Astros, Reds, Angels, Royals, Mariners, Brewers, Twins, Expos,
    Pirates and Padres.  The two expansion teams are exempt.  Figures
    are based on '94 pre-strike projections (Murray Chass, N.Y.
    TIMES, 11/25).

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Walt Disney

         After a somewhat optimistic outlook entering the U.S.
    Thanksgiving holiday, the NHL labor talks ended the weekend with
    a shortened session on Saturday and no communication between the
    two sides on Sunday.  NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow has spent the
    past few days sounding out players and agents on three main
    issues -- free agency, salary arbitration and a rookie cap.
    League negotiatiors "have left it up to the [NHLPA] to make the
    next move."  The two sides are expected to resume talks later
    this week, probably back in Boston (Alan Adams, CP/Toronto GLOBE
    & MAIL, 11/28).
         ROOKIE CAP:  NHLPA spokesperson Steve McAllister confirmed
    that a rookie salary cap had been agreed to in principle, but
    that Goodenow was working on the monetary "parameters" (Len
    Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 11/27).  The two sides are far apart
    on the limits.  The owners want the rookie average at about
    $750,000, but the union would prefer a level closer to $1.5M
    (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES, 11/27).
         RETURN OF THE TAX:  Union officials have threatened to walk
    away if the owners bring back their luxury tax.  But a management
    source says the players are bluffing:  "They know it is coming,
    so why don't they leave now" (CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/25).
    While some owners are "willing to discard" the payroll tax in
    return for other salary drags, sources say the players, "if
    threatened with no season, would accept a payroll tax that peaks
    at 30% if it's coupled with a gate tax" (Helene Elliott, L.A.
    TIMES, 11/27).  "Simply put, [the tax] is going to allow for or
    rule against commencement of the 1994-95 season" (Larry Brooks,
    N.Y. POST, 11/26).
         SCENARIOS:  In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont predicts that,
    following a Goodenow rejection of any CBA with a cap/tax
    included, Bettman will let the owners vote on the package "as it
    exists without the cap (rookie cap, more liberal free agency,
    changes in arbitration, "franchise" players).  With a non-
    recommendation from Bettman, the deal would need a 3/4 vote for
    approval -- which is not likely.  "The pressure would then be
    cranked high on Goodenow. ... Unless the hawks suddenly become
    cooing doves, ultimately it will be the players left to decide
    whether they want to come in and accept the wage-and-benefits
    package -- cap included -- that owners will offer.  Stalemate?
    Perhaps.  But there could be a key middle ground."  Dupont floats
    the idea of a mechanism built in the new CBA that could trigger a
    luxury tax at a certain inflationary percentage (BOSTON GLOBE,
         SOLIDARITY CHECK -- PLAYERS:  Some NHL sources say the
    likely deal "probably won't be much different from one the
    [NHLPA] could have made in August."  One NHL exec:  "Now
    (Goodenow) is going to have to explain to the players why they
    had to take two months off work to get it" (David Shoalts,
    Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/26).  "The players haven't cracked, but
    at least they've bent" (Red Fisher, MONTREAL GAZETTE, 11/26).
    Sources say the NHLPA is "not a model of solidarity at the
    moment."  There were reports over the weekend of a split "over
    whether the negotiatiors gave up too much to get a tentative
    agreement on a rookie salary cap" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES,
    11/28).  One player, reporting that calls to the union weren't
    returned last week:  "For the first time, I actually started to
    wonder, you know, about Bob (Goodenow).  What was he doing?  And
    I know I wasn't alone. ... It was a pretty good test of our faith
    in him.  But we just had to keep it.  I mean, we knew he wouldn't
    sell us down the river.  At least, we were pretty sure" (Roy
    Cummings, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/27).
         SOLIDARITY CHECK -- OWNERS:  In separate interviews,
    Penguins Owner Harold Baldwin and Flyers Owner Ed Snider showed
    two vastly different attitudes towards a settlement.  Baldwin:
    "I feel very strongly we should play over the holidays, and I'll
    have a much different attitude if we don't play."  Snider:  "I
    don't care if we never play.  I don't want to come out of a
    painful lockout and not have anything to show for it" (Joe
    Lapointe, N.Y. TIMES, 11/27).      SAME BAT TIME:  Maple Leafs
    President & GM Cliff Fletcher, leaving Boston on Saturday:  "See
    you at the next secret location" (Mike Shalin, BOSTON HERALD,

