SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 125: CAN USERY STEP IN AGAIN?

         For the second day in a row, talks between the owners and
    players went into the early morning hours.  "That they were still
    at it seemed amazing considering that the union had responded to
    the owners' deadline and fundamentally rejected their escalating
    tax plan during a joint meeting Tuesday morning" (Ross Newhan,
    L.A. TIMES, 12/14).  "There were no indications from either side
    that anyone had proposed a brilliant last-minute idea to end this
    endless strike.  Yet still they talked" (Jayson Stark,
    PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 12/14).  "Neither side wanted to be the
    first to say goodbye" (TORONTO STAR, 12/14).
         USERY TO THE RESCUE:  It had appeared yesterday afternoon
    that talks would break off, but Special Mediator William Usery
    convinced both sides to keep talking.  A smaller group from each
    side continued to meet (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
    12/14).  For the owners: Red Sox CEO John Harrington, Phillies
    Exec VP David Montgomery and management lawyers Chuck O'Connor
    and Rob Manfred.  From the union: MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr,
    Fehr's brother Steve Fehr, MLBPA General Counsel Gene Orza and
    players Jay Bell, David Cone and Tom Glavine (Mult., 12/14).
    A CONCESSION BY ANY OTHER NAME:  Many reports note that at one
    point during last night's talks, Fehr offered to "rid baseball of
    salary arbitration in exchange" for earlier or unrestricted free
    agency.  But the owners rejected that offer.  "For months, people
    in baseball and out speculated that if the players agreed to
    eliminate salary arbitration, the owners would drop their demand
    for a salary cap" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 12/14).  With the
    rejection of that concession, this dispute is clearly about the
    salary cap.  "No more, no less" (Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES,
    12/14).
         THE VOTE TO IMPLEMENT:  The owners' negotiating committee is
    expected to leave Rye Brook, NY for Chicago this afternoon.
    Tomorrow, the owners are expected to declare an impasse and vote
    to impose their salary cap system.  Twenty-one of the 28 owners
    need to approve the plan.  In Washington, Mark Maske writes, "It
    appears that the hard-line owners will have little or no problem
    getting the 21 votes" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/14).  But ESPN's Peter
    Gammons hints that the vote may be close and predicts the meeting
    will be "very interesting day of discussion."  In addition to the
    Blue Jays, who may not vote to implement because of the Ontario
    labor laws preventing the use of replacement workers, other teams
    oppose implementation ("SportsCenter," 12/13).  Orioles Owner
    Peter Angelos is expected to vote against implementation
    (WASHINGTON POST, 12/14).  Harrington again stated that the
    owners would not delay their vote (BOSTON HERALD, 12/14).
         EXPANSION:  In Chicago tonight, the owners will discuss
    expansion.  The Orlando group has yet to present its bid, but is
    expected to either tonight or tomorrow morning.  For more on
    Orlando's expansion effort.
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Walt Disney
  • CFL CONTEMPLATES A MOVE TO MILWAUKEE

         Milwaukee real estate developer Marvin Fishman has confirmed
    that he is exploring the possibility of bringing a CFL franchise
    to Milwaukee.  Fishman was a leader of a group that brought the
    Bucks to the city in '68.  He earlier had failed in an attempt to
    secure an AFL franchise for the city in '65.  Fishman "was
    reluctant to comment on his role, but did say he would be best
    defined as a consultant, not as a potential owner."  He did say
    that he opened talks with Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist about the
    idea after the Packers decided that they would no longer play any
    regular season games at County Stadium.  Norquist: "I am
    confident there will be pro football again in the Milwaukee area.
    Right now, our highest priority has to be to secure a place for
    the Brewers in Milwaukee."  CFL Commissioner Larry Smith said
    Milwaukee would probably acquire a current team, rather than an
    expansion franchise, but Smith "did not rule out the latter
    possibility."  Milwaukee is one of the five cities that Las Vegas
    owner Nick Mileti is considering as a potential home for his
    team.  The others:  Los Angeles, Orlando, Birmingham and
    Hartford.  The Brewers have to approve any potential tenant of
    County Stadium (Bob Wolfley, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, 12/13).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, CFL, Green Bay Packers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks
  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 75: INFORMAL TALKS ONLY

