SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

MLB UMPIRES FORCED TO GET BACK ON THE CLOCK BETWEEN INNINGS

          Arbitrator J.H. Jordan has ruled in a dispute between
     the MLB Umpires Association (MLBUA) and the AL and NL over
     the length of time between innings, according to Bob
     Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS.   Last summer, the two
     leagues filed a grievance stating that umpires had "refused
     to enforce" the 2:25 commercial break between innings during
     nationally televised games on Fox and ESPN, and started
     games before the commercial break had ended.  In a ruling
     favoring the leagues, Jordan said there is a "well-
     established past practice" that umpires monitor the time
     between innings to comply with league directives.  Jordan
     also "instructed the league and union to meet and resolve"
     the issue of any possible financial damages caused by the
     actions during the '97 season (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/7). 
     MLBUA Exec Dir Richie Phillips "did not immediately" return
     a call from the AP seeking comment (PHILA. INQUIRER, 12/9).

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