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SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies
HARRINGTON REPORTS BASEBALL'S BOTTOM LINE GETTING STRONGER
Published December 14, 1995
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).