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  • GAMMONS PREDICTS INTERLEAGUE REALIGNMENT FOR BASEBALL

         The results of the vote on financing for a new stadium for
    the Mariners will not be known until Monday, but regardless of
    any potential Mariners move, ESPN's Peter Gammons believes
    baseball will realign soon.  Gammons reports that Montreal could
    possibly change to the AL East, with Detroit moving to the AL
    Central.  In the NL, Gammons says MLB leaders would like to
    create a division with Kansas City or Texas joining Colorado and
    Arizona.  The movement between leagues would create a rivalry
    between St. Louis and K.C. and Houston and Texas (Rudy Martzke,
    USA TODAY, 9/21).
         DC LOOKS TO WASHINGTON:  In this morning's WASHINGTON TIMES,
    Thom Loverro reports that Virginia Baseball officials have had
    talks with Mariners ownership about the sale of the club
    (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/21).  Meanwhile, ESPN's Gammons predicts the
    Pirates will open next year at RFK Stadium:  "I would be shocked
    if the Pirates weren't in Washington (D.C.) next year."  Gammons
    says MLB's owners will show no support in blocking the move for
    O's Owner Peter Angelos, who takes 25% of his fan base from the
    DC area (USA TODAY, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Walt Disney
  • INDYCAR OWNERS BEGIN TO RALLY AROUND ALTERNATE-INDY IDEA

         IndyCar Owners are preparing for a meeting "that will decide
    whether they will go through with a proposed boycott" of next
    May's Indy 500, according to this morning's DETROIT NEWS.  The
    boycott would be in response to the Indy 500's new qualifying
    format.  Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George, who
    is leading the upstart Indy Racing League, enacted the changes
    which require 25 of 33 qualifying spots be reserved for IRL
    drivers.  Although IndyCar President & CEO Andrew Craig refused
    to comment, some IndyCar owners indicate they are preparing for
    an alternative race.  Walker Racing Owner Derrick Walker: "There
    is some serious testing of the water, but the button hasn't been
    pushed yet."  Walker added that "there will be an owners meeting
    real soon," and "there is no doubt" IndyCar teams "will be racing
    Memorial Day.  There's no way the teams and sponsors can afford
    not to ... and I guarantee it will be on television."  Several
    sources indicate an alternate race could be held at Michigan
    International Speedway, in Brooklyn, MI, owned by Roger Penske
    (Angelique Chengelis, DETROIT NEWS, 9/21).  Car Owner Chip
    Ganassi said talk of a boycott is real: "We have a position and
    we've made it known to Tony.  I hope cooler heads prevail"
    (BOSTON HERALD, 9/21).  Michael Andretti:  "I would hate to see
    it happen, because Indy is a great race.  But Tony's got to
    understand it's not the only race" (DETROIT NEWS, 9/21).
         FROM THE OTHER SIDE:  Tony George was in Loudon, NH,
    yesterday promoting the New England 200, which will be part of
    the '96 IRL schedule.  George said he was surprised at talk of a
    boycott, according to this morning's BOSTON HERALD.  George, on
    IndyCAR and CART Owners: "Boycott is something that I though was
    not in their vocabulary. ...We expect to have a field of
    competition that may or may not include that specific group of
    owners or drivers.  But that's totally up to them."  Car owner
    Dick Simon said he would not boycott Indy "because of obligations
    to his team and sponsors."  Simon: "I have to look at the fact
    we've already signed an agreement to run Indy. ... I'll do my
    best to do whatever it takes to make sure our sponsors and our
    team are at the Indianapolis 500.  I have to do that."  Driver
    Eddie Cheever said he will be at the Brickyard on Memorial Day
    Weekend.  Cheever: "When I came to the States, my sole objective
    was to win the Indianapolis 500."  Cheever added that a boycott
    by top teams "would not hurt the race."  Cheever:  "There was no
    Penske car last year and it didn't kill the race" (Stephen
    Grabowski BOSTON HERALD, 9/21).
         LESSONS FROM BASEBALL?  In a piece in the current INSIDE
    SPORTS, Lewis Franck notes that without an alternative to the
    Indy 500, drivers will risk not running in "the race your
    sponsors care most about."  George says the new series will
    reduce costs, but Franck notes that many think it will destroy
    the sport.  Mario Andretti: "We're not competing with other
    series -- we're competing with other sports.  I've told Tony, 'I
    don't care how you put it -- there's not room for two series.
    One has to die.'"  Franck writes:  "Hasn't anyone learned the
    lessons from baseball?  Fans don't want to see replacement
    players.  They don't care about which acronym sanctions what
    race, or about those behind-the-scenes power grabs.  They just
    want a good show" (INSIDE SPORTS, 10/95 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Champ Car World Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • NBA VETS WANT THEIR SLICE OF THE TASTY CBA PIE

