SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • AS NEGOTIATIONS START UP, OWNER'S AD ANGERS UNION

         "Just as baseball's negotiators were headed back to the
    table to talk peace, a new phase of the war broke out yesterday
    between the owners and striking players."  The owners placed a
    full-page ad in today's issue of USA Today and issued a news
    release quoting acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig discussing the
    "fine tuning" baseball needs -- "presumably meaning a salary cap"
    (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/9).  The USA TODAY ad states that
    other professional sports organizations have maintained parity
    through "labor agreements that establish team salary mandates or
    ranges -- establishing pay ceilings, and just as important,
    salary floors."  In baseball, "competitive parity, especially in
    the smaller markets" has been threatened by "skyrocketing cost"
    (MLB).  MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr called ad "regrettable, but not
    surprising, given their motivation through all of this."  Fehr
    added that ownership has made it clear "their purpose is not to
    negotiate or reach an agreement but to conduct a public relations
    campaign aimed at the fans" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 11/9).
    Fehr also said owners are more interested in "setting the stage
    for implementation" of a salary cap, and "making it look like
    they're bargaining when they're not."  Selig said the union was
    "overreacting to what he called 'a way of communication with our
    fans, all of our fans, players and owners.'"  Selig: "The ad was
    placed two weeks ago ... It has nothing to do with negotiations"
    (N.Y. TIMES, 11/9).  Talks are scheduled to resume on Thursday in
    Rye Brook, NY.  Sources say there has been no change in positions
    regarding the salary cap, and that special mediator William Usery
    may not be able to keep the "owners at the table" at the time
    when they want to implement a salary cap, "probably within thirty
    days" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 11/9).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • FORMER BLUE JAY GM GILLICK SEE MINOR CHANGES

          Former Blue Jays' GM Pat Gillick sees major league clubs
    trying to save money by cutting minor league affiliates.  If a
    new baseball agreement enables players to become free agents in
    four years, rather than six, there could be less incentive for
    clubs to develop their own players, leading to more independent
    clubs selling players to major league teams.  Although the
    independent Northern League has prospered, Gillick says cutting
    down on the minors would be "foolish" for baseball.  He believes
    that if minor leaguers were paid and treated better it would
    create a stronger bond between the team and their players, and
    would encourage more young people to play baseball.  Gillick
    likes the way the game is presented in the lower leagues.
    Gillick: "I think there is a little bit of entrepreneurship out
    there and a little bit of showmanship.  I think we need a lot
    more imagination at the major league level.  I think you have to
    offer people a little more for their buck."  Among his ideas,
    having pitchers warm up closer to the stands so fans get a feel
    of how hard they throw.  Gillick: "We're in the entertainment
    business.  I'm not saying we need to be pro wrestling, but we
    have to put on a little bit of a show" (Larry Millson, Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL, 11/9).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Toronto Blue Jays
  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 40: "GUARDED OPTIMISM"

