SBD/22/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 195: HISTORY, THEN DINNER

         Talks in the baseball labor dispute resumed in Milwaukee
    yesterday "with no promises but some mention of progress."  For
    the owners: Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Red Sox CEO John
    Harrington and Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris.  For the players:
    MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr and MLBPA attorney Lauren Rich (Dale
    Hoffman, MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 2/22).  Selig reported that much of
    the meeting was spent "venting" on baseball's rancorous labor
    history: "Today was a catharsis for both sides" (Mike Kiley,
    CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/22).  CNN's Nick Charles: "As predicted,
    nothing dramatic happened" ("Sports Tonight," 2/21).  ESPN's Bob
    Sirkin: "Tuesday's so-called 'therapy session' lasted over four
    hours and ended with both sides going out to dinner -- together"
    ("Sports Center," ESPN, 2/21).
         LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:  While Teamsters officials said
    they would not cross picket lines to make deliveries to MLB
    stadiums this season, they expressed unhappiness with the MLBPA's
    decision not to have players on the picket lines (GANNETT/USA
    TODAY, 2/22).  Braves President Stan Kasten said if MLBPA General
    Counsel Gene Orza does arrange for replacement picketers, "it'd
    be the first person he'd gotten a job for since August" (Henry
    Unger, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/22).  In Washington, Michael
    Wilbon notes the players' history of non-support for other
    strikes:  "They want other unions to support them, but they'll
    have the team bus drive them right through somebody else's picket
    line at a stadium and not even step off to look their 'brothers'
    in the eye" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/22).  In St. Louis, Bernie
    Miklasz writes of replacement pickets:  "Let's just say that
    Donald Fehr is no Cesar Chavez" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/22).
         CANADIAN AD MARKET DRIES UP:  Media buyers estimate that
    Canadian broadcasters could be out as much as C$100M in ad
    revenue if the season starts with replacements.  For example,
    Bell Canada will put baseball advertising "on hold" until the
    regular players return.  Labatt, which has ownership in the
    SkyDome and Blue Jays, will also refrain from advertising on
    replacement games.  As for broadcasters, Baton Broadcasting,
    which carries about 60 of 145 Blue Jays and Expos TV games, will
    probably not carry replacement games.  TSN is also expected to
    pass on replacement baseball (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE &
    MAIL, 2/22).
         CONGRESSIONAL STATS:  USA TODAY surveyed the members of the
    Senate Judiciary Committee on their positions on the Hatch-
    Moynihan bill, which would lift baseball's antitrust exemption in
    labor matters.  SUPPORTERS:  Hatch (R-UT), Thurmond (R-SC), Leahy
    (D-VT).  OPPOSED:  Specter (R-PA), Simon (D-IL), Feinstein (D-
    CA), Heflin (D-AL).  UNDECIDED:  Brown (R-CO), Grassley (R-IA),
    DeWine (R-OH), Kyl (R-AZ), Thompson (R-TN), Abraham (R-MI),
    Feingold (D-WI).  OTHERS:  Simpson (R-WY) supports repeal, but
    not during the strike. Biden (D-DE) wants to examine all sports,
    not just baseball.  Kennedy (D-MA) voted against the bill last
    June but supports mandatory binding arbitration.  Kohl (D-WI) has
    recused himself because of his relationship with Bud Selig and
    his position as owner of the NBA Bucks (USA TODAY, 2/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, ESPN, Labatt Brewing, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Milwaukee Bucks, MLB, NBA, Time Warner, Toronto Blue Jays, Walt Disney
  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: MINOR LEAGUERS IN A PICKLE

