SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         One week before Opening Day, the NLRB "authorized its
    general counsel to seek an injunction in Federal court that could
    send striking players back to work as early as this week."
    Daniel Silverman, director of the NLRB's New York office, said he
    would initiate the effort in U.S. District Court in Manhattan
    today "and would ask the judge, once one is assigned, to handle
    the case expeditiously."  While the players have made it clear
    they would return if such an injunction is obtained, it is "not
    clear" whether the owners would subsequently vote to lock them
    out.  "And in a related development, the two sides in the dispute
    agreed to meet tonight in Manhattan to resume negotiations for
    the first time since March 4" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 3/27).
    The story led ABC's Sunday "World News Tonight" (ABC, 3/26).
         REAX:  MLBPA General Counsel Gene Orza:  "I'm never
    surprised when something we say is upheld by a third party" (Ross
    Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 3/27).  Braves President Stan Kasten:  "I
    have utter confidence in our case, unfortunately that would take
    a long time to get to" (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
    3/27).  Rangers President Tom Schieffer:  "What we have here is
    something that just prolongs the process.  The NLRB is not a body
    that resolves things" (Simon Gonzalez, FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM,
    3/27).  "The best case scenario for the union is that there could
    be a hearing on the matter by Wednesday, and a ruling by Friday"
    (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/27).  ESPN's Peter Gammons, on a
    pre-Opening day injunction:  "There's no guarantee, because of
    the unusual nature of this case, that [the players] are actually
    going to get the injunction.  If they do, the players will offer
    to come back, the owners will then vote 23-5 or 22-6 to lockout.
    Unless there's a settlement this week, we're going on into
    replacement ball next weekend."  Gammons said the owners don't
    view the NLRB ruling as "important," adding, "If the players
    really do, then these negotiations are just going to be
    distracted and not go anywhere" ("Baseball Tonight," ESPN, 3/26).
         TO LOCKOUT, OR NOT TO LOCKOUT:  Several reports note that
    the owners might not be able to get the 21 votes necessary for a
    lockout.  One AL owner predicts six teams would vote "No" --
    Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, Blue Jays, Orioles and Padres -- with the
    Indians, Tigers and Rangers leaning that way (Ross Newhan, L.A.
    TIMES, 3/27).  In Philadelphia, Jayson Stark noted "major doubt
    among baseball people" that the owners would vote pro-lockout.
    But the nature of the ruling, the timing and whether the players
    return with a no-strike pledge are all factors (PHILADELPHIA
    INQUIRER, 3/27).   The latest BUSINESS WEEK outlines the owners'
    risk:  "If the NLRB finds the lockout illegal, the league could
    be on the hook for players' salaries totaling some $1 billion for
    the season.  That amount could be tripled if the lockout was also
    found to have violated the old contract's anticollusion clause"
    (Aaron Bernstein, BUSINESS WEEK, 4/3 issue).  In Washington, Mark
    Maske notes that "ownership moderates will try to convince hard-
    liners they're in a precarious position" by risking that much
    (WASHINGTON POST, 3/27).  In New York, Murray Chass adds, if the
    players stay out, "they may prefer a lockout to a strike at this
    juncture, partly for public relations purposes and partly to keep
    any players from being tempted to break ranks and return to work"
    (N.Y. TIMES, 3/27).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Walt Disney

         The owners could submit a formal proposal to the players
    when meetings resume tonight, according to the L.A. TIMES.  The
    key points, according to a top management official:  Arbitration
    for players with three years of experience, restricted free
    agency for four and five-year players, unrestricted after six, a
    40% tax on payrolls over $40M (Bob Nightengale, L.A. TIMES,
    3/25).  But ESPN's Peter Gammons cited Red Sox CEO John
    Harrington, who said the owners "will not present a new proposal.
    They will present some new ideas, and maybe some things that will
    bring the players closer."  But Gammons added:  "I really don't
    think that there's any way that they're going to come any closer"
    ("Baseball Tonight," ESPN, 3/26).
         FOR GOD'S SAKE, DON'T DRINK THE KOOL-AID!  White Sox Chair
    Jerry Reinsdorf compared Fehr to cult leader Jim Jones.
    Reinsdorf, who recommended the players hire an "independent third
    person" to evaluate offers from both sides:  "Don't believe the
    owners, but for God's sake, this isn't Guyana.  Don't believe the
    guy that's misleading you" (Paul Sullivan, CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
    3/26).  ESPN's Keith Olbermann:  "No truth to the rumors that
    Fehr will reply by comparing Jerry Reinsdorf to the worst person
    he could think of -- Jerry Reinsdorf" ("SportsCenter," 3/26).
         WASHINGTON WEEK IN REVIEW:  President Clinton was
    interviewed over the weekend by ESPN Radio.  Clinton on the
    baseball strike:  "If it becomes so painfully clear that it is no
    longer a sport and it's just a business, then the customers may
    decide to take their business elsewhere. ... It could become a
    community sport again -- almost the way soccer is, if they don't
    fix it" (ESPN Radio, 3/25).  Citing what he claims are
    conflicting statements from acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig,
    Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy plans to reintroduce legislation
    today with Republicans Orrin Hatch and Strom Thurmond to
    partially repeal MLB's antitrust exemption (Murray Chass, N.Y.
    TIMES, 3/25).  Speaker Newt Gingrich predicted hearings on the
    issue, "once we're past the labor-management fight" ("Larry King
    Live," CNN, 3/24).
         THE WINNER, AND NEW CHAMPION?  Two baseball writers give the
    owners the nod thus far in negotiations.  In Denver, Tracy
    Ringolsby writes, "The owners have finally stayed together, and
    the union has failed to adapt" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/26).  In
    L.A., Ross Newhan writes, "No matter how a negotiated settlement
    plays out, the owners would finally win one" -- but, that is if
    they can:  1) "disentangle" from the Reinsdorf-led effort to
    break the union; 2) convince Selig "to act like the commissioner
    many are convinced he wants to become"; 3) compromise on the tax
    -- 35% at $47M is suggested; and, 4) include a three-year
    reopener on the tax, unrestricted free agency for 4+ players and
    right-of-first refusal for three (L.A. TIMES, 3/26).
         OTHER STRIKING THOUGHTS:  An AP poll (403 self-identified
    baseball fans surveyed March 15-19) found 34% saying they would
    attend fewer games if replacement players are used, and 38%
    saying they would watch fewer games on TV (Mult, 3/25)....MLBPA
    counsel Lauren Rich:  "If there's not a settlement in the next
    seven to 10 days, it will reopen an era of litigation that will
    make collusion seems like child's play. ... This will degenerate
    into a legal war that will take a very long time to play out and
    (in) which the only winners will be football, basketball and
    hockey (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 3/27)....ESPN's Karl Ravech
    reported that spring training attendance per team is down from
    89,000 last year to 20,200 this year.  Averages per game: 5,933
    in '94, 2,020 in '95 ("Baseball Tonight," 3/26).

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

         Two days after NBA Commissioner David Stern publicly
    criticized the BOSTON GLOBE and columnist Will McDonough for his
    piece on the NBA drug policy, McDonough responded by reporting
    that Stern "was just bowing to pressure" from Celtic officials.
    McDonough claims Stern was met before Wednesday's ceremony
    honoring Reggie Lewis by an angry Red Auerbach, who "whiplashed
    Stern verbally" for past issues issues concerning Lewis' death,
    and by Celtics Owner Paul Gaston, who criticized Stern for "not
    standing up" to media reports alleging Lewis' drug use.  Later,
    Stern held a press conference to denounce the GLOBE story and
    defend the league's drug policy.  McDonough spoke to Stern on
    Friday about the incident, and Stern said he wanted to show that
    the GLOBE was "inaccurate and made my drug policy look bad when I
    think it is the best."  McDonough noted marijuana is not
    recognized as a drug by the NBA -- "maybe someone forgot to tell
    Stern when he authored this drug policy, which he claims to be
    the toughest he is aware of, that marijuana is illegal everywhere
    but in the NBA."  Stern said he hoped "it can be included in the
    next NBA policy."  McDonough's conclusion remains that the NBA's
    policy is that "it does not want to catch its players. ... The
    facts seem to be that Reggie Lewis used cocaine from his days at
    Northeastern until his last Celtic game, and the great NBA
    program did nothing to stop him, or ever slow him down."
    McDonough's column included a comparison of drug policies of the
    four major leagues (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/25).
         MEDIA INTROSPECTION:  More thoughts on the coverage of the
    Lewis story.  In L.A., basketball writer Mark Heisler writes that
    as the Celtics retired Lewis' number, "everyone railied at the
    media, the timing, the snitches.  TV poofs like CNN's Fred
    Hickman, uncomfortable with an actual story, asked plaintively,
    'Why now?'  Heisler writes, "Why not now? Unbecoming as it is,
    there is only a problem if the story is inaccurate" (L.A. TIMES,
    3/26).  In Boston, sports media writer Jim Baker criticized NBA
    broadcast partners TNT and NBC for not showing "the kind of zeal
    they display" in showcasing Michael Jordan "when it comes to a
    meaty issue like probing an NBA drug policy" (BOSTON HERALD,
         UNION ISSUES:  NBPA Exec Dir Charles Grantham "takes issue"
    with Suns Owner Jerry Colangelo for reinstating Richard Dumas,
    only if Dumas agreed to submit to frequent testing by the club.
    Grantham said this is technically a "violation of the [league]
    agreement, and I would expect the league to fine any team not in
    compliance with the agreement substantially" (Ailene Voisin,
    The latest discussions on a new CBA "were not hopeful," according
    to the BOSTON GLOBE's Jackie MacMullan.  Sources told MacMullan
    the NBPA asked for 73% of the defined gross revenue in its last
    proposal (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/26).

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NBC, Phoenix Suns, Turner Sports

         The state of the LPGA was a hot topic this weekend, as the
    Tour held its first major, the Dinah Shore Classic.  ABC's
    coverage of the Dinah Shore is one of only seven tournaments
    carried by network TV.  In Montreal, Pat Hickey writes, "If
    you're a fan of women's golf and you can't understand why there
    isn't more TV coverage, it's because there aren't more of you
    fans" (Montreal GAZETTE, 3/25).  In San Jose, Marcus Hayes blames
    the lack of coverage on the the popularity of the men's tours:
    "Men own the airwaves" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 3/25).  In L.A.,
    Thomas Bonk creidts outgoing LPGA Commissioner Charlie Mechem for
    increasing the prize money from $17.1M to $24M and the number of
    LPGA licensees from 20 to 29.  Candidates to succeed Mecham
    include former Sprint exec Jack Frazee and Wilson Golf marketing
    chief Jan Thompson ( L.A. TIMES, 3/26).
         GOLF "FORUM" SEEN AS A "SHOT" AT WORLD TOUR:  In Boston, Joe
    Concannon writes that last week's World Golf Forum (see THE
    DAILY, 3/23) "seemed to be a united shot at Greg Norman's
    proposed tour."  Greg Norman defended his proposed Fox-sponsored
    World Tour:  "Now that the smoke has cleared, a lot of good has
    come out of it.  I have played in different parts of the world,
    and there is a very supportive feeling for it" (BOSTON GLOBE,

    Print | Tags: ABC, Leagues and Governing Bodies, LPGA, Sprint, Walt Disney, Wilson Sporting Goods
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