SBD/Issue 167/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

Suspension Of Ramirez Leaves Some Owners
Wondering Why There Is A Three-Strike Policy
In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote, "Don't be shocked if a few [MLB] owners lead the charge to ask for a reopener of the drug policy or try to negotiate a stiffer policy when the current CBA expires" on December 11, 2011. The suspension of Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez has a "few owners scratching their heads on why there's a three-strike policy as opposed to a two-strike policy." Cafardo: "Most reasonable people are willing to give players a second chance if they've messed up with steroids. But three chances?" Another issue is that owners "can't recoup or void a contract of a steroid offender." That "will become an issue as well in the next negotiations." There "seems to be a flaw in the system that Ramirez knew about his positive test in April, but the team didn't for more than a month." While the policy is "designed to protect the players' privacy, Ramirez was still paid for several weeks after he knew of a positive test" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/17).

BUMP DRAFTING: In Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz wrote, "The semi-new Indianapolis 500 qualifying format, which was changed with all good intentions in 2004 to bring a hint of drama to the proceedings, just doesn't work -- even when the weather cooperates." It "doesn't work because four days are two more than are really necessary." The schedule that "makes the most sense is this: Open the track Sunday. Practice all week. Qualify en masse Saturday, have bump day on Sunday, then you have your usual second week, culminating on race day. On the two qualifying days, go back to the old days, when each car was given three chances to post a time" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/17). IRL CEO Tony George said of the new format, "It's added some interest and certainly suspense to qualifying. ... It makes it interesting on pole day when you have a situation where you are trying to lock in for 11 positions but you also have the poling of your time and go out and try to go for the pole or improve your position. So from that aspect, it's worked out well" (Versus, 5/17).

DOOMED TO REPEAT? In Detroit, Drew Sharp wrote lessons from the '04 Pacers-Pistons brawl at the Palace at Auburn Hills "haven't been learned." Two seperate incidents at NBA playoff games last week "underscored the elements that triggered one of the ugliest days in sports." A Magic fan last week called Celtics F Glen Davis a "raging animal" after Davis "inadvertently brushed aside the man's 12-year-old." A day later in Dallas, some Nuggets players "contemplated going into the stands to protect their mothers and girlfriends" from verbal assaults from Mavericks fans. Sharp: "Why aren't fans being held more accountable for their contributions in these potentially explosive situations? ... There will come another time when a fan will cross that line, inciting an irrational response from a player, and we'll have Auburn Hills all over again" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/17).

PLAYER REQUESTS: In Houston, David Barron noted negotiations are "under way" for a new AVP players' contract. AVP player Elaine Youngs: "The things the players want are really small. We would love to have a warmup court. What sport doesn't have a warmup court. We would love to get flights and hotels paid for. The international tour doesn't pay for flights but pays for hotels" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/17).

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