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Repeated Close Calls In Postseason Have
Re-Ignited Talks Of Adding More Replay
NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT: In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro wrote under the header, "Lack Of Replay Is A Major League Foul-Up." Why does MLB -- "in an age of high-definition, in a time when ballgames are televised by using more than a dozen cameras all over ballparks" -- only allow "home runs to be replayed?" Getting calls "right, especially in October, shouldn't just be a wish, it should be a requirement" (N.Y. POST, 10/11). YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Passan wrote MLB should "take the cue from football" for its use of instant replay. Passan: "Use a red replay flag. Each team gets two per game." Nobody inside MLB "wants a postseason defined by its umpiring screw-ups, and yet year after year, they happen. ... Ignoring the issue won't make it go away" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/10). SI.com's Joe Posnanski wrote replay is "inescapable now because these playoffs have been an umpiring disaster." While it is "probably just a bad run of high-profile missed calls," it has "felt like an epidemic." This is the "sort of thing that gets people talking," and the "arguments against replay don't make a whole lot of sense" (SI.com, 10/10). ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian said, "If we go too far with this, the rhythm of the game is really going to be damaged. ... If you can find a way to do this without disrupting the game and the rhythm of the game, I’m all for it. I just don’t know if you can.” But ESPN’s Eduardo Perez, noting the missed fair ball call in Yankees-Twins, said, “When it’s blatant like this, something has to be done” (“Baseball Tonight,” ESPN2, 10/11).
WEATHER OR NOT: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones noted MLB delayed this season because of the WBC in March, and "can you imagine how cold it might be two weeks from now in New York, Philadelphia and Denver -- all cities that could still be hosting baseball games?" MLB might need to "schedule more day-night doubleheaders during the season." Teams could "still have full gates for 81 home games, but if they could knock even a week out of the regular-season schedule, it might help avoid some of the chilly weather" (TAMPABAY.com, 10/11).
Hunter Wants To Look At NBA
Finances Before Next CBA Talk
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: In Boston, Gary Washburn wrote with the NBA CBA set to expire after the '10-11 season, Hunter "might have bookmarked" NBA Commissioner David Stern's comments last week regarding the financial state of the league. Stern while addressing reporters in London said of the economic downturn, "Actually, we've been remarkably unaffected by it. Our attendance will be strong, again, this year. Our television ratings have been up for two years and likely will go up. ... We feel pretty good about our place in this difficult time." Washburn noted Hunter may "figure that if the league is doing so well and remaining strong during this tumultuous time, then there is no reason for the players to give more of a percentage of revenue to owners" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/11).
RUSSIAN DRESSING: ESPN.com's Bill Simmons wrote, "You know the NBA is in at least a little trouble financially when it allows a Russian billionaire to buy a team. Five or six years ago, how fast do you think David Stern squashes the idea when someone says to him, 'So, I guess the best way to describe him is that he's like a Russian Mark Cuban'? Two seconds? One second? Which raises the question: Did Stern just open the door to all foreign billionaires, or was this a one-time thing?" Simmons wrote the NBA simply was "desperate to fix this Nets situation and salvage the Brooklyn complex that it didn't care where the money came from," and the sale was a "one-time exception" (ESPN.com, 10/9).
UNION DUES: SBJ's Lombardo & Mullen in a separate piece report the NBRA in its most recent financial filing reported total assets of nearly $133M for the 12-month period ending June 30, down from $136.7M from the year earlier. A union source indicated that the "decrease was due to a decline in the stock market and other union investments." The filing reveals that the NBA paid the union $6.8M in licensing fees "in each quarter of the most recent fiscal year," up from $6.25M a year earlier. The league also paid the union $8M in logo-use revenue, up from $7M. Meanwhile, the filing shows that Hunter earned $3.465M last year, up from $2.318M a year earlier. The increase is "attributed to a one-time payout" of about $1.1M for "vacation time accrued over 13 years" that Hunter has served as Exec Dir (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/12 issue).
HEALTH CARE REFORM: In an op-ed piece for the N.Y. TIMES, author Stefan Fatsis lists six changes the NFLPA "should insist on in the next contract." These changes includes that team doctors and trainers "should no longer be employed by" individual teams, doctors "should inform players about injuries before they tell any club officials" and players "should be able to view their medical records whenever they want." Teams also should be "required to report every injury," grievance procedures "should be reformed" and payments to injured players "should be excluded from payrolls" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/12).
Allen Being Mentioned As Candidate
For Top Post At NHLPA
OPENING NIGHT REVIEWS: In Orlando, Sam Gardner noted the UFL Florida Tuskers defeated the N.Y. Sentinels 35-13 Saturday in front of an announced crowd of 11,203 at the Citrus Bowl (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/11). However, SI.com's Peter King writes there was "no buzz in Las Vegas or Orlando for the opening weekend" of the UFL. With the two games allegedly drawing 14,000 and 11,000, respectively, the "first weekend of the odd, four-team, six-games-per-team league was inauspicious," and the "wide swaths of empty seats at both games was embarrassing." King: "The only way the league can work is to be content being a Triple-A league with some borderline NFL players; to have the long view; to play on Thursday nights; and to not have the sort of visions of grandeur that the XFL and USFL had" (SI.com, 10/12).
KID'S PLAY: Penguins C Sidney Crosby said it is important for the NHL to "bring interest" to the game of hockey. Crosby: "It's up to the league to decide what strategies they want. I don't think the players necessarily should be the ones deciding what we do. As long as the players are willing to do their part, that's the most important thing." Meanwhile, Crosby admits "being more picky in what he does from a marketing point of view" (TORONTO SUN, 10/11).
CROSSING THE FINISH LINE: IRL driver Dario Franchitti Saturday captured the IndyCar Series title, collecting a $1M bonus for his Target Chip Ganassi team last night during the season-ending awards ceremony at the W Hotel in Miami. Also, Raphael Matos was named IndyCar Rookie of the Year, Graham Rahal received the Tony Renna Rising Star Award and J.R. Hildebrand received the Greg Moore Legacy Award (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/12).