SBD/30/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 172: TALKS TO RESUME THIS WEEK

         Baseball owners are expected to make the "first move when
    talks resume" Wednesday in Washington, possibly by making a new
    proposal.  "But don't expect major movement."  Braves President
    Stan Kasten: "Thus far, the union has been resolutely unwilling
    to address the economic problems of our game. ... If that doesn't
    change, nothing is likely to happen" (Ronald Blum, AP/CHICAGO
    TRIBUNE, 1/29).  According to Peter Gammons, the moderate owners
    have convinced the hawks to offer up a new proposal, "one without
    the salary cap and with an offer based on what the owners walked
    away from in Rye Brook and Washington."  It may be "something
    akin" to a 25% secondary tax triggered at a particular payroll
    figure.  The players' starting point was $64M, but, more
    logically, the number rests between $35-40M, with fifth year
    unrestricted and fourth year restricted free agency.  Gammons
    concludes by asking if MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr is "too
    preoccupied" with the NLRB and the antitrust exemption to listen
    to this offer (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/29).  In New York, Tom Keegan also
    notes the likelihood that the owners will offer a proposal
    without the cap (N.Y. POST, 1/30).  Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris:
    "There's a sense of urgency now that if we don't get something
    done, somebody else is going to do it for us" (WASHINGTON POST,
    1/28).
         FROM THE PLAYERS' POINT OF VIEW:  The union will hold a
    meeting of its executive council in Washington tomorrow.  The
    agenda includes whether to lift the player signing freeze, the
    question of who among minor league players should report to
    spring training, a possible schedule of games under Reebok's
    sponsorship, and the status of managers, coaches and trainers as
    recipients of union benefits (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 1/29).
         MORE ON FALLOUT FROM THE NBA CASE:  In Denver, Tracy
    Ringolsby reports that MLBPA staff had helped prepare the NBPA's
    case before the 2nd Circuit, in which Judge Winter ruled that
    antitrust laws do not prevent teams from imposing work rules,
    such as salary cap.  "And Fehr told players and agents he was
    confident of victory the NBA players, which he said would
    strengthen the challenge of baseball's exemption" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN
    NEWS, 1/29).  Harvard Law Professor Paul Weiler notes that an NFL
    case in the DC Circuit will soon produce the opposite decision,
    and sees the issue heading to the Supreme Court (Peter Gammons,
    BOSTON GLOBE, 1/29).
         NIGHTLINE FOCUS:  ABC's "Nightline" examined the possible
    use of replacements by MLB.  ABC's Jeff Greenfield traveled to
    two camps to talk with players trying out for replacement teams.
    Braves 3B Terry Pendleton:  "This time it seems like they're just
    playing hard ball and saying 'This is the way it's going to be.
    I don't care how many compromises the union makes, this is the
    way it's going to be.'"  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Columnist John
    Harper, who tried out at a replacement camp, on when a possible
    settlement:  "They won't go long with these replacement players.
    ... If a couple of big names cross, it's easier for the little
    guys to justify coming in, so that's the key" (ABC, 1/27).
         NEWS & NOTES:  Looking ahead, Peter Gammons notes some of
    the new owners such as Red Sox CEO John Harrington, Rockies Owner
    Jerry McMorris, Giants Owner Peter Magowan, Astros Owner Drayton
    McLane and Padres Owner John Moores will step into positions of
    leadership in MLB when the strike is over (BOSTON GLOBE,
    1/29)....Baltimore city councilman Joseph DiBlasi has introduced
    an ordinance to would make it illegal for replacement players to
    play games at Camden Yards.  MLB would be fined $1,000 for every
    game that violated the ordinance (Mult., 1/28).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NBA, NFL, Reebok, San Diego Padres, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • NBA'S BAD BOYS PROFILED ON SITV, WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS

         ABC's "Wide World of Sports" featured a video version of
    Phil Taylor's "Bad Actors" article in SI's January 30 issue.
    Taylor interviews Bulls Coach Phil Jackson, Former player/radio
    talk host Norm Van Lier, as well as NBA Commissioner David Stern.
    Stern: "So, you've got three players missing practice.  The same
    number have been missing practice for the last fifty years of our
    existence, but you need something to write about. ... Each of
    those acts that make you wince, also make news in an incredible
    way.  And that's the price of having the kind of coverage we
    have.  None of it is excusable, if you are paid to play and you
    are paid to practice, then you should show up and you should play
    and you should practice" (ABC, 1/28).
         TWO PLAYERS RESPOND:  In the wake of the SI story, the Nets'
    Derrick Coleman released a statement "vowing to stay a Net,
    pledging full support" for Nets Coach Butch Beard and promising
    to become a team leader (Shaun Powell, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/29).
    Coleman insists the timing of his statement had nothing to do
    with the story, which prods Ailene Voisin to write, "Uh, huh"
    (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/29).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Chicago Bulls, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Brooklyn Nets, Sports Illustrated, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • RESULTS FROM THE ORIOLES' FAN INTEREST SURVEY

