SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 112: A GLIMMER OF HOPE

         MLB owners, "bowing to pressure" from mediator William
    Usery, agreed to cancel a Monday meeting in Chicago in which they
    were expected to declare an impasse in labor negotiations and
    unilaterally implement their salary cap proposal.  The decision
    by the owners "did not herald a breakthrough, but it frees the
    union from the threat of implementation while it conducts a 3-day
    executive board meeting in Atlanta starting Monday and formulates
    a counterproposal" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 12/1).  CNN's Mark
    Morgan called it "a surprising turn of events because with no
    counter-proposal forthcoming from the union, the owners were all
    set to unilaterally implenment their salary cap proposal next
    week in Chicago" (CNN, 11/30).  Braves President Stan Kasten: "I
    believe from everything that I have heard, that [the players] are
    going to Atlanta with the purpose in mind of coming out of there
    with something that does achieve a negotiated settlement."
    ESPN's Bob Sirkin: "The owners have, at least for the time being,
    put the ball back in the players hands" ("SportsCenter," 11/30).
         A SMALL OPENING:  MLBPA attorney Lauren Rich: "If there is a
    window, both sides found a way to keep it open a few days more
    and that's very important" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/1).  The players and
    owners meet again in Rye, NY, on December 9.      A REASON TO
    RELENT?  In New York, Joel Sherman reports that the
    implementation of the salary cap "was expected to put the most
    stress" on the owners unity.  Big market clubs such as the
    Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Orioles were expected to
    argue "behind closed doors against imposition of a salary cap"
    (N.Y. POST, 12/1).
         THE PLAYERS' TASK:  Sources said that Usery "came down hard
    on the union for failing to make" a counterproposal, but union
    officials said they required more information on how the tax
    works and wanted their constituency to approve any response in
    Atlanta.  MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr: "It's our intention to take
    everything we've learned and hopefully produce the framework for
    a settlement" (L.A. TIMES, 12/1).  It is expected that more than
    100 additional players may show up in Atlanta at the 3-day
    assemblage of the union's 32-man executive board.  "If a
    majority, or near-majority, express desire for immediate
    settlement, it could be a Merry Christmas for all" (Jerome
    Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/1).
         NO DC HELP:  Incoming U.S. House Judiciary Chair Henry Hyde
    (R-IL) said the government should not get involved in the
    baseball negotiations (Mult., 12/1).
         ONTARIO LAWS:  Blue Jay officials have decided they will not
    field replacement players to start the '95 season.  Blue Jay
    President Paul Beeston: "The Blue Jays will not take part in
    breaking or flouting any law in the province."  Lawyers
    representing MLB owners have researched the issue and come to the
    "conclusion that they would be unlikely to win a challenge" to
    the Ontario law.  Beeston said the team would not challenge the
    law, but could do so if MLB ordered the team to do so.  Beeston:
    "We will make it clear that we're doing it at the behest of Major
    League Baseball" (Tim Harper, TORONTO STAR, 12/1).  Despite a
    similar Quebec law, the Expos "have received the green light to
    use replacement players" (Mike Zeisberger, TORONTO SUN, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Mets, New York Yankees, News Corp./Fox, Time Warner, Toronto Blue Jays, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • FOX PRESIDENT DEFENDS WORLD GOLF TOUR IDEA

         Fox Television President/CEO David Evans said the network
    "is not the bad guy in the World Golf Tour's conflict with the
    PGA Tour."  Evans: "It's easy to say Rupert Murdoch has thrown
    his money around and he and Greg Norman have tried to take over
    golf, but that's not the case."  Evans disputes PGA Tour
    Commissioner Tim Finchem's claim that the World Tour is "not in
    the best interests of golf."  Evans, who signed the contract for
    Fox to own the TV rights to the World Tour, said he is not sure
    how far the World Tour will go to stage its events in '95:  "I
    don't know whether they will try to take on the PGA Tour in the
    courts or whether that's a good idea.  But we at Fox are going to
    wait and see.  That's all we can do.  We're not about to engage
    in pro-active legal activities" (Thomas Bonk, L.A. TIMES, 12/1).
    In USA TODAY, Steve Hershey argues in favor of a World Tour
    concept (USA TODAY, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, News Corp./Fox, PGA Tour
  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 62: DECEMBER HAS ARRIVED

