SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 190: CHIN MUSIC FOR DYKSTRA

         Lenny Dykstra went before 260 of his fellow union members to
    address the comments he made last week disapproving of the
    union's stance and hinting that he might cross a picket line.
    According to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore SUN, "He expressed
    his doubts and asked his questions and then generally submitted
    to the will" of the MLBPA membership in attendance (Baltimore
    SUN, 2/17).  Some MLBPA members "hammered him during the meeting,
    they said, not for the views he had expressed but because he
    spoke without being informed on the issues he spoke about"
    (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 2/17).  On ESPN's "Up Close," Dykstra
    claimed he had been contacted by 20 other "premier" players who
    wanted to meet with union leaders to force a settlement.  Frank
    Fitzpatrick writes, "There is now widespread belief, among
    players and agents, that no such conversations ever took place"
    (PHILA. INQUIRER, 2/17).
         OTHER REAX:  "One agent said the union hierarchy was less
    interested in changing Dykstra's mind than it was in having
    Dykstra's arguments picked apart in front of the other players"
    (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 2/17).  "By the time Lenny Dykstra
    stood before his peers, he had been chastised and ridiculed into
    submission" (Bob Nightengale, L.A. TIMES, 2/17).  "If there were
    dissenters in Thursday's group, they apparently kept quiet" (John
    Lowe, DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/17).  One player accused Dykstra of
    having the "backbone of a nerfball" for leaving later through a
    rear exit (Bob Elliott, TORONTO SUN, 2/17).  Andy Van Slyke:  "It
    was like a Christian going into the lion's den and 400 lions with
    fangs sticking out who haven't eaten in five hours"  (Mult.,
    2/17).  In New York, Tom Keegan writes the union was "so
    confident" of its members' unity that "they roped off the area
    within hearing range of the ballroom and posted a palace sentry
    out front" (N.Y. POST, 2/17).  Brett Butler, on what he said to
    Dykstra: "Lenny, you set us back two or three weeks.  It
    irritates me, if you want to be involved, if you want to know the
    issues, then you get your butt on a plane" ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
    2/16).
         FEHR SAYS NLRB DECISION WOULD END STRIKE:  MLBPA Exec Dir
    Don Fehr said for the first time that if the NLRB rules that it
    will seek an injunction to restore the old system, the players
    would end their strike.  But Jayson Stark notes that the owners
    "are likely to respond to such a ruling by locking players out"
    (PHILA. INQUIRER, 2/17).  CNN's Jim Huber reported the players'
    other list of conditions necessary for their return:  a new CBA;
    owners accept arbitration; one year of fact-finding followed by
    bargaining; passage of Hatch-Moynihan bill; or a return to the
    previous economic system ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 2/16).
         POLITICS, POLITICS:  The White House announced that
    President Clinton will not throw out the first pitch of any game
    played by replacement players (Mult., 2/17)....The American
    Federation of Teachers called on its membership to boycott all
    replacement baseball games (AFT).
         ON THE TUBE:  CNBC's "Sports View" profiled the situation on
    the first day of spring training for the first team to report --
    the Yankees.  Sports finance attorney Lawrence Swift: "The
    pessimist scenario is that replacement players will be hired and
    baseball, at least for the time being will go on being played in
    that fashion" (CNBC, 2/16).  The "CBS Evening News" profiled the
    Dodgers' return to Vero Beach with replacement players, including
    the economic impact on people in the area (CBS, 2/16).  ABC's
    "World News Tonight" gave an overview of the baseball situation
    as the seventh story of its newscast (ABC, 2/16).  The "NBC
    Nightly News" ran a photo of replacement Yankees trotting onto
    the practice field as their "Picture of the Day," but did not
    have a complete story (NBC, 2/16).
    

