SBD/5/Leagues Governing Bodies

MLB HAS ITS OWN BIG VOTE AFTER ELECTION DAY; SAYS NO TO NIKE

     As MLB owners prepare to meet in Chicago tomorrow to vote on
a proposed labor deal, "a move was afoot yesterday to maneuver
the responsibility of killing" the deal from the owners to the
players, according to Murray Chass of the N.Y. TIMES.  Some
owners have talked about making changes to the proposed deal,
"most likely removing the players option for  a sixth year," and
sending it back to the union for its approval.  Ownership would
expect the union to "reject an altered agreement, but then it
would appear that the players and not the owners were undermining
labor peace."  One owners' source called the idea a "cheap
publicity stunt" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/5).  USA TODAY's Hal Bodley
notes the deal "appears doomed, with at least eight owners
prepared to vote it down."  In his updated ownership survey,
Bodley has the Red Sox joining the White Sox, Cubs, Royals,
Mariners, Marlins, Astros and Expos in voting against a deal (USA
TODAY, 11/5).  CNN's Nick Charles that MLB may let the Devil Rays
and D'Backs vote on the deal even though they won't begin play
until '98.  Charles: "Allowing votes for the expansion teams only
adds more potential opponents to stop the deal" ("SportsTonight,"
CNN, 11/4).  In Minneapolis, Jim Souhan writes that Twins are
also "prepared" to vote against the deal (Minneapolis STAR
TRIBUNE, 11/5).
     RAMIFICATIONS: In Chicago, Dave Van Dyck writes if the deal
is defeated, "almost certainly, there will be another strike or
lockout this winter or spring.  And, almost certainly, [MLBPA
Exec Dir Donald] Fehr would become a hero to his troops."  One
"insider" told Van Dyck, "It will get brutal. What you have seen
so far isn't anything compared to what you will see" (CHICAGO
SUN-TIMES, 11/5).
     NO NIKE: Last Thursday, MLB owners rejected the first "big
deal" put together MLB Enterprises CEO Greg Murphy, a proposed
10-year contract with Nike, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
Nike spokesperson Jim Small: "We're disappointed that baseball
still can't seem to get its house in order."  Under the deal,
Nike would have logo rights to 15-to-18 team uniforms, stadium
signage and ad time on network broadcasts.  MLB team officials
"were angered" that while Nike was making "a large commitment,"
up to $200M, a "very small percentage of the money would have
been filtered down to individual clubs."  Other clubs
"complained" that teams on the MLB Properties board had more
information on the deal than others.  One official: "People felt
it was an uneven playing field."  Clubs were also against an
"ambush" clause preventing teams from selling ads to Nike
competitors (Ronald Blum, AP/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/5).
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