SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         "Amid mounting pressure from the nearby White House,
    negotiators for the baseball owners and players put the central
    issue of management's proposed luxury tax on hold Thursday while
    narrowing differences on issues classified as non-economic,"
    reports Ross Newhan of the L.A. TIMES.  Both MLBPA Exec Dir
    Donald Fehr and the owners' lead negotiator Red Sox CEO John
    Harrington said Special Mediator William Usery has made it clear,
    once again, that President Clinton "expects a settlement or
    significant progress"  by his Monday deadline.  Harrington called
    the White House pressure "Heavy, heavy pressure."  Fehr: "Usery
    emphasized in extremely strong language that the President
    expects this to be resolved" (L.A. TIMES, 2/3).  Usery made his
    comments after an afternoon meeting with Clinton aides.  Usery
    also "rejected a union suggestion that it might be best to wait
    an additional week" before a 3rd-party effort was made to settle
    (Tracy Ringolsby, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/3).
         YESTERDAY'S SESSION:  Fehr said the union would not respond
    to the owners' two-tiered luxury tax proposal until today or
    Saturday, but he did report that several non-economic areas of
    disagreement had been "narrowed."  As for the economic system,
    Fehr said their proposal will determine whether the two sides are
    within "shouting distance" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 2/3).
         SOME WEEKEND HOPE:  Harrington: "In negotiations, things get
    done at the last minute.  They may not always get done in the
    best possible manner.  But once the larger issues get resolved,
    things can happen very quickly" (PHILA.  INQUIRER, 2/3).  One MLB
    owner said he expects a settlement this weekend (Mark Maske,
         AN USERY RESOLUTION?  In Washington, Thom Loverro examines a
    possible Usery-forced solution. "There is a strong belief among
    some close to the talks that his settlement would be far better
    than anything the players could get from the owners."  Privately,
    some management officials believe that it will "ultimately come"
    to an Usery settlement (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/3).  ESPN's Peter
    Gammons thinks the Clinton deadline will pass and calls the first
    week of March key because that is when "teams are going to try to
    force top minor league players to play with replacement players
    and it's not going to work.  Then, I think all the pressure on
    replacement players may cause the owners to force a settlement"
    ("SportsCenter," 2/2).
         NEWS & NOTES:  Padres President Larry Lucchino said the club
    would consider having the team's manager and coaches not work
    with replacements (WASHINGTON POST, 2/3)....Two IL state
    legislators have introduced a bill that would strip Comiskey Park
    of $27M in state aid while replacement players play in the park

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, San Diego Padres, Walt Disney

         "Seemingly overnight, there's been an explosion of figure
    skating events," according to Alexandra Peers of the WALL STREET
    JOURNAL.  Peers notes the many rival skating competitions, and
    made-for-TV contests, but also points out the "record high" in-
    fighting and turf battles within the sport.  Jerry Lace, Exec Dir
    at the USFSA: "Everybody got into this business and there is no
    rhyme or reason; it is being driven by money."  Nye Lavalle,
    Chair of Sport Marketing Group/Dallas says figure skating is the
    "most poorly managed sport" and has advised his coporate clients
    "not to make full time commitments to the sport.  It has no
    organized amateur structure, no organized professional structure,
    no one person who can deliver the names." Lavalle said that is
    why skating trails both tennis and golf in the amount of
    sponsorship dollars even though it has higher TV ratings
    (Alexandra Peers, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/3).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies

         Although the two-hour conference call by MLB's expansion
    committee "produced nothing," it appears" that it has determined
    a price.  According to the TAMPA TRIBUNE, the committee is
    "zeroing in" on a price of $140M per franchise (Bill Chastain,
    TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/3).  Phoenix and Tampa Bay are the frontrunners
    to be granted the next two expansion teams.  Red Sox CEO John
    Harrington, Chair of the expansion committee, said he
    "anticipated there may be a full ownership meeting later this
    month" at which time a vote on the "overall recommendation" to
    expand could be made.  However, Harrington warned that if the
    labor dispute is not resolved, "he may not be able to get the
    owners to vote" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/3).
         INTERLEAGUE PLAY?  According to Tom Keegan in today's N.Y.
    POST, since the owners, because of expansion, are "leaning
    toward" inter-league play. "The schedule will call for each team
    to play anywhere from 16-30 interleague games" (N.Y. POST, 2/3).
    In Boston, Red Sox GM Dan Duquette thinks that interleague play
    "is the next step toward international major league baseball"
    (Mike Shalin, BOSTON HERALD, 2/3).  ESPN's Keith Olbermann:
    "Interleague play, they can't even introduce inter-team play!"
    ("SportsCenter," 2/2).
         ORLANDO VS TAMPA-BAY: In Orlando, Dan Tracy & Lawrence
    Lebowitz note why Orlando is a better choice for expansion.
    "Orlando's projected growth into the year 2000 far surpasses
    Tampa-St. Petersburg" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/2).
         GET THIS!  The "latest rumor" making the rounds is that
    George Steinbrenner wants to move the Yankee's to Tampa.  The
    "rumor gained some legs yesterday when it was revealed that
    Steinbrenner gave the Tampa-based Florida Orchestra" $1M to get
    out of debt, a "gesture" to show just how "fond Steinbrenner is
    of his Florida base."  When the team's lease runs out in 2002,
    "southern Florida's population will be bigger, richer, and older"
    (Neal Travis, N.Y. POST, 2/3).

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Walt Disney

         The owners of the Colorado Silver Bullets women's
    professional baseball team announced the formation of a six-team
    league for women that will start play next summer in cities along
    the Mediterranean Sea.  Valencia and Barcelona, Spain;
    Montpellier and Nice, France; and Parma, Italy are mentioned as
    initial sites.  Along with Hope-Beckham, the Atlanta marketing
    firm who owns the Silver Bullets, William Collins is an investor
    in the project.  Collins is heading the group seeking MLB
    expansion for No. VA.  The players will be chosen from the over
    2,500 women who tried out for the Silver Bullets last year
    (Silver Bullets).
         MARTINA AT THE PLATE? Martina Navratilova will get a private
    tryout with the Silver Bullets. Linda Dozoretz, Navratilova's
    publicist: "She's interested and they are talking" (Glen Sheeley,

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB

         In the wake of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's cover story on the bad
    boys of the NBA, the current issue of SPORT profiles the NBA's
    All Class Team. "Amid all this trash-talking, finger-pointing,
    chest-thumping and camera-posing," the league's classy players
    are almost "forgotten."  The "bad boys of the NBA have muscled
    the good guys clear out of the spotlight."  Among the classy: Joe
    Dumars, Mark Price, Clyde Drexler, Grant Hill, Dan Majerle, Buck
    Williams and David Robinson.   When asked what caused the
    problem, some say "the NBA helped create this potential monster
    when it accepted the Bad Boys image created by Dennis Rodman,
    Bill Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas."  Dumars: "The league and
    everybody else jumped on that and promoted the heck out of the
    Bad Boys" (Darryl Howerton, SPORT, 3/95 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Sports Illustrated
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