         ESPN's Keith Olbermann cited the Associated Press which
    quoted an "unidentified player agent" saying the NHL labor talks
    went well enough Monday that talks will resume either Thursday or
    Friday.  ESPN's Al Morganti says "significant movement" was made
    on the issues of the rookie salary cap and the arbitration
    system.  "For the first time in weeks," there is "some optimism"
    on both sides ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/8).  But in this
    morning's NEW YORK POST, Larry Brooks is not as optimistic.
    Brooks reports that "no negotiating -- repeat, no negotiating"
    took place.  Brooks calls the NHLPA head "Stonewall Goodenow"
    over his reluctance to negotiate and accuses Goodenow of simply
    raising questions at the last meeting -- "questions that should
    have been asked 10 months ago, if at all" (N.Y. POST, 11/9).
    "The fact that the two sides would meet again [in the same week]
    produced a sense of guarded optimism in hockey circles" (Alan
    Adams, CANADIAN PRESS/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/9).  In Toronto,
    Dave Fuller reports that at least four teams -- the Blues, Stars,
    Kings and Rangers -- are lobbying NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
    "to forge an agreement with the players union and start the
    season."  But the "hawks" among the owners "may actually be
    gaining strength" (TORONTO SUN, 11/9).
         NHLPA EXHIBITION:  Only two players showed for a "union-
    sanctioned photo opportunity and public relations exercise" to
    promote the 4-on-4 exhibition games at Copps Coliseum in
    Hamilton, ONT.  The NHLPA is hoping for a crowd of at least 8,000
    tomorrow, and possibly 10,000 each on Friday and Saturday.  Fewer
    than 20,000 seats have been sold, with "significant numbers" of
    complimentary tickets making up the difference (Damien Cox,
    TORONTO STAR, 11/9).
         NEWS & NOTES:  According to documents prepared for Madison
    Square Garden's sale by Viacom, which were obtained by the NEW
    YORK TIMES, the Rangers posted a $7.7M loss for the year ended
    December 31, 1994, not including the NHL Semi-Finals and Finals
    (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 11/9). ....The Lightning still
    have not paid players for working during training camp, payments
    that were supposed to have been made no later than November 1.
    Lightning Exec VP Mel Lowell cited confusion during the lockout,
    and said the players should receive their checks by the end of
    this week (Roy Cummings, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/9)....Some House of
    Commons members are pushing for inquiry into the work stoppage,
    with one Liberal MP threatening possible government intervention
    (Fuller & Durkan, TORONTO SUN, 11/9).
         FORMER PLAYER ASSESSES CURRENT LABOR STRUGGLE:  NHL Hall of
    Famer Ken Dryden examined the "Battle for Professional Sports,"
    focusing on the hockey work stoppage, in Sunday's TORONTO SUN
    MAGAZINE.  Dryden on ownership: "Without the prospect of labor
    peace on your terms, will you still get the $150 million
    (frachise fee).  I don't think Bob Goodenow ... yet understands
    this, or do his players. ... I fear we are closer to the
    beginning than to the end."  Speaking of hardliners Glen Sather
    of the Oilers and the Bruins' Harry Sinden, Dryden writes "Former
    players themselves, it is as if, after all their lives aspiring
    to climb this mountain, finding themselves at this current top,
    they feel cheated.  And resentful" (TORONTO SUN, 11/6).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Southwest Sports Group, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MOSS'S DREAM -- "GOOD BASEBALL AND HAVING A LOT OF FUN"

         Dick Moss, player agent and leader of the new United
    Baseball League, "is trying to turn a vision he has entertained
    for almost three decades into reality."  Moss: "I think there is
    a better way to play baseball and run it as a business. ... I
    always felt it should be broader.  There should be baseball in
    more cities."  Moss, who would like to place a team in Havana,
    Cuba "as soon as it is appropriate," hopes to make ownership
    announcements within the next 60 days (Tom Pedulla, USA TODAY,
    9/11).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • SOCCER IN '96, NOW MORE THAN EVER

         Major League Soccer has scheduled a news conference for
    November 16 in New York to announce that its start will be
    delayed until 1996 (USA TODAY, 11/9). "Since identifying seven
    league cities in June, there have been postponed announcements,
    missed deadlines and, mostly, silence" from MLS founder Alan
    Rothenberg.  Some reasons for not starting in '95:  MLS has
    failed to meet its original goal of raising $100M from investors;
    only 10 cities -- not 12 -- will be in place for Year One; only
    two of the named franchises met the season-ticket goal.  The new
    franchises expected to be named are Chicago, Kansas City and
    Tampa.  The Original Seven:  New York, Boston, New Jersey
    Meadowlands, San Jose, Los Angeles, Columbus and Washington, DC.
    "The biggest problem MLS has to contend with is its apparent
    failure to begin the league when it said it would."  At least one
    sponsor "is having trouble with the delay."  Reebok VP/Global
    Marketing Peter Moore: "It's been very frustrating because we had
    come to an agreement based on the '95 season and were poised to
    go, and then ... it became difficult to get information."  Among
    all the start-up problems, "raising money remains the most acute"
    (Cart & Jones, L.A. TIMES, 11/9).
    

    Print | Tags: Champ Car World Series, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS, Reebok
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