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: ONCE AROUND THE LEAGUES

         BALTIMORE -- PLAYERS, MANAGEMENT UNITED:  Orioles Pitcher
    Jim Poole and team VP of Business & Finance Joe Foss both
    testified before a state senate panel in support of a bill to
    prevent replacement players from being allowed to play at Camden
    Yards (Brad Snyder, Baltimore SUN, 2/17).
         CHICAGO -- ST. PADDY'S DAY PARADE?  White Sox GM Ron
    Schueler predicted that some striking players will defect in
    early-to mid-March:  "St. Paddy's Day (March 17), I think you're
    going to see some guys in camps."  Schueler cited the Sox's 83%
    season-ticket renewal rate as proof the fans will accept
    replacement players:  "South Side people can relate a lot more to
    30 guys making $115,000 than the guys making $7 million.  Hey,
    for two months, they might have some new heroes" (Paul Sullivan,
    CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/17).  But an early look at a TRIBUNE poll,
    which will be released in full on Sunday (400 people surveyed
    Feb. 10-13), reveals that "nearly half" say they will ignore
    replacement baseball, but more than half would be open to
    attending replacement games at cheaper prices; fans support the
    salary cap by a 2-to-1 margin; 52% think President Clinton erred
    by getting involved (Andrew Bagnato, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/17).
         CINCINNATI -- REDS RETORT:  Acting MLB Commissioner Bud
    Selig  "backed down" from a statement made before a Senate
    hearing that all season-ticket holders would be eligible for
    refunds for replacement games.  The Reds, the only team that will
    not lower ticket prices for replacement games, took issue causing
    MLB spokesperson Rich Levin to state:  "Teams have their own
    individual policies.  There is no major league policy" (Erardi &
    Haft, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/17).
         DETROIT -- SPARKY WON'T SHOW:  Tigers Manager Sparky
    Anderson "has told the Tigers that he plans to boycott the
    opening of their spring training camp because he doesn't want to
    work with replacement players," according to this morning's
    DETROIT FREE PRESS.  According to sources, the Tigers "are trying
    to change Anderson's mind," but chances are "less than 50-50" he
    will be on the field today (Gene Guidi, DETROIT FREE PRESS,
    2/17).  Today's DETROIT NEWS is  reporting that Anderson was
    granted a "leave of absence" (DETROIT NEWS, 2/17).  Tigers GM Joe
    Klein said he has talked to ten of his players who will cross the
    line.  Klein did not identify the players (DETROIT NEWS, 2/16).
         LOS ANGELES -- ZERO BEACH:  "The first litmus test of public
    acceptance of the replacement concept fizzled badly for the
    Dodgers on Thursday."  The team's charter, usually greeted by
    400-500 fans, was welcomed by a "scant 18" at  Vero Beach airport
    (Ken Daley, L.A. DAILY NEWS, 2/17).
         NEW YORK -- ALL EYES ON THE BOSS:  Yankees Owner George
    Steinbrenner was the center of attention as the Yankees opened
    camp yesterday.  Steinbrenner: "To try and tell you it's going to
    be like an all-star team, I can't do that.  And I won't do that"
    (ESPN, 2/16).  Steinbrenner:  "I think there are people who
    appreciate what we're trying to do.  We're trying to give them a
    product" (Jeff Bradley, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/17).  Steinbrenner
    presence was "intended to make him the story of the day.  His
    strategy was shrewd and worked for over an hour" (Jack Curry,
    N.Y. TIMES, 2/17).  ESPN's Peter Gammons said the Yankees players
    "look like extras from 'Fear Strikes Out'" (ESPN, 2/16).
         PHILADELPHIA -- FEHR STRIKES OUT?  Frank Dolson writes, "By
    now, for all his brave talk, for all the good answers he gives to
    the most probing of questions, [MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr] must
    realize his mistake.  He must know this is one time the players
    cannot, will not be able to claim total victory, or anything
    close to it" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 2/17).
         SAN FRANCISCO -- WHITEHURST DENIES REPORT:  Wally Whitehurst
    denied an AP and ESPN report that he will be the first major
    leaguer to cross the picket line.  Whitehurst agreed to a Triple-
    A contract with the Giants and will not play in exhibition games
    until the strike ends (Mark Gonzales, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,
    2/17).
         ST. LOUIS -- CARDS EXTEND DEADLINE:  The Cardinals sent a
    letter to season-ticket holders extending the renewal deadline
    from March 1 to March 10.  Even at that date, only 75% payment
    will be due (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/17).  Cards Manager Joe
    Torre, who was a league and team player rep, asked how he would
    have reacted if President Nixon had intervened in a strike when
    he was playing:  "We weren't that important at the time.  We were
    ballplayers; now they're celebrities" (Bill Chastain, TAMPA
    TRIBUNE, 2/17).
         TORONTO -- JAYS TIX STILL HOT:  Jays Dir of Operations
    George Holm said the club will reach its "cutoff point" of 26,000
    season tickets.  Holm:  "People don't want to give them up
    because they might lose their seats.  In fact, the ratio has been
    about 15-1 of calls that say they want better or more seats"
    (Mike Zeisberger, TORONTO SUN, 2/17).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Yankees, News Corp./Fox, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • CFL COMMISSIONER DENIES REPORT OF A FOLD-UP AND REOPEN PLAN

