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SBD/18/Leagues Governing Bodies
HARD-LINE OWNERS PUSH FOR BALLOW TO STEP FORWARD
Published April 18, 1995
While Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig continues to insist that Chuck O'Connor has not been removed as general counsel of the Player Relations Committee, he "acknowledges that his daily legal briefings are now conducted by Rob Manfred, formerly the PRC's No. 2 lawyer." And with the owners' legal strategy "under fire," Nashville attorney Robert Ballow "continues to move into a more prominent role" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 4/16). Replacing O'Connor with Ballow will bring "the real war," predicts agent Tom Reich (Peter Gammons, BOSTON GLOBE, 4/16). COLLUSION III? MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr said an investigation is under way to determine if owners are guilty of collusion in signing free agents since the strike ended. Selig called the suggestion "so ludicrous it's hardly worthy of comment" (Hal Bodley, USA TODAY, 4/18). UNION BLACKLIST: Fehr made the rounds of training camps providing players with lists of replacement players. In Boston, Mike Shalin writes, "Do they really need to know?" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/15). In K.C., Jonathan Rand writes the union "clearly has too much free time. Last time anybody looked, there was still no collective-bargaining agreement" (K.C. STAR, 4/17). In Cleveland, Bill Livingston writes, "It smacks of the blacklist of the McCarthy era" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 4/16). MLBPA General Counsel Gene Orza said the union has informed all players that harassment or retaliation against replacements is illegal (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 4/18). In New York, Bill Madden notes Fehr was telling the players they "won" the labor stand-off. But Madden asks, "Won what?" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/15). PRESSURING BUD: USA TODAY's Hal Bodley reports members of MLB's Executive Council "tried again to twist Selig's arm" to become permanent commissioner. While Selig again resisted, "if he thinks he can serve the game, he'll reluctantly accept the job -- as early as the owners' meetings in Minneapolis, June 6-8" (USA TODAY, 4/17).