SBD/20/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 221: "THIS IS IT"

         As both sides make the necessary arrangements to meet this
    week with the start of the season hanging in the balance, Peter
    Gammons lays out the choice:  "This is it, defoliation or
    compromise."  MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr and acting MLB Commissioner
    Bud Selig are expected to meet before the resumption of formal
    talks, which could be as early as tomorrow.  Gammons argues that
    the owners "already have won" because of the revenue losses the
    game has undergone already from the strike.  According to Red Sox
    CEO John Harrington, the projections are that clubs will lose
    around $400-500M if they play with replacements, $600-700M if
    they stay closed.  Harrington adds:  "The radio and TV
    advertising dollars are essentially gone through June" (BOSTON
    GLOBE, 3/19).  As Gammons explained on ESPN:  "What you're
    looking at is a market where general managers can say 'Hey, we
    don't have any money.'  Once they do that and they force about
    200 Jody Reed's out on the market, next year when they have very
    limited arbitration, they'll have had a profound effect.  But for
    some reason, the owners are scared of a free market" ("Sports
    Weekly," ESPN, 3/19).
         INJUNCTION JUNCTION:  As expected, NLRB General Counsel Fred
    Feinstein asked the five-member board for an injunction to
    restore the old system.  NLRB Chair William Gould said the board
    will meet Thursday on the issue.  Fehr has said the players will
    end the strike if there is an injunction,  but the NLRB is no
    "quick solution."  A hearing could not take place before next
    week, "and no one can be certain when a ruling would come" (Mark
    Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/18).  Selig:  "We're not going to worry
    about the NLRB.  With the appeals process, this could take
    months" (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/18).  Noting Fehr's no-
    strike promise, Tracy Ringolsby writes, "Fehr, however, has not
    discussed whether the fact that the NLRB filed a complaint on
    only a portion of the union's charges would impact his
    recommendation" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/18).  In New York, Murray
    Chass reviews the legal precedents which could come into play
    should the owners lock out the players (N.Y. TIMES, 3/19).
         WHAT'S THE HOLD-UP?  Special Mediator William Usery, on
    Sunday night:  "Not a thing is set at this point.  We should know
    something Monday" (Hal Bodley, USA TODAY, 3/20).  The union, and
    some on management's side, "believe Selig is stalling in the hope
    that striking players will begin to break ranks and return to
    their teams in the two weeks before the season starts" (Ross
    Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 3/18).    COUNT 'EM:  Should replacement
    games not count, Jayson Stark asks, "How long until the first
    lawsuit is filed by the first disgruntled ticket-buyer?  The
    early over-under is 11 seconds" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/19).
    Phillies President Bill Giles:  "We'll be having people suing us,
    or at least asking for their money back.  I think it's another
    reason you never start with replacement players."  Adds columnist
    Frank Dolson, "Keep the stubs" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 3/20).  ESPN's
    Bob Ley reported that management has said there "will be a way
    found to preserve the integrity of Cal Ripken's consecutive games
    streak" ("SportsCenter, 3/17).
         THE BARN'S ON FIRE:  While MLBPA officials are claiming that
    owners pressured Reebok to pull out of the proposed players'
    "barnstorming" tour, sources close to Reebok "said it was a
    myriad of problems:  a lack of an interested television outlet,
    few commitments from star players whose individual contracts
    require permission from their team to play in games; problems
    finding suitable stadiums, and the prohibitive cost of insurance"
    (Tracy Ringolsby, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/19).  Gammons reports
    Reebok pulled out a month ago when the union "didn't deliver
    promised signed forms that players would actually play, and when
    Reebok rep Frank Thomas was asked if he would play, he said he
    would not, nor would Barry Bonds.  Some players have asked their
    agents to get them out of their Reebok contracts because of what
    they were told [by the union], so Reebok has asked agents to come
    in and get the facts" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Boston Red Sox, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Philadelphia Phillies, Reebok, Walt Disney
  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: NEWS FROM EIGHT MARKETS

         BOSTON:  Red Sox VP John Buckley said the Red Sox might be
    able to break even with replacement ball, given two factors:
    attendance is at least 1 million, and local TV and radio deals
    take less than a 50% cut.  Buckley, who spent Friday trying to
    work out a deal with the Red Sox radio network and WSBK-TV, said
    a 50% cut would be "too much."  While Buckley wouldn't say how
    much he is willing to take, "it would appear" the local TV
    package would have to be reduced by at least 35%.  To reach 1
    million, the Sox would have to average 12,346, and with 94% of
    approx. 22,000 season-ticket holders renewing, that goal seems to
    be attainable (Nick Cafardo, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).
         CINCINNATI:  Reds Manager Davey Johnson called replacement
    ball a "travesty."  Asked when he will begin to manage
    intensively, Johnson said:  "When my stomach settles down.  How's
    that?" (Chris Haft, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/20).
         FLORIDA:  Marlins Owner Wayne Huizenga expects the team to
    regularly draw at least 16,000 to replacement games.  Huizenga
    also had "harsh words" for union chief Don Fehr:  "I don't think
    we can ever properly market baseball until we have a partnership
    with the union.  I don't think, under Don Fehr, we will ever have
    a partnership with the union.  That's the problem" (MIAMI HERALD,
    3/20).  The Marlins  announced that for games from April 2-9,
    children 12 and under will be able to get a ticket and a coupon
    for a free hot dog and soda for 50 cents (MIAMI HERALD, 3/17).
         NEW YORK:  For WABC's suit against the Yankees.
         OAKLAND:  On April 9, the A's will offer "what they claim is
    the most extravagant giveaway in major league history."  The
    first 15,000 fans will get custom-fit wool caps, the same the
    players wear (S.F. EXAMINER, 3/18).
         ST. LOUIS:  There were only 25 buyers in the first two hours
    when Cardinals tickets went on sale at Busch Stadium Saturday
    (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/19).
         SAN FRANCISCO:  Giants tickets went on sale Saturday, and
    while no figures were available, Giants P.R. Dir Bob Rose
    admitted:  "Sales were slow" (S.F. EXAMINER, 3/19).
         TORONTO:  The AL approved Dunedin Stadium for Blue Jays
    regular season games (American League).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, YankeeNets
  • NBA NEWS & NOTES: MASON SUSPENSION DRAWS IRE OF UNION

         The NBPA filed a grievance with the league over the 5-game
    suspension of Knicks forward Anthony Mason.  NBPA Exec Dir
    Charles Grantham called the suspension "arbitrary and
    unjustified."  Mason was suspended after an argument with coach
    Pat Riley (Mike Freeman, N.Y. TIMES, 3/18).  Grantham, who claims
    that Mason "works very hard" and broke no rules:  "It's clear
    that the club's only motivation is to gain complete control over
    the personalities and actions of what it perceives to be the new
    breed of athlete, and they hope to gain this control by
    humiliating a player and taking his money" (Curtis Bunn, N.Y.
    DAILY NEWS, 3/18).
         LABOR TALK:  Deputy NBA Commissioner Russ Granik said
    negotiations on a new CBA will resume this week, "with the hope
    that a new deal can be struck by the end of the regular season"
    (Ric Bucher, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, New York Knicks
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