SBD/March 8, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

League Notes

Bard believes there aren't major issues between MLBPA and ownership
In Boston, Peter Abraham notes a new MLB CBA is "not a given" when the current deal expires after this season, but "never before have the players and owners shared so much common ground." In recent years, players and owners have "worked together on issues ranging from drug testing to the World Baseball Classic to player safety." Last fall, the MLBPA "formed an allegiance with the commissioner’s office to open lines of communication with the umpires," and the "first meeting of those groups was held Saturday." Abraham notes "polarizing union leaders Donald Fehr and Gene Orza have stepped aside, their departures coinciding with a new breed of owners who accept the MLBPA’s role." Red Sox P and player rep Daniel Bard said, "Our union is strong and the owners respect that. There don’t seem to be major issues between us, just some things that need to be worked on" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/8).

THE POINT MAN: In L.A., Mike Bresnahan notes Lakers G and NBPA President Derek Fisher will be "on the front line during negotiations" for a new CBA. Fisher has "prepared for the worst" and told fellow NBA players to "save money, sending them thick folders that deal with financial-planning questions." He said, "We tabbed it from A to Z. Contacting your bank, how your mortgage is being paid, your cars, your house for your mom, all these different things that guys are going to be faced with all at once if no paycheck is coming in." Bresnahan notes the players are "on board with Fisher, confident" that he and NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter "will seamlessly steer through negotiations with owners" (L.A. TIMES, 3/8).

GOING ON TOUR: The EPL is "taking the Premiership trophy on a global tour starting next week under efforts to grow the fanbase for the biggest continuous annual global sporting event in the world." The first leg of the "first ever Barclays Premier League Trophy Tour kicks off in Abu Dhabi from March 18-20 before heading to Dubai, Doha and Riyadh." It then travels to Hong Kong for the Barclays Asia Trophy in July (WORLDFOOTBALLINSIDER.com, 3/8).

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE? SI's golf staff discussed the first two months of the PGA Tour season, and Golf Magazine senior writer Cameron Morfit said, "The only thing that's been consistent about this year is Tiger's crummy scores. Is 2011 in the throes of an identity crisis?" SI's Gary Van Sickle: "I think we do have a theme. ... The torch has been passed and we're watching the battle to see who's going to pick it up and run with it. It's like horses jockeying for position as they enter the final turn at the Derby. There are a lot of possibilities. It just may take a while to settle." SI's Farrell Evans added, "I think consistency and parity could be the major themes. The narrative is boring, but I think it's good for the game" (GOLF.com, 3/6).
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