SBD/28/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         The reluctance of baseball fans to return to MLB stadiums in
    droves this Opening Week is the focus of much media attention.
    ABC's Armen Keteyian:  "Baseball may be back but its vital signs
    are decidedly mixed."  Rangers President Tom Schieffer:  "There's
    going to be a period of time here that's going to be pretty hard"
    ("World News Tonight," 4/27).  In this morning's WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, Frederick Klein notes the fans' threats to get "revenge
    by staying home," and writes, "Sure, we nodded, we've heard that
    before.  But maybe more attention should have been paid to them"
    (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/28).  ESPN's Keith Olbermann:  "It is far
    too early to suggest that the near- boycott conditions will
    continue in whole or in part, but if they do, the decline from
    '94-95 might be the steepest attendance drop since the Players
    League War of 1890"  ("SportsCenter," 4/27).  ESPN's Peter
    Gammons:  "I'd really like to thank the players union for
    threatening to strike the All-Star game.  I mean, let's try to
    keep the fans away and turned off as much as possible.  That's
    just ridiculous" ("Baseball Tonight," 4/27).  NEWSDAY's Steve
    Zipay notes that ratings were up in New York for both the
    Yankees' home opener on MSG and the Mets road opener on
    SportsChannel (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 4/28).  Tonight's "Nightly Business
    Report" will report on the business of baseball (PBS, 4/27).
         AROUND THE LEAGUE:  In Toronto, Jim Proudfoot calls
    yesterday's 31,073 crowd -- the smallest ever at SkyDome --
    "downright worrisome" (TORONTO STAR, 4/28).  Although the
    official count for yesterday's Braves game was 26,120, I.J.
    Rosenberg reports an actual crowd of 10,000-16,000 and cites
    "obvious distaste for major league baseball" (ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 4/28).  The Giants expect 30,000 for today's home
    opener, around half of what they drew last season (SAN FRANCISCO
    CHRONICLE, 4/28).  Finally, the Mets have only sold 20,000 for
    tonight's opener (N.Y. POST, 4/28).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Atlanta Braves, Cablevision, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Madison Square Garden, MLB, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Walt Disney

         The Ontario Labour Relations Board heard closing arguments
    yesterday from lawyers representing players, owners and umpires,
    but did not rule on whether replacement umps would be banned in
    Toronto under Ontario's anti-scab worker law.  While noting that
    umpires had never filed as a union in Ontario, AL Counsel Roy
    Filion said the MLBUA "cherry picked this opportunity to bring
    this application forward" (Donovan Vincent, TORONTO STAR, 4/28).
    Blue Jays Counsel Gordon Kirke argued that the umps "are not
    employees of ball clubs because it would compromise their
    integrity" (Dan Ralph, CP/OTTAWA CITIZEN, 4/28).  Meanwhile,
    Kirke told the OLRB that a ruling against the league would mean
    the Jays playing in Dunedin, FL -- an option that "sent a visible
    jolt" through Blue Jays President Paul Beeston (James Christie,
    Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/28).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Toronto Blue Jays

         In the wake of the Reggie Lewis controversy which engulfed
    the city of Boston and NBA circles last month, the NBA's drug
    policy is examined in a front-page piece in this morning's BOSTON
    GLOBE.  Noting that only two of the over 300 players in the NBA
    have been in treatment, Daniel Golden writes, "This small
    proportion compared with some other pro sports and the American
    workforce in general may mean only that the NBA is virtually
    drug-free."  Yet in the wake of the disputed Lewis story, "drug
    specialists and several NBA coaches and players suggest that the
    league's policy may be ineffective in uncovering drug use."  Dr.
    Lloyd Bacchus, an Atlanta psychiatrist who took over the NBA's
    drug program last year, "expressed concern" about the number of
    players treated.  Bacchus has brought on two former NBA players,
    both recovering addicts, to counsel players on whether to come
    forward.  Two key parts of the policy get close examination:  the
    need for "probable cause" (as established by an arbitrator)
    before a veteran can be tested; and the exclusion of the teams
    from testing and treatment.  NBA Senior VP for Legal & Business
    Affairs Jeffrey Mishkin, who noted that the policy is being
    reexamined as part of talks with the NBPA:  "We believe the drug
    policy is working.  We believe it's had a tremendous deterrent
    effect.  Are we ferreting out every last use of cocaine?
    Probably not.  There are obvious reasons why not" (BOSTON GLOBE,
         STAY IN SCHOOL?  In Washington, Tom Knott notes the
    "hypocrisy" of the NBA's "Stay in School" program while college
    sophomores and juniors are considering leaving school to enter
    the NBA draft (WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/28).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
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