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  • 76ERS MAKE BID TO HOST NBA ALL-STAR GAME IN '98

         The 76ers have put in a bid to host the '98 NBA All-Star
    Game, according to Phil Jasner of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS.
    76ers Business Manager Gerry Ryan has been in contact with the
    NBA about the availability of the CoreStates Center, which is
    scheduled to open for '96-97.  Ryan:  "I can't say what our
    chances out, but I think we already have most of the pieces
    they're looking for."  Philadelphia has hosted the All-Star Game
    three times -- in '60, '70, and '76 (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS,
    2/28).
    

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers
  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 202: PEACE IN OUR TIME?

         Comments by Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris that a settlement
    could be possible this week set off a number of optimistic news
    reports, despite the fact that the two sides have yet to discuss
    specifics of a possible luxury tax.
         EVER THE OPTIMIST:  McMorris:  "If we make good progress
    (Wednesday), there possibly could be a settlement (Wednesday).
    We're on the threshold, but I don't want to infer that we're
    close.  Is it likely?  Probably not."  Acting MLB Commissioner
    Bud Selig:  "There is a different feeling.  The posturing is all
    gone.  We're down to issues and we're down to them in a civilized
    manner" (Tracy Ringolsby, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/1).  In
    Baltimore, Peter Schmuck does note that McMorris "is known to be
    the most upbeat and optimistic member of either bargaining unit.
    He has foreseen the end of this dispute before, only to be
    disappointed" (Baltimore SUN, 3/1).
         OTHER VIEWS:  In L.A., Ross Newhan cites another management
    negotiator:  "It could happen this week or it could carry into
    the weekend or early next week."  But MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr was
    not as quick to predict a settlement:  "I think people should be
    encouraged to the point the process is ongoing and people are
    paying attention to the calendar.  I would be hesitant to go
    beyond that" (L.A. TIMES, 3/1).  Another management source, who
    believes a settlement will come by early next week, added:  "Don
    [Fehr] is getting some advice from senior players he hasn't
    gotten before" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/1).  More from
    Fehr: "I don't want to suggest that everybody is lovey-dovey, far
    from it" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 2/28).
         WHERE ARE THEY?  CNN's Mark Morgan:  "The talks will
    reconvene Wednesday morning at 11:30 EST.  The equation, once
    again, will include small groups, with the hope that more
    progress can be made" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 2/28). Ringolsby's
    take on Tuesday's talks:  "There were no discussions of actual
    numbers but owners did show a willingness to refine the
    distribution of money raised from a salary tax. ... There were
    also indications that the union is willing to drop its opposition
    to the revenue-sharing plan adopted 13 months ago" (ROCKY
    MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/1).  "The sides will discuss specific numbers
    today" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 3/1).  While Special Mediator
    William Usery proposed a system earlier that would tax teams at a
    rate of 50% on all spending above a $40M threshold, several
    sources close to the talks "insist" that the tax will end up at
    about 25% (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/1).
         WATCHING, AND WAITING:  Jim McDowell, brother and agent of
    Yankee pitcher Jack McDowell:  "After the fallout over what Len
    Dykstra said, some players are a little hesitant to talk.  That
    might change if there's no progress this week" (Jeff Bradley,
    N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/1).
         MAJOR-LEAGUE PRESSURE:  ESPN's Gary Miller reported that
    union members "did hint" at a meeting with minor-leaguers that
    they would help them -- "not only with their transporation back
    and forth to camp if they leave, but also with meal money and
    expenses."  Marlins minor-leaguer John Massarelli, after meeting
    with MLBPA members last night:  "For Cecil Fielder to tell me he
    knows where I come from, you know, it doesn't hold a lot of water
    to me.   Because to me, $700 a week is a lot of money."  Expos GM
    Kevin Malone:  "We don't hear the union promising to take care of
    these guys if they do lose their job" ("SportsCenter," 2/28).
    Expos minor-leaguer Tom Thobe, on the meeting:  "There was no
    pressure.  It is each person's decision what they want to do"
    ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 2/28).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Colorado Rockies, ESPN, Miami Marlins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: NEWS FROM ELEVEN