         "Throughout the NHL labor dispute, you have repeatedly been
    told the next meeting is pivotal to the process.  Well, this is
    no false alarm," writes Bob McKenzie in this morning's TORONTO
    STAR.  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman,  NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
    Goodenow and reps from both sides meet today in Chicago.  One NHL
    Governor:  "If this set of meetings becomes derailed, we maybe
    only have two or three days to get things back on track" (TORONTO
    STAR, 12/1).
         WHAT WILL THE PLAYERS PRESENT?  The "key" to the talks will
    be the NHLPA's counterproposal, developed through talks between
    the union's negotiating committee, players and agents.  Many are
    looking for the players to "bend" further on the three key issues
    -- free agency, arbitration and a rookie cap (CANADIAN
    PRESS/VANCOUVER SUN, 12/1).  "Someone with knowledge of their
    position said the union's offer to management [today] will be
    comprehensive, geared toward ending the lockout" (Joe Lapointe,
    N.Y. TIMES, 12/1).  One management source, on the NHLPA:  "It's
    getting to the point where they are going to have to make a
    decision" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/1).  Another management
    source:  "We consider these meetings to be critical.  (The NHLPA
    has) blown off the last week.  If their strategy is to delay and
    push us up against a deadline, that will be clear immediately"
    (Larry Brooks, N.Y. POST, 12/1).
         OR IS IT UP TO THE OWNERS?  One "prominent" agent said the
    owners "should recognize the players' attempts to strike a deal"
    (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 12/1).  "If the union's offering is
    viewed extremely negatively by management, it could erase
    whatever gains were made [in recent weeks]."  One "neutral"
    source:  "If owners walk away from this there will be no season"
    (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 12/1).
         WHAT TO LOOK FOR:  Concessions by the players on free
    agency, arbitration or the rookie cap could cause the owners to
    "ease" their luxury tax, or even possibly remove it from
    consideration (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 12/1).  On the rookie
    cap, the differences are strictly "numerical" -- the union seeks
    a $1.5M limit, with the league closer to $700,000.  On
    arbitration, the union is concerned about the league's proposed
    non-binding system -- whereby a team is not bound to an
    arbitrator's decision.  Even with an NHL concession that such
    "walkaway" players would be granted unrestricted free agency, the
    union has fears about the potential market for such players.  The
    union may propose limits on the number of "walkaway" arbitrations
    a team may use.  On free agency, the union opposes the league's
    "franchise player" system, in which a team retains the right to
    match any offer for its highest-paid players.  The union may
    propose that franchise players be guaranteed a certain salary
    level (Bob McKenzie, TORONTO STAR, 12/1).
         SOMEWHERE, PUCKS WILL BE DROPPING:  Team Gretzky kicks off
    its exhibition tour tonight against the IHL Vipers at The Palace
    at Auburn Hills.  Gretzky denies tonight's game and the
    subsequent European tour are designed to embarrass the league:
    "We're playing this for charity, for NHL oldtimers, not to stir
    up controversy. ... We want this tour not to go" (Gare Joyce,
    Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL, Palace Sports & Entertainment
  • WORLD CUP SOCCER SURPLUS TO BE SPENT OVER TIME

         According to U.S. Soccer Federation Exec Dir/Secretary
    General Hank Steinbrecher, the U.S. Soccer Foundation plans to be
    "very conservative" with the $60M surplus from the World Cup,
    "perhaps disbursing" somewhere between $5-6M a year.  That money
    "presumably would come" from interest and investment of the
    principal.  Steinbrecher: "We could spend all the money quickly
    and make a terrific impact and get a pat on the back.  But I'd
    rather have my grandchildren get that pat on the back."  A "prime
    candidate" for early funds: "deprived economic areas" (Jerry
    Langdon, USA TODAY, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
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