SBD/13/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 186: WHO WILL REPORT?

         Many reports over the weekend focused on the coming spring
    training report dates.  Pitchers and catchers for the Yankees,
    Mariners, Cardinals and Giants report this Thursday, while the
    rest follow throughout the weekend.  Most clubs will not reveal
    who their replacement players are and which of them are minor
    league prospects. Reds GM Jim Bowden: "If it gets into middle to
    late March, then we'll make the announcement of who the
    substitute players are.  At the end of March, we'll have them
    play more, so they'll get a chance to play together" (CINCINNATI
    POST, 2/12).
         CACTUS LEAGUE PREPARES:  While MLB and Cactus League sites
    make security preparations, Giants GM Bob Rose said that problems
    surrounding the strike and the use of replacement players are not
    expected.  Rose: "Our club and Major League Baseball, in the
    interest of acting responsibly in a possible strike situation,
    are making preparations for any possible scenario, as remote as
    it may seem."  MLB Security Dir Kevin Hallinan acknowledged that
    plans are in place for FL and AZ.  He called it a routine
    process, although the plan is a "few pages longer this year"
    (Mark Shaffer, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/11).  Friday afternoon's
    PHOENIX GAZETTE led with two stories on the economic impact of
    the strike to Cactus League cities.  The GAZETTE's Glen Creno
    cites winter weather in the East and a stronger economy, and
    writes, "The good news is that no matter how fouled up baseball
    is, it probably won't be an economic disaster for local tourism."
    The Cactus League's eight teams generate an estimated $265M for
    the state.  Jeff Metcalfe reports that the Cubs joined the A's in
    cutting their spring ticket prices (PHOENIX GAZETTE, 2/10).  A
    piece in the REPUBLIC notes that two Japanese baseball teams are
    using Phoenix as a spring training site -- the Chiba Lotte
    Marines and the Chunichi Dragons (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/11).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, YankeeNets
  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: THE DYKSTRA FALLOUT

         One day after Lenny Dykstra suggested that he might cross a
    picket line in April, Mets pitcher John Franco conceded that some
    players are "starting to get antsy": "Both sides need to give in
    a little."  When asked if he would cross a picket line, he first
    said, "No way," but added: "I'm not going to be one of the first
    guys to cross.  Who knows?  Maybe two, three, four months down
    the road.  Hopefully, I'm not crossed with that dilemma."  Last
    October, Franco felt differently:  "If someone crosses the picket
    line, once we get back in I'll be the first one to kick his
    [butt]."  Franco said his October comments got "blown out of
    context":  "At that time, they asked me about minor-leaguers
    coming in.  I should have worded it a little better" (Jon Heyman,
    N.Y. NEWSDAY, 2/11).
         MLBPA'S ANGELOS?  MLB General Counsel Chuck O'Connor
    downplayed Dykstra's comments:  "It's obvious that there are
    individuals in each group, clubs or players, that are going to
    express dissatisfaction with the approach their side is taking.
    They have Lenny Dykstra.  We have [Orioles Owner] Peter Angelos"
    (WASHINGTON POST, 2/12).  Free agent Rob Dibble: "If 10 or 15
    guys cross the line, that's 10 or 15 we don't need in the union.
    ... I might never pitch in the big leagues again.  But I believe
    in the union" (ESPN, 2/11).   PUBLIC OPINION WAR:  Sunday's N.Y.
    TIMES ran opposing op-eds from MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr and
    Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.  Both gave their explanations
    for why talks broke down at the White House.  Selig: "We do know
    that the clubs played by the rules throughout the long process.
    Unfortunately, just as we were about to reach the end, the rules
    were changed on us."  Fehr: "All the players have ever wanted
    from the government is equal protection under the laws,
    specifically the antitrust laws" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/12).  Meanwhile,
    Fehr has scheduled two player meetings for late this week in
    Tampa and Phoenix.
         IN WASHINGTON:  Senate Judiciary Chair Orrin Hatch and Sen.
    Pat Moynihan tomorrow will introduce a bipartisan bill dealing
    with MLB's antitrust exemption.  In a letter to Hatch, Fehr said
    that he will recommend to the players that they end their strike
    if the legislation is enacted (Maske & Swoboda, WASHINGTON POST,
    2/11).  Fehr and Selig will be in Washington tomorrow to testify
    before the Judiciary Committee on the exemption.  As Murray Chass
    notes, even if the players end their strike with the passage of
    this legislation, it is likely the owners would lock them out
    (N.Y. TIMES, 2/12).  Peter Gammons notes that "the only thing the
    union and owners agreed on" is that Labor Secretary Robert Reich
    is "an amateur" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Baltimore Orioles, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Mets, Walt Disney
  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART III: NEWS FROM MLB MARKETS