         ATLANTA -- BORBONS ON THE ROCKS?  While Pedro Borbon Sr.
    announced his intent to be a replacement player for the Reds, his
    son Pedro Jr., who is in the Braves' organization, remained on
    strike.  Pedro Jr. on his father's comeback:  "Shoot, if George
    Foreman can make a comeback, so can my dad."....Around 125 minor
    leaguers met with MLBPA General Council Gene Orza Tuesday night
    at the Palm Beach Airport Hilton, "many of them from the Braves'
    organization (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/1).
         BALTIMORE -- 11 OF 12 WON'T PLAY:  Eleven of the O's 12
    exhibition opponents informed the team by fax yesterday that they
    would not play the Orioles this spring unless the team changes
    its policy of not fielding replacement players by 2pm EST today.
    The Rockies, who are scheduled to come to Camden Yards on April
    2, were the only team not to respond. If there is no settlement
    this week, owners are expected to take a formal vote on
    replacement players next week at their meeting in Palm Beach.
    "Then at some point during the spring, the league likely will
    announce sanctions against Angelos for failing to prepare a team
    for the regular season.  Angelos almost certainly would respond
    with a lawsuit."  A.L. President Gene Budig declined comment on
    the issue (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/1).  AL VP of Admin. &
    Media Affairs Phyllis Merhige said the teams have the right to
    cancel games and won't be penalized (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/1).
         CINCINNATI -- SCHOTT IN THE DARK?  CINCINNATI POST columnist
    Joe Posnanski pans Reds GM Jim Bowden for his "joke" in signing
    Pedro Borbon, calling the move Bowden's "own fraternity prank":
    "You see, [Marge] Schott seemed to believe this was a serious
    signing.  Apparently Bowden, that wacky, nutty jokester, failed
    to let her in on the joke, failed even to mention to her that
    Borbon is a blob who is a longshot to pass his physical"
    (CINCINNATI POST, 3/1). TORONTO STAR columnist Richard Griffin
    writes of the Borbon signing, "Yesterday, there were 27 other
    owners slapping their foreheads in unison wondering, 'What hath
    Schott wrought?'" (TORONTO STAR, 3/1).
         CLEVELAND -- GOOD SEATS STILL AVAILABLE:  The Indians
    announced that ticket sales for Opening Day at Jacobs Field hit
    35,000 and that tickets remain for all 82 regular season games
    (Indians).
         DETROIT -- PUT BUS IN DRIVE, EGOS IN CHECK:  Around 30
    Tigers are expected to make the 132-mile trip from Lakeland to
    Vero Beach for the team's first spring game.  Tigers GM Joe Klein
    will not divulge how many minor-leaguers will make the trip, as
    opposed to replacement players.  FREE PRESS columnist Charlie
    Vincent reports sending all replacements would, "in Klein's
    eyes," mean acquiescing to Don Fehr.  Klein on Monday: "No one
    who needs written instructions how to put on a jockstrap is going
    to tell me how to run this franchise" (DETROIT FREE-PRESS, 2/28).
         MILWAUKEE -- CAMP CHAOS?  Brewers Exec VP of Baseball Ops
    Sal Bando on the current spring training situation:  "Right now,
    we have all our feet planted firmly in midair."  Spring training
    is also being characterized as "resting comfortably somewhere
    between complete chaos and total uncertainty" (Michael Bauman,
    MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, 2/28).
         MINNESOTA -- WHO'S ON FIRST?  The Twins have received
    commitments from "more than 20" minor-leaguers to play in spring
    games, according to an informal survey in today's STAR-TRIBUNE.
    Twins GM Terry Ryan said they have received commitments from
    "about half" of the 50 players they have asked (Jim Souhan,
    Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 3/1).
         MONTREAL -- ALOU TO STAY:  Manager Felipe Alou said he will
    manage the Expos this year if the strike lasts into the regular
    season.  Alou, who said baseball "hasn't seen any more Sparkys,"
    referring to Sparky Anderson's refusal to manage replacements:
    "I have a contract and I have responsibilities that I can't walk
    away from.  To me, this is a matter of conscience" (TORONTO STAR,
    3/1).
         NEW YORK -- WILPON THE DIPLOMAT:  Mets owner Fred Wilpon
    said yesterday he is "willing to compromise" and is a "moderate
    in wanting to see the game played again."  Wilpon defended
    ownership, but said "he was dragged into accepting replacement
    baseball" (Jennifer Frey, N.Y. TIMES, 3/1).  Dick Kraft, who
    resigned from the Yankees under public pressure last spring for
    reportedly "likening kids who hung and swung from rims on
    basketball courts across the street from Yankee Stadium to
    'monkeys,'" was back at the Yankee offices yesterday.  Yankees
    spokesperson Arthur Richman said Kraft would not be on the Yankee
    payroll, but be paid as a personal employee of George
    Steinbrenner (Joel Sherman, N.Y. POST, 3/1).... Beginning March
    15, the Yankees will cut front office salaries by 10% (MIAMI
    HERALD, 3/1).
         PITTSBURGH -- LEYLAND SPEAKS OUT:  Pirates Manager Jim
    Leyland on having to work with replacement players:  "When you
    work for somebody, when you have a boss, you do what they say or
    you quit.  I'm not going to quit, so I'll do what I'm told" (Bob
    Smizik, PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE, 3/1).
         ST. LOUIS -- BETTER THAN HITCHHIKING:  Minor league reliever
    Gary Buckels, who attended a Monday night meeting with players
    General Council Gene Orza said the union may help minor leaguers
    who are sent home for refusing to play with replacement players:
    "The union said something about financial aid, paying the way
    back, but they said it was still in the working stages.  It
    sounds kind of vague" (Rick Hummel, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH,
    3/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Time Warner, YankeeNets
  • MLB EXPANSION'S FATE TO BE DECIDED SOON