         The pre-1955 NBPA, "championed by 1952 co-rookie of the year
    Bill Tosheff," wants $4.5M of the new CBA to include 66 veterans
    with at least three years' experience not currently included in
    pension benefits," according to Greg Boeck of USA TODAY.
    Tosheff:  "We're dying off fast.  Take care of us and set history
    straight.  We set the table for what is today" (USA TODAY, 9/21).
         STARSPEAK:  Charles Barkley, on how the NBA's labor strife
    affected his friendship with Michael Jordan:  "It put a strain on
    our friendship.  He finally called me last week.  He hadn't
    called me since I wrote an article (against decertification) in
    USA Today.  I have my perspective and he and everyone else
    respects it.  I'm not saying it's a great deal, I want to make
    that clear.  It isn't that good.  It wouldn't have an effect on
    me.  I just think 95 percent of the players couldn't afford a
    strike or lockout.  I stayed out of the union stuff until I saw
    it going in that direction" (Bob Young, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/21).
    Hakeem Olajuwan, on the decision not to decertify:  "It worked
    out for the best because with the direction of the league, the
    way the NBA is growing so fast it would be foolish for us to do
    anything otherwise" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
  • NFL-COWBOYS COURT HEARING CANCELLED ON PROMISE BY JONES

         The NFL cancelled a court hearing today on the league's
    $300M lawsuit against the Cowboys after Jerry Jones promised the
    team would not file its own lawsuit without advance notice.  The
    league announced that the only issue that will be discussed today
    will be the status of a temporary restraining owner in place
    barring the Cowboys from filing any lawsuits of their own.  In
    this morning's FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, Mike Fisher reports that
    Jones and Patriots Owner Robert Kraft have discussed a change to
    the league's revenue sharing plan.  The plan would split "about
    in half" the 5% monitored by NFL Properties -- about $100M last
    year. One portion would be paid directly to clubs that market
    themselves; the other divided among the 30 teams based on market
    size.  An NFL source told the STAR-TELEGRAM that Jones thinks
    he'll win in court, "but he's also confident he'll win other
    owners over without court" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/21).
    Kraft, in this morning's USA TODAY: "There is a bigger issue here
    -- local selling and marketing, and who can do a better job. ...
    If we get to the substance of the issues, maybe there can be some
    amendments made while keeping the spirit of sharing" (USA TODAY,
    9/21).  Columnist Bryan Burwell notes there is "a silent minority
    of owners who have invested as much as Jones has into the pro
    football business, who are rooting for Jones as he finds new ways
    to produce big profits" (USA TODAY, 9/21).
         WHO DOESN'T APPLAUD RAMPANT CAPITALISM:  There is support
    this morning for Jones' proposals, at least among columnists.  In
    Washington, Dan Daly writes, "If you can put your feelings about
    the man aside for a moment, you might see some sense in his
    proposal" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/21).  In St. Louis, Jeff Gordon
    writes, "If he wants to build his Cowboys franchise into the
    ultimate capitalist venture, we should applaud him.  That's free
    enterprise" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/21).  Burwell:  "Jones
    makes a lot of sense when he talks about individual teams
    marketing their own products" (USA TODAY, 9/21).  In
    Philadelphia, Bill Lyon writes, "The courts tend to support
    capitalism" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/21).
         AND FROM A SLIGHTLY BIASED OBSERVER:  Emmitt Smith on Jerry
    Jones and the NFL: "I don't think the NFL has a chance.  I really
    don't.  I think the man knew exactly what he was getting into
    when he made the deals, so I don't think he would have made the
    deals if he thought he was going to get sued for a large amount
    of money" (CNN, 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Leagues and Governing Bodies, New England Patriots, NFL, Time Warner
  • NHL, PLAYERS CONTINUE TO DISCUSS NAGANO, DEADLINE APPROACHES

         The chances of NHL players participating in the '98 Nagano
    Games "improved this week," as the NHL and NHLPA are engaged in
    "high level talks," according to this morning's GLOBE & MAIL.
    Optimism also comes from an official of the Int'l Ice Hockey
    Federation.  IIHF VP Rickard Fagerlund said, to his knowledge,
    the NHL has agreed to shut down for 16 days in '98 to accommodate
    the Olympics.  The NHLPA wants players to have four days between
    arrival in Japan and their first day of competition, as well as a
    recovery period after the Games (Alan Adams, Toronto GLOBE &
    MAIL, 9/21).  USA Hockey President Walter Bush echoed the IIHF's
    optimism.  Bush:  "I think it will happen.  I think everyone
    realizes it's a win-win-win situation."  A proposal for NHL
    participation must be presented at the IIHF meetings next week in
    Budapest (USA TODAY, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
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