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs

         The Federal Trade Commission is expected to recommend that
    action be taken against the PGA Tour for "certain restrictive
    policies," according to sources close to the investigation.  The
    4-year-old inquiry by the FTC is coming to an end, "but it is
    uncertain whether sanctions will ever come to pass, as the matter
    may continue in various stages of department and judicial
    processes for a year or more."  Since '90, the FTC has been
    gathering depositions from players, sponsors, tourney organizers
    and TV officials focusing on the competitive effects of the
    tour's "conflicting events and television release rules."  Should
    a complaint be issued by the FTC, several possibilities exist,
    "including a negotiated settlement."  But if the parties do not
    agree, then they may appear before an administrative law judge
    (Chuck Stogel, BRANDWEEK, 11/28 issue).
         MORE WORLD TOUR REFLECTIONS:  In Chicago, Bob Verdi notes
    that the proposed World Tour has created "an epidemic of sponsor
    shock."  He wonders, "if you're a sponsor" and 30-40 of the top
    players are not participating in a PGA Tour event, "do you love
    golf or leave it?  And if corporate angels disappear, the PGA
    Tour would be in the throes of nothing less than a depression"
    (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/27).  NBC Sports Senior VP Jon Miller on the
    proposed World Tour that would be televised on Fox: "All the
    networks with relationships to the current structure have a lot
    to lose.  The PGA Tour has been the best run and best managed
    sport for individuals" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/25).  Larry Dorman notes
    that after a week of research, he could not find one ranked
    American player "who will stand up" and say that he is prepared
    to sign on with the World Tour (N.Y. TIMES, 11/27).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBC, PGA Tour

         "The recent profusion of professional and amateur
    competitions, pro-ams, exhibitions and made-for-TV events has
    thrown figure skating into chaos."  The Int'l Skating Union (ISU)
    allows skaters to make millions as pros, then lets them return to
    amateur status.  "Everyone's confused over who's eligible for
    what.  Which is why pressure is growing on the ISU to end the
    hypocrisy and open the Olympics to everyone in 1998."  Skater
    Paul Wylie: "The line is pretty bogus between pro and amateur.
    In the end, the best scenario for skating is to open it up."  For
    example, Oksana Baiul has turned pro, but wants to defend her
    Olympic gold.  She can make as much money as she wants as long as
    she declares amateur status by next April (John Powers, BOSTON
    GLOBE, 11/27).  In New York, Jere Longman examines the skating
    world:  "If this dizzying expansion has meant money for skaters
    and promoters, ratings for the networks and viewing opportunity
    for fans, it has also resulted in a byzantine, contradictory and
    confusing jumble of rules and eligibility requirements" (N.Y.
    TIMES, 11/27).
         WRESTLING ON ICE?  U.S. Figure Skating Association President
    Claire Ferguson -- who is a member of the ISU -- calls pro
    competitions (such as CBS' recent "Ice Wars") "bogus" because
    they lack uniform rules.  "Without these controls, she said,
    figure skating could lose its legitimacy as a sport and devolve
    into theater, as professional wrestling has done."  Ferguson
    believes the threat will fade "once the current set of champions"
    such as Brian Boitano and Katarina Witt retire from competitive
    skating or once TV audiences "wearied" of seeing essentially the
    same performances week after week (N.Y. TIMES, 11/27).

    Print | Tags: CBS, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Viacom
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug