SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies

HARRINGTON REPORTS BASEBALL'S BOTTOM LINE GETTING STRONGER

     MLB teams may begin to break even in '96 after two straight
years of losses, according to Red Sox CEO John Harrington.
Harrington told the WASHINGTON POST's Mark Maske, while a new
labor deal is the goal, it is "not necessary to get a deal before
spring training to proceed without a work stoppage" -- because
there's "virtually no chance" the owners will lock out the
players in the spring even if there is no deal.  Harrington:
"The economics of the of the '96 season are being cast in cement
now.  They'll be cast in cement on the 20th of December (when
teams must tender contracts for next season to players eligible
for salary arbitration, or make them free agents).  All the
players the clubs want to retain will be signed under the old
economic system."  The 28 teams accounted operating losses of
$300-400M during '95, while estimates of losses in '94 have hit
$700M.  But a new TV deal, which will pay each team around $12M
next season, will help teams break even or lose less next season.
Harrington:  "The early polls show it should be break even to
$100M in losses.  We will recover, and we are on the road"
(WASHINGTON POST, 12/14).
     MEXICO: The Mets asked for modifications to a ballpark in
Monterrey, Mexico, before they agree to play a three-game series
there in August against the Padres (NEWSDAY, 12/14).
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