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BASEBALL BACK TO BUSINESS: OWNERS GROUP MEETS IN MILWAUKEE
Published April 12, 1995
MLB's Executive Council met last night over dinner to discuss, as acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig put it, "a lot of internal issues." Several council members said the issues of revenue sharing and legal representation would be discussed. Red Sox CEO John Harrington: "I'd like to see something on revenue- sharing evolve out of this. We need to get started as soon as we can" (Jim Litke, AP/FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/12). ESPN's Chris Berman: "Baseball owners are finishing their meeting over dinner tonight in Milwaukee. We presume the large market teams are picking up the tab" ("Baseball Tonight," 4/11). UMPS TO PICKET: ESPN's Robin Roberts reported that MLB umpires "could set up picket lines" during the exhibition games that begin Thursday ("SportsCenter," 4/11). The picketing "would be informational and not intended to stop people from entering stadiums" (AP/N.Y. TIMES, 4/12). The MLBUA has "given up" on its bid to have replacement umpires banned from working in Toronto. MLBUA spokesperson Bob Opalka: "It may not be as solid an option as we anticipated" (Bill Lankhof, TORONTO SUN, 4/12). TV DEALINGS: In New York, Phil Mushnick notes, "Well-placed rumors persist that reps of Fox and MLB's TV committee held covert meetings several months ago during which Fox made clear its strong desire for baseball." But Fox's position since has been that it is not interested in discussing a deal until MLB gets a new long-term CBA in place. Mushnick: "If there's no CBA for the 1996 season on the near horizon, baseball's downward spiral could be accelerated beyond belief" (N.Y. POST, 4/12). 20-20 REVISION: Roy Firestone asked Cal Ripken if it were August 12, 1994 again and the players faced the vote to strike again, would they do it. Ripken: "Well, with the benefit of hindsight, you might play through the whole season and do it that way" ("Up Close," ESPN, 4/11).... Former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn urged owners and players to develop an NBA-style partnership (N.Y. POST, 4/12). NEWS & NOTES: The A's announced that kids 14 and younger will be admitted to all games this season for $1. The $1 prices apply to four sections (A's)....Indians VP of Marketing and Communications Jeff Overton said the team "actually gained, rather than lost, corporate sponsors during the strike" (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND, 4/10 issue).... Tickets for the Mariners opening four- game homestand will all be half price (Mariners)....Cactus League President Jerry Geiger expects an attendance drop for this year's spring games of 45-85% from last year. Reasons include the shortened season, travel restrictions for out-of-state fans and a decrease in fan interest (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/12).