ANTI-EXEMPTION EDITORIALS A PRELUDE TO THURSDAY'S HEARINGS
With House hearings on baseball's anti-trust exemption set
for Thursday, more editorialists are using the issue as a way to
sound their