SBD/24/Leagues Governing Bodies

LEYLAND, TIRED OF WORLD SERIES CRITICISM, LASHES OUT

          In a "rare outburst of anger and candor," Marlins
     Manager Jim Leyland "lashed out at critics" of the '97 World
     Series, according to Dan Shaughnessy of the BOSTON GLOBE. 
     Leyland "seemed to be directing some of his anger" at Acting
     Commissioner Bud Selig, who criticized the quality and pace
     of play during the first few games.  Leyland: "I'm sick and
     tired of hearing about New York and Atlanta and Baltimore. 
     We won it.  We are the teams that are supposed to be here,
     and it makes me puke when I continue to hear people talking
     about the Marlins and the Indians."  More Leyland: "This
     game has a hell of a lot more problems than the (expletive)
     TV ratings" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/24).  Leyland added that MLB
     should start its World Series games earlier: "[I]n my
     opinion, we contradict ourselves a lot in baseball.  We're
     trying to get the youth involved, for God sakes.  Most youth
     are sleeping by 9 o'clock, and more importantly, so is the
     guy that works from 7 o'clock to 4 or 5 in the afternoon. 
     The blue-collar guy is tired. ... The ratings of this World
     Series (are) not very high on the list of problems we've got
     with baseball" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/24). 
          REAX:  In Washington, Thomas Boswell noted both the
     comments of Selig and Leyland: "Is baseball finally coming
     out of its denial phase?  This may end up being the worst-
     played, least watched World Series in history.  But it also
     could be a watershed in candor.  For the first time,
     baseball is admitting publicly the depth and number of its
     problems" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/24). In Philadelphia, Bill
     Conlin called Leyland's remarks "one of the great bursts of
     compulsive truth-telling ever heard in a sport in which
     lying is an accepted art" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/24). 
     In N.Y., Mike Lupica writes Leyland spoke "honestly, and
     from the heart, without editing himself. ... His rant turned
     out to be better than these games, and moved along much
     quicker" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/24).  Also in N.Y., Tom Keegan
     called Leyland's remarks "refreshing" (N.Y. POST, 10/24). 
          RATINGS: Reaction continued to the Series' low ratings. 
     NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay writes the "big reason" for the
     interest drop "is that we're seeing the continuing residue
     from the bitter strike" and cancelled Series of '94.  Zipay:
     "The casual viewer left and never came back.  Simple as
     that" (NEWSDAY, 10/24).  In Toronto, Stephen Brunt writes
     the Series "has to win an audience anew each and every year. 
     And all of the things that wouldn't have mattered so much
     when it was a cultural institution -- the late start times,
     the long games, the bad play, the lack of entertainment
     value -- matter a great deal" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/24). 
     An editorial in today's PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: "Wake up,
     baseball.  Move up the starting times and speed up the
     games" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/24). 
          ROUND-UP: In NC, Caulton Tudor writes the '97 Series is
     "yet another reminder of the sport's mortality."  Tudor:
     "Once entrenched as the national pastime, baseball has
     become a rebel without a cause, clue, compass or conscience"
     (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/24).  But in Philadelphia,
     Jayson Stark writes, "In the '90s, life is different and the
     World Series are different.  Too bad some folks just haven't
     figured that out yet" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/24).

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