SBD/Issue 129/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes's Jon Heyman wrote of the MLBPA filing a grievance last week over charitable donations being written into some player contracts, "It's understandable why the [MLBPA] would be against such forced donations." While it is "supposed to be a nice gesture when donations are written into contracts, that sounds more like coercion, not donation." But it "seems a bit heavy-handed for the players union to now challenge all the donations currently written into contracts after the fact." Players signed their contracts "knowing that these provisions were in them, and presumably are happy to contribute." The amount in dispute "represents a relative pittance," but "most important, at a time when baseball needs positive publicity to offset all the steroid news, the union comes off as arguing for less charity even if the intention is only to prevent forced charity" (, 3/23).

Castroneves Would Leave Large Void In
IndyCar Series If He Is Unable To Compete
CAR TROUBLE: In Detroit, Mike Brudenell writes the IndyCar Series "will be much poorer this season if Helio Castroneves is locked behind bars instead of climbing fences." Castroneves "faces prison time" if convicted of tax-evasion charges, and having Castroneves absent from the circuit "would be a major blow to open-wheel racing" in the U.S. While Danica Patrick "may rival Castroneves for publicity off the track, she can't match him as a racer," as Castroneves "has been the face of the sport the past eight years" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/24).

FINE LINE: In Detroit, Dave Dye notes Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin "created quite a stir last week with his choreographed response following his 50th goal." And while the NHL "needs the gregariousness" of Ovechkin, the league "doesn't need a Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson, the NFL's obnoxious celebrating duo." Dye: "I love Ovechkin's natural emotions, not the staged stuff that makes him come off as another Owens or Johnson" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/24).

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