SBD/12/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • AND NOW, SOME GOOD NEWS: MLB GETS THEIR MARKETING MAN

         Greg Murphy was officially named President & CEO of the
    newly created entity, Major League Baseball Enterprises.  Murphy
    has worked in consumer marketing for over 20 years and most
    recently led Kraft Foods Bakery companies.  MLB Enterprises is a
    new division that incorporates MLB Properties and will oversee
    TV, advertising, PR, licensing, sponsorships and international
    development (MLB).  Acting Commissioner Bud Selig called the
    structure of MLB Enterprises "radically different than anything
    baseball has ever had" (Paul Schwartz, N.Y. POST, 6/12).  Murphy,
    on his challenges:  "Fans are angry.  I think disgusted.  In many
    ways that's great because they really care."  Murphy, who
    experience includes marketing Kool-Aid in '78 after the mass
    suicides in Jonestown, Guyana, added, "Everyone feels
    passionately about baseball.  Even Marge Schott.  The core equity
    of Kool-Aid and the core equity of baseball are strong" (Richard
    Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).  Murphy:  "We need to restore
    baseball to its proper place in American life" ("SportsCenter,"
    ESPN, 6/11).
         MEDIA REACTION:  The announcement was noted covered widely
    outside the Eastern media.  The N.Y. TIMES' Richard Sandomir
    notes Murphy "lacks sports experience, which did not scare off
    baseball."  He also notes Murphy was "reluctant to reveal his
    possible strategies" to increase revenue, attendance, TV ratings,
    and franchise values -- "his four goals" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).  In
    Philadelphia, Michael Sokolove writes Murphy's hiring could
    change the type of candidate MLB will seek as new commissioner.
    Previously, owners had talked of hiring a person with a marketing
    background "in the mold" of a Peter Ueberroth.  But with Murphy
    on board, Phillies President Bill Giles said a new commissioner
    would "more likely" be someone like the late Bart Giamatti
    (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/12).  NEWSDAY's Steve Jacobson notes
    the challenges facing Murphy, who was "glowing" with the
    appointment.  Jacobson:  "Let's see his face after he's had a
    couple of years on the job."  But Jacobsen added "it was
    interesting to see" immediately after his introduction, Murphy
    was shaking hands and planning a get-together with a Nike
    official (NEWSDAY, 6/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Nike, Philadelphia Phillies, Walt Disney
  • MLB, PART II: MANAGEMENT SOURCE HAS LABOR TALKS IN COURT

         MLB owners are threatening to return to court on a second
    attempt to impose a new economic system should negotiations with
    the MLBPA not accelerate by the All-Star break, according to Mark
    Maske of the WASHINGTON POST.  One management source told Maske,
    "We're either going to have a deal or something close to a deal
    at the all-star break, or we're going to court soon after that."
    The owners attempted such an implementation in December '94
    during the strike, but "under pressure" from the NLRB, they
    withdrew a salary cap system soon after imposing it.  MLB chief
    negotiator Randy Levine declined to comment on a possible return
    to court, but MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr said, "It doesn't
    surprise me.  It's easy to rattle sabers."  The union is expected
    to deliver a new proposal to management this week (WASHINGTON
    POST, 6/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • REPORTS HAVE SCHOTT OUT UNTIL '97, BUT TEAM LEADER UNCERTAIN

         ESPN reports that MLB's Executive Council will announce
    today the suspension of Reds Owner Marge Schott as President of
    the club and overseer of day-to-day operations through at least
    the '97 season.  Some MLB officials are "still pushing" to have
    Schott suspended through '99, when her partnership agreement to
    run the team ends.  To ensure that Schott won't be in control
    through hand-picked replacement (most likely Reds Controller John
    Allen), the Council is expected to name an interim president.
    Top candidates: Pirates President Mark Sauer and former Angels
    President Richard Brown.  Schott will not relinquish any
    ownership stake in the Reds and will still be able to attend
    games.  However, she will not be permitted to participate in any
    decisions involving the club, nor represent the Reds at any NL
    and MLB functions.  ESPN reported Schott is not expected to fight
    the decision ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/11).  In Dayton, Hal McCoy
    reports Council sources say they are removing Schott "under the
    catch-all phrase, 'the best interest of baseball.'"  One high
    ranking source said Schott told the Council, "I don't see that I
    said anything wrong." A second Council source said, "If you're
    looking into how we can do this, just check what Schott signed in
    February 1993."  In '93, Schott signed a document saying she
    would accept indefinite suspension if she made any further
    insensitive comments (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 6/12).  In Atlanta, I.J.
    Rosenberg notes Schott will not be able to apply for
    reinstatement for at least two years (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
    6/12).  In New York, Murray Chass notes it "was unclear" whether
    Schott would voluntarily relinquish control as of late yesterday
    (N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).  In DC, Mark Maske notes that Schott and her
    representatives "have indicated to baseball officials that she
    will fight any sanctions."  MLB leaders are seeking a deal where
    she would "be removed from the club's day-to-day operations for
    one year and would pledge not to sue over the matter" (WASHINGTON
    POST, 6/12).
         SCHOTT SPEAKS:  As Schott left Riverfront Stadium last
    night, she told Cincinnati's WLWT-TV:  "I'm going to do what's
    best for baseball. ... I just love the team."  Through her
    attorney, Robert Martin, Schott suggested to MLB that Allen be
    put in a more "significant -- but still secondary -- role."  This
    point reportedly was still being negotiated.  On reports he might
    be brought in to run the club, Sauer told the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER
    it was "the first time I've heard anything about it" (Hal Bodley,
    USA TODAY, 6/12).  One Pirate official said Sauer "had not been
    contacted about such duties and remains committed to building a
    new ballpark in Pittsburgh" (Ken Daley, DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
    6/12).  The PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE notes that Sauer is still
    President of the Pirates, although "he was stripped of much of
    his power" under new ownership (Bob Smizik, PITTSBURGH POST-
    GAZETTE, 6/12).  Sauer is reportedly a close friend of Reds GM
    Jim Bowden, who took over the team during Schott's first
    suspension in '93 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/12).  The N.Y. TIMES'
    Murray Chass notes the Executive Council "apparently would
    approve" Bowden to run the team if Schott nominated him, but
    Schott reportedly will not since the two are not getting along
    (N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).
         ONE VOICE:  Columnist Ira Berkow writes Schott should not be
    removed.  Berkow notes it is the right of fans "not to patronize
    such a fool ... they should be the ultimate judges, not her pious
    fellow owners" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).
         MORE FUN: Indians OF Albert Belle's hearing on his five-game
    appeal will be heard tomorrow in New York by AL President Gene
    Budig (Akron BEACON-JOURNAL, 6/12).
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates, Walt Disney
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