         The fate of Major League Baseball expansion is expected to
    be decided next week as owners are scheduled to meet in Palm
    Beach, FL, beginning Tuesday.  During the three-day meetings, the
    expansion committee "plans to recommend" that two clubs be added
    for the '98 season and two more teams, "perhaps in 2000."
    Baseball sources say the owners' decision to award Phoenix and
    Tampa-St. Petersburg "is all but final."  The Northern VA group
    hoping for a team has asked that if the area isn't part of the
    first round of expansion, they be considered for the second round
    (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/1).  Despite reports in the Tampa
    Bay area earlier this week that expansion may be delayed, hopeful
    Tampa-St. Pete owner Vince Naimoli and St. Pete City
    Administrator Rick Dodge said they "still expect owners to
    approve expansion and award teams to Tampa Bay and Phoenix next
    week" (Marc Topkin, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/1).   ENTERTAINING TO
    IMPRESS:  MLB officials will be visiting Orlando and Northern VA
    this week to assess the possibilities for getting a team.  The
    group arrived in Orlando last night and will be entertained by
    Norton Herrick, the FL-based developer who is heading Orlando's
    bid.  They then fly to Northern VA today where they will meet
    with Bill Collins, the the telecommunications exec who heads
    Virginia Baseball Inc., the more favored of the two Northern VA
    groups (Dan Tracy, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/28).
    

    Print | Tags: DaimlerChrysler, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • WOMEN'S FAST PITCH LEAGUE NAMES NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO

         The Women's Professional Fastpitch (WPF) softball league
    named Mitzi Swentzell President and CEO.  The league will begin
    its exhibition tour in June '95 and will launch league play in
    '96.  Swentzell was Exec VP for the Nuggets, and worked for Jacor
    Communications in Denver, where she did marketing for the
    Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, and Univ. of Colorado football and
    basketball.  John Cowles, former league President, will become
    Chairman of the Board and shift his attention to long-term
    strategy, board development and fundraising.  Selection of WPF's
    initial six team markets will be announced this summer (WPF).
    

    Print | Tags: Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Leagues and Governing Bodies
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