         The results of a poll conducted by Peter Hart Research for
    the Orioles surveyed 500 of the club's "most ardent -- and
    financially committed -- customers."  On the use of replacements,
    80% OPPOSE, 16% FAVOR.  Replacement baseball as "major league
    baseball":  88% WOULD NOT CONSIDER it "major league baseball,"
    10% WOULD.  On the team's decision not to use replacement:  82%
    FAVOR, 13% OPPOSE.  Asked whether they would have interest in
    replacement baseball, 42% said they WOULD, 27% said "VERY
    LITTLE," 20% "JUST SOME," 7% "QUITE A BIT," and 3% A "GREAT
    DEAL."  On feelings toward MLB if replacements are used, 47%
    would be "MUCH MORE NEGATIVE," 26% would be MORE NEGATIVE, 21%
    would have NO CHANGE, and 4% would be MORE POSITIVE (Baltimore
    SUN, 1/29).    REACTION:  Not only does the poll "firm" Orioles
    Owner Peter Angelos' position that Baltimore fans are against the
    replacement concept, "but it also may provide some ammunition if
    the Orioles are forced to defend that position in a court action
    against Major League Baseball."  The latest MLB poll results "are
    expected to be released by the commissioner's office" today.  MLB
    spokesperson Rich Levin notes:  "Our polls and all of the polls
    we've seen contradict the Orioles' poll."  Orioles Owner Peter
    Angelos: "What's significant about our poll is that it is season-
    ticket holders.  They are the financial foundation of every
    major-league franchise.  I would hope that it would alert owners
    all over to the very negative consequences of using unqualified
    players" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 1/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • TAGLIABUE GIVES ANNUAL "STATE OF THE NFL" ADDRESS

         NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue addressed the media Friday
    in his "State of the NFL" speech.  Excerpts and reactions follow:
         ON LABOR ISSUES: "Under this agreement, we are paying more
    money to the players than any other sports league, we are paying
    a higher percentage of the revenues than any other sports league.
    ... If you look at what this agreement provides, I don't think
    you don't have to worry about court cases, I think you have to
    worry about common sense and keeping this thing going in a way
    that is beneficial to the teams and the players.  This agreement
    is clearly the most beneficial to players in all of professional
    sports."
         ON THE RAMS MOVE: "If I find that the Rams move doesn't
    satisfy the guidelines we have in place, I'll recommend against
    it. ... Certainly, no decision has been reached in one way or the
    other as to whether the Rams move is in the league's best
    interest or satisfies the guidelines which we have in place."
         ON FUTURE EXPANSION: "We don't have a timetable in
    considering the next expansion. ... We'll take a look at future
    expansion sometime in '96, and try to get a timetable if one can
    be developed. ... Those areas in Canada and Mexico will certainly
    be viable candidates."
         ON THE BUILDING OF STADIUMS: "We're going to have to work
    very closely with cities and states in partnerships.  That's been
    done in most parts of the country, it's being done not only in
    football but other sports."
         ON THE BUCS RECORD SALE PRICE: "What it reflects is the
    strength of the league. ... A group of teams bound together with
    revenue sharing, bound together with pooled television, bound
    together with a licencing and marketing company that works for
    all 30 teams.  The values of all the franchises are supported
    because of the television revenue and the strength of the league.
    ... No team is out there left on its own in economic terms to
    fend for itself" (ESPN, 1/27).
         REACTIONS:  Most reports focused on Tagliabue's statements
    that the league is reconsidering the use of instant replay.  But
    others used it as an opportunity to review Tagliabue's tenure in
    the job.  Mike Lupica writes, "Nobody ever gives Paul Tagliabue a
    call in the World's Smartest Commissioner Contest, and his league
    probably runs smoother than all of them" (N.Y. NEWSDAY,
    1/29)....Wallace Matthews writes Taglaibue was "spinning harder
    than an industrial washing machine on rinse" (N.Y. POST, 1/28).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Walt Disney
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