         Talks between the NHL and its players' union will resume
    today or tomorrow after contacts were made "at lower levels of
    both bargaining committees," according to a report this morning
    by the CANADIAN PRESS' Alan Adams.  Sources said the talks "will
    be held on an informal, though official, basis and not involve
    the full bargaining committees" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/14).
    One source familiar with the planned "get-together" stressed that
    it was "no big deal" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 12/14).
    There is, however, considerable "lobbying behind the scenes" by
    players, GMs, agents and league officials in search of a
    settlement (Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, 12/14).
         OUTLOOK:  League sources indicate that, "while the
    possibility for a deal without a tax system existed several weeks
    ago, it no longer does."  One source:  "The hardliners are taking
    over" (Damien Cox, TORONTO STAR, 12/14).  Hockey analyst Stan
    Fischler:  "It's now up to the union to make a sensible offer,
    they have been absurd up until this point, they simply have not
    had a dose of reality. ... I'm convinced, and others have said
    so, if the owners' offer were put to a secret ballot the players
    would approve it, but they are being led by a guy who to me is
    very unrealistic, Bob Goodenow" ("Sports View," 12/13).
         OWNERS QUOTES:  Whalers Owner Peter Karmanos:  "If the union
    really chumps us on this CBA and half the teams go out of
    business -- all the Canadian teams, the L.A. Kings and two or
    three that are weakly financed and front-loaded with salaries, is
    that good for the union?  They lose jobs."  On the talks:
    "Judging from the way I understand Bob Goodenow behaves in the
    negotiations, I'm surprised Bobby Clarke hasn't gone over the
    table and kicked Goodenow's rear end" (Jeff Jacobs, HARTFORD
    COURANT, 12/14).  Nordiques Owner Marcel Aubut predicts a deal
    will get done:  "It is just a feeling.  I feel comfortable in
    saying that the rationale of intelligent men will save the day"
    (CP/GLOBE & MAIL, 12/14).
         THE "I" IS WATCHING:  In Boston, Joe Gordon examines the
    possible consequences of an NHL cancellation for the upstart IHL.
    Agent Steve Freyer:  "It wouldn't surprise me, if the NHL season
    is dead, to see the IHL make a very aggressive move.  The numbers
    of players they could sign this year would be limited, but I
    would think they might sign players now for next season."  Bruins
    GM Harry Sinden:  "If the players want to go to the IHL and play,
    they're going to have to do it for 10 percent of what they're
    making now, and in our proposal we've guaranteed that the current
    salary level won't drop" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/14).  For more on the
    IHL.
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
  • IHL STRETCHES FROM PEORIA TO THE "HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH"

         The IHL awarded its 19th expansion franchise to the Richard
    DeVos family and Orlando.  The team will play in the Orlando
    Arena, home of DeVos' NBA Magic.  The Orlando franchise paid $6M
    to join the league and plans to spend around $1.2M to upgrade the
    arena for hockey.  Orlando Magic GM Pat Williams, who admitted
    that the new owners "do not know much about hockey":  "The whole
    thing happened in not much more than six weeks. ... They really
    came to us."  Williams said there was a possibility that the team
    will affiliate with the neighboring Tampa Bay Lightning, who
    played 5 regular season games in Orlando last year.  The IHL is
    expected to announce another expansion franchise in San Francisco
    today (Cammy Clark, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Orlando Magic, Palace Sports & Entertainment, RDV Sports, Tampa Bay Lightning
  • NEW MINOR LEAGUE IN SEARCH OF POTENTIAL FRANCHISE TOWNS

         Pat Gaffney, a representative of the Atlantic Coast League,
    has approached the Florence, SC, City Council about becoming a
    franchise city.  The ACL is not affiliated with any major league
    club and is set to begin its first season in June 1995.
    Spartanburg, SC, has already signed as one of the league's teams.
    Other SC cities being courted:  Sumter, Anderson, Orangeburg, and
    Greenwood.  Also:  Gastonia, NC  (Denny Seitz, FLORENCE MORNING
    NEWS, 12/13).
         MORE MINOR NEWS:  MD Baseball Limited Partnership Chair
    Peter Kirk hopes to bring a class-A team to Salisbury, MD by '96.
    He had hoped to start as an unaffiliated team in '95, but likely
    will start in '96 as an Orioles affiliate.  An announcement about
    the team nickname will be chosen soon from 1,700 entries (Kent
    Baker, Baltimore SUN, 12/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Comcast-Spectacor, Leagues and Governing Bodies
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