         ATLANTA -- CLUBHOUSE STEAM:  Braves GM John Schuerholz
    reacted angrily to the MLBPA's position that any minor-leaguer
    that plays in a spring training game will be considered a
    "strikebreaker":  "I'll be damned if I'm going to have a mean-
    spirited union use young players in our organization as a tool in
    a derailment of baseball, and at the same time have it be ruinous
    to a young man's career" (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
    2/22).
         BALTIMORE -- NO PRESSURE:  The Orioles said they will permit
    their minor-leaguers to sit out exhibition games if they so
    choose.  But, owner Peter Angelos said all players "will be
    strongly encouraged by the Orioles to play" (Peter Schmuck,
    Baltimore SUN, 2/22).
         CHICAGO -- NO PRESSURE, II:  White Sox GM Ron Schueler "said
    there would be no repercussions against those who decline to
    play" in spring games.  Schueler:  "Our policy is to keep
    everything intact" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/22).
         CLEVELAND -- TRIBE TIX SALES DOWN:  Indians spring training
    ticket sales are down about 40% from last spring, according to
    Indians Spring Training Manager Jerry Crabb (Paul Hoynes,
    Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 2/21).
         FLORIDA -- CROSS THAT LINE:  The Marlins are expecting some
    of their major league players to cross the line in mid-March.
    Marlins GM Dave Dombrowski:  "Sometimes you have to ask yourself,
    even though you're being represented (by the union), are they
    representing you in your best interest?  I think there is more
    than one player out there who has asked himself that question."
    Marlins Player Rep Bryan Harvey said the team was just trying to
    "get somebody to cross and break the union" (Amy Niedkielka,
    MIAMI HERALD, 2/22).
         NEW YORK -- OFFER THEY CAN'T REFUSE:  While Mets GM Joe
    McIlvane said there would be no fines or punishment for minor-
    leaguers who don't play in exhibition games, to which Mets Asst
    GM Gerry Hunsicker agreed.  But Hunsicker added:  "The players
    have to understand not playing may not be in their best interest"
    (John Giannone, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/22).
         SAN DIEGO -- SEEN IT, DONE IT:  Columnist Nick Canepa
    writes, "I might be willing to give the replacement player idea a
    try -- if I hadn't already seen it.  The Padres (unofficially)
    tried it here last year and the year before and it didn't work"
    (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 2/22).
         SAN FRANCISCO -- SOLIDARITY WATCH:  Giants pitcher Dave
    Burba, asked if the players can hold on until licensing checks
    arrive in mid-April:  "Personally, I wouldn't cross the line, but
    there are some guys thinking about it" (Mark Gonzales, SAN JOSE
    MERCURY NEWS, 2/22).
         SEATTLE -- BEAN-BILLS:  Two bills are before the WA
    Legislature aimed at pressuring owners:  one to prevent teams of
    non-MLB players from playing in the Kingdome or other publicly
    funded facilities; the other to prohibit Mariner management from
    advertising a replacement team as "Major League" (Jonathan
    Martin, Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 2/21).
         TORONTO -- DUNEDIN CHECKS OUT:  AL consultant Dick Wagner,
    AL umpiring chief Marty Springstead and AL Dir of Finance Derek
    Irwin toured 6,200-seat Dunedin Stadium  and said they found it
    adequate for MLB games.  Writes Larry Millson, "All at once it
    was pathetic, stupid, sad and funny" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    2/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Buffalo Bills, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Miami Marlins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Time Warner
  • HARRINGTON GUARANTEES MLB EXPANSION FOR NORTHERN VIRGINIA

         Red Sox CEO John Harrington, who heads MLB's expansion
    committee, reportedly told VA Senator John Warner that Northern
    VA will "definitely" get a MLB expansion franchise, according to
    this morning's WASHINGTON TIMES.  Warner Staff Director Grayson
    Winterling said that during a recent meeting on Capitol Hill,
    Harrington told Warner that baseball would be back in the DC
    area.  Winterling:  "The worst-case scenario would be that
    [Northern VA] would be the third one selected. ... We're taking
    the man at his word."  MLB owners are expected to award two of
    four expansion teams by the end of March.  According to
    Winterling, support of legislation that would weaken or do away
    with baseball's antitrust exemption would "not help efforts" to
    land a franchise:  "They made it clear you're going to get an
    expansion franchise.  But don't rock the boat."  A team would
    play at RFK Stadium until a ballpark in Northern VA could be
    completed (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/22)
         OTHER EXPANSION NOTES:  Peter Gammons reports that a yes
    vote for Quebec secession in June could push the Expos out of
    Canada:  "Don't be surprised if the Expos end up in St.
    Petersburg, with Northern Virginia the National League expansion
    team" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/19)....Jayson Stark notes that the owners'
    expected yes vote on expansion will not deal with the question of
    whether to add two teams to the same league or one to each
    league.  Stark: "If they go to 15 teams in each league, they have
    to go to interleague play.  And that means another DH fight.
    Plus, the Royals and Astros both are fighting a potential switch
    from Central to West divisions, depending on where the new teams
    wind up.  So look out" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • UBL OFFICIALS TO MEET IN VANCOUVER

         "A high level delegation" of the proposed UBL will be in
    Vancouver either late this week or next week to discuss ownership
    and stadium lease issues with B.C. Place officials.  Although it
    is unclear whether the UBL "will present any solid ownership
    possibilities" with the group, UBL VP of Franchise Development
    Greg Smith said that "certain numbers of the UBL investor group
    remain interested" in the Vancouver franchise (Lyndon Little,
    VANCOUVER SUN, 2/22).  In Boston, Michael Gee predicts that the
    UBL "will not play in 1996, or any other year."  The league
    proposed profit-sharing between players and owners as an
    "economic incentive" for players joining the league.  However,
    Gee disagrees, writing that "profit sharing works only when there
    is a profit.  And the stars a new league needs to survive, let
    alone prosper, are unlikely to work on commission" (BOSTON
    HERALD, 2/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
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