         CFL commissioner Larry Smith denied a report yesterday that
    the league will fold within six weeks and then begin play under a
    new name to "eliminate Canadian content."  Smith:  "The league
    finds this story totally preposterous" (Toronto GLOBE AND MAIL,
    2/17).  IN OTHER CFL NEWS:  The Gold Miners will become the San
    Antonio Gold Miners as San Antonio's city council yesterday
    approved a five-year deal for the team to play in the Alamodome
    (Mike Ganter, TORONTO SUN, 2/17)....The board of directors for
    the Las Vegas Posse are scheduled to meet this weekend to
    determine where the team will move.  Los Angeles and Jackson, MS,
    are the two cities reportedly interested in landing the franchise
    (Eric Noland, L.A. DAILY NEWS, 2/17).
    

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  • FEHR SAYS EXPANSION IS UNCERTAIN; BUT DON'T TELL ST. PETE

         MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr said yesterday that MLB expansion
    is "no sure thing."  After meeting with player in Orlando, Fehr
    said "that he believes major league owners have been telling
    politicians on Capitol Hill that the expansion recommended by a
    committee of owners may not take place."  Fehr:  "They [owners]
    are telling people that there are some doubts about expansion,
    and where it will be.  Maybe my information is wrong.  I'd like
    for them to make that decision, and we'd like to be involved in
    it" (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/17).  But in the Tampa/St.
    Petersburg area, St. Pete city leaders "have started planning a
    party in early March to celebrate a successful bid" for an
    expansion franchise.  St. Petersburg Mayor David Fischer:  "If it
    goes in our favor, we would be prepared for festivities" (Noam
    Neusner, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/17).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • FIFA SAYS ENGLAND SHOULD STILL HOST CHAMPIONSHIP

         In wake of the recent riot at the Ireland-England soccer
    game, FIFA officials said that the "hooliganism should not stop
    England from playing host to next year's European Championship."
    FIFA President Joao Havelange:  "Because of a localized problem,
    which should be dealt with by local authorities, England does not
    deserve to have a sporting right withdrawn" (AP/VANCOUVER SUN,
    2/17).
    

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  • NFL TO GET TOUGH WITH SEGA OVER DEION'S BAY AREA INCENTIVE

         ESPN's Chris Mortenson reports that the NFL will not ignore
    Deion Sanders' endorsement deal with Sega that calls for him to
    make an additional $1.2M should he stay with the 49ers.
    Mortenson:  "It promises to be a full-blown investigation with
    potential legal implications."  Sega claims the deal is "legit"
    because the company's Bay Area headquarters will allow for a more
    complete working agreement with Sanders if he stays in the area.
    Mortenson said the league wants to stop this deal because it
    could be the "tip of the iceberg" as a way for players and teams
    to "circumvent the salary cap."  Mortenson said the NFL will
    probably try to block the deal by "threatening to pull the
    lucrative licencing agreement" Sega has with the league
    (SportsCenter, ESPN, 2/16).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, San Francisco 49ers, Walt Disney
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