         BALTIMORE:  Orioles Owner Peter Angelos told a local TV
    station that he thinks the strike will be settled within the next
    two weeks.  Angelos: "The two sides are closer than they realize.
    ... If the two sides get together and look at [Usery's proposal]
    as a starting point, this thing can be worked out in two weeks"
    (Baltimore SUN, 2/13).  Oriole Player Rep Mike Mussina said there
    is restlessness among the players: "I'm not dumb enough to
    believe there's 100 percent solidarity" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/13).
         BAY AREA:  A sampling of A's and Giants players revealed
    mostly solidarity.  "None supported Dykstra's feeling that the
    union should consider" Usery's proposal (Michael Martinez, SAN
    JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/12).
         BOSTON:  Red Sox' Mo Vaughn said he wishes the union would
    take a secret ballot to determine whether to end the strike to
    prove the solidarity of the players: "I'm not necessarily
    frustrated with the fact we're not playing, but how we look to
    everybody on the outside. ... There's a professional way of going
    about things, regardless of how you feel inside."  Vaughn thinks
    more players will speak out in the days ahead (Nick Cafardo,
    BOSTON GLOBE, 2/12).
         CHICAGO: Jerome Holtzman critiques Fehr's efforts but does
    not call on him to step aside: "Had Fehr been willing to absorb a
    small setback, the strike could have been avoided.  And now ...
    perhaps as many as 30 or 50 percent of the union's members appear
    anxious for him to make a deal" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/12).
         CINCINNATI:  CINCINNATI ENQUIRER's Paul Daugherty writes,
    "When Dykstra says that players are 'running out of time' to cut
    a deal, I am thinking what he means is, players are 'running out
    of money' and 'running out of patience'" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,
    2/13).
         COLORADO:  Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris was very surprised
    President Clinton did not support William Usery's suggestions for
    a settlement: "Somebody got to him. ... I was stunned, and I'm
    still stunned" (Baltimore SUN, 2/11).
         FLORIDA:  MIAMI HERALD's Ed Pope writes, "Something
    infinitely worse than a stalemate is developing in baseball,
    something vastly more powerful than love for the game or hatred
    for those who have brought it this far down.  Sheer indifference"
    (MIAMI HERALD, 2/12).
         MONTREAL:  The Expos announced their replacement player
    ticket plan.  The club cut prices by 50% across the board (except
    for opening day) until the resolution of the strike, or a
    representative number of Major League players join the roster.
    Fans who purchase single game tickets have to pay full price and
    are eligible for the refund after the game is played (Montreal
    GAZETTE, 2/11).
         NEW YORK:  Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner was interviewed
    by N.Y. TIMES' Betsy Billard.  On the failed negotiating process:
    "I'm embarrassed by it. ... The only people that are coming out
    of this with anything to date are the lawyers."  On Peter
    Angelos: "Peter Angelos is okay.  He's a very smart man.  I don't
    think he's doing the right thing by not, up to a certain point,
    staying loyal to the rest of his co-owners" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Leagues and Governing Bodies, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, YankeeNets
  • INTERNATIONAL SKATING UNION TO OFFER PRIZE MONEY

         "Worried about losing its top Olympic Prospects to the pros,
    the International Skating Union probably will start offering
    prize money in the events it runs," according to John Powers of
    the BOSTON GLOBE.  The ISU is worried that amateurs will go for
    the money in made-for-TV events "now instead of later."  ISU
    President Ottavio Cinquanta: "A market is a market.  If a
    (professional) skater has better conditions, then we will have to
    work out things to give more money to stay with us" (BOSTON
    GLOBE, 2/12).
         SKATING UNDER THE SCOPE:  ESPN's Jimmy Roberts reported on
    the increased popularity and money in figure skating one year
    after the Harding-Kerrigan incident.  The money for professional
    figure skaters has increased substantially due to additional
    exposure through made-for-TV events.  Professional skating
    promoter Michael Burg called the Nancy-Tonya affair a "catalyst":
    "It stimulated the chemical reaction a lot faster than what
    naturally would have happened."  Paul Wylie, who was considering
    giving up pro skating to attend law school, says the Harding-
    Kerrigan has propelled the sport's growth: "There's no way I
    could go to law school now, it just wouldn't make sense."  USFSA
    President Claire Ferguson reports recreational rink usage is up
    200-300% (ESPN, 2/12).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Walt Disney
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