SBD/Issue 122/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

Writer Calls Selig Best
Commissioner In MLB History
SPORTING NEWS' Richard Justice wrote MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is the "best commissioner baseball has ever had. It's not even close. To think otherwise is silly." Selig "brilliantly steered the sport from the dark days of the 1994 World Series cancellation to record-setting growth. He is the biggest reason baseball has labor peace, parity and attendance that has increased for four years in a row." Justice, on Selig's approach to steroids: "He pushed for the best testing agreement in the sport's history and had the guts to order [former U.S. Sen.] George Mitchell to tell as much of the story as he could. ... Baseball wasn't hurt in any financial sense by steroids, but baseball was embarrassed. It took far too long to recognize the problem." More Justice: "Selig is as decent and as honorable as anyone you'll ever meet. ... Virtually all the good things that have happened to baseball since 1995 are because of Selig" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 3/13).

CHINA OR BUST: Sources said that the LPGA is "bound for China, likely at Sun Valley on Hainan Island, and it could happen late this season." GOLFWEEK's Forecaddie reports the China event would be played in October following the inaugural Kapalua LPGA Classic. LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens said that the Tour "would not add the event to this year's slate unless a deal is sealed before May." Bivens said the event would happen "if the staff is close enough to something and can sew it up before then." Bivens: "Otherwise we're looking for '09 or '10" (GOLFWEEK, 3/15 issue).

CACTUS LEAGUE: At the midpoint of the Cactus League's season, Cactus League Association (CLA) President J.P. de la Montaigne said that "about 550,000 fans have attended 92 games, up nearly 2[%] from the same time last year." CLA VP Robert Brinton said that league visitors are "on track to eclipse the more than 1.27 million record fans" in '05 (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/14).

FLYING THE COOP? NBCSPORTS.com's Mike Celizic wrote of Galaxy MF David Beckham's potential return to England: "The [MLS] signed this huge international star, and everybody was talking about it. And now, a year later, he wants to leave? What does that say about the MLS?" Celizic: "Celebrity is a wonderful thing for sports, but not if nobody except the game's true believers know what an athlete is famous for. And because Beckham's genius is in his ability to set up goals that are scored by others, it's hard for a non-fan to tune into a game and appreciate what he does" (NBCSPORTS.com, 3/13).

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