SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

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).
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