SBD/4/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL GETS BACK TO BUSINESS

     Baseball's owners and players agreed to a set of back-to-
work rules, with "one possible hitch" -- the owners are seeking a
stay of the injunction issued Friday.  Both sides were reluctant
to comment on the possibility of the stay being issued (Murray
Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 4/4).
     BACK TO THE TABLE, ANYTIME SOON?  In Chicago, Jerome
Holtzman writes "it will be six months, possibly longer" before
the owners return to the table.  Holtzman predicts no talks until
Christmas, at which point the owners will "take another stab at
an impasse and attempt to implement their original proposals."
The owners will also replace their bargaining team with
"professional negotiators, along with a sprinkling of hard-line
attorneys" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/4).  In Houston, Alex Truex
reports chief management attorney Chuck O'Connor "apparently
[has] fallen out of favor" with acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig
(HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/2). MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr, on CNBC's
"Business Insiders" last night:  "If it were entirely up to me, I
would try to get it done before the regular season starts, but we
will just have to see what type of schedule the clubs will want
to go on."  Fehr on whether the strike was worth it:  "I don't
think the players had any choice" (CNBC, 4/3).  Braves President
Stan Kasten: "No one wants to hear this, but I really feel we're
no more than midway toward solving the problem" (Tim Tucker,
ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/4).  Harvard Law Professor Paul Weiler:
"The reality is that both sides are an awful lot closer together
than they were in August. ... The owners did not appreciate the
fact that it took them 20 months to work out their positions and
they gave the players two months to cut a deal" (Murray Chass,
N.Y. TIMES, 4/4).
     STOP THE INSANITY:  While Orioles Owner Peter Angelos said
there is sentiment on both sides for a no-strike, no-
implementation agreement, he added it may not be necessary.
Angelos:  "I don't think the players will go out, and I don't
think the owners will provoke them to go out.  But if something
more formal can be worked out, that can't hurt" (Mark Maske,
WASHINGTON POST, 4/4).  Phillies President Bill Giles:  "The odds
of another work stoppage are slim to none" ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
4/3).  ESPN's Peter Gammons: "I don't believe the players will
strike again, unless the owners implement some sort of system
during the season" ("Baseball Tonight," 4/3).  CNN's Mark Morgan:
"Baseball fans must temper their enthusiasm with this reality.
The owners and players have been at odds since the mid-70's, and
there is no guarantee that the '95 season will be played without
another work stoppage" ("Sports Tonight," 4/3).
     BRAVE NEW WORLD:  In Boston, Steve Fainaru writes, "Baseball
woke up to a dark new era yesterday ... The easy money that began
to flow in the 1980s, causing salaries to soar, has been shut off
by angry broadcasters, sponsors and fans who once enriched
baseball because of its place in America" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/4).
Agent Tony Attanasio  complained that GM's had a "party line" on
free agents.  Attanasio:  "I hadn't even asked for a nickel,
hadn't even put a proposal on the table, and I was being told I'm
asking too much.  The clubs have their script and some of it may
be realistic, but I also think it's punishment time for the
players" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 4/4).  ESPN's "Cover Story" --
 "Damaged Goods" -- examined the future of baseball in the
American consciousness.  ESPN's Charley Steiner: "The 'Lords of
the Realm' cannot be too happy about the harm done to the game
and the product by the 234-day strike."  Steiner noted the
revenue losses:  MLB Properties saw a decrease of $400M or 16%;
TV revenues took "a major hit in '94, as MLB was the only league
that had TV revenues go down -- and the prospects for this year
are at best, uncertain."
            NEW CONTRACT   CHANGE FROM '94
     NHL       $44M           +88%
     NBA       $275M          +20%
     NFL       $1.10B         +18%
     MLB       $77.5M         -79% due to strike, fewer
                              games and ad dollars
     Steiner concluded by noting what is more difficult to gauge
is the long-range damage done to the game, as baseball
"irretrievably lost its appeal to the kids of America, who are
now more inclined to kick soccer balls, or shoot basketballs,
than they are to try and hit home runs.  After all, an average
eighth grader has lived through five work stoppages in his life"
("SportsCenter," ESPN, 4/3).
     QUOTES OF NOTE:  Angelos, profiled on PBS' "Here and Now":
"There is room for new people to come in and try to bring this
disharmonious situation to an end.  It is bordering on the
ludicrous for grown men and women to be fighting like this" (PBS,
4/3)....David Letterman: "I don't understand this.  They stop the
strike over the weekend.  The regular season doesn't start until
April 26 and yet somehow the Mets are already 15 games out of
first place" ("Late Show," CBS, 4/3).... ESPN's Karl Ravech,
noting Lou Whitaker's comment that the fans will forgive ("It is
just like a man and a women.  Maybe we will send a few flowers"):
"Other players seem to have a better grasp of the bitterness that
now exists toward the game" ("Baseball Tonight," 4/3). ....Former
Blue Jays President Peter Bavasi:  "The one clear winner is the
big market teams, the high revenue teams" ("Business Insiders,"
CNBC, 4/3)....CBS' Richard Threlkeld: "As for the Fans, they
weren't exactly knocking down doors today to buy season tickets"
("Evening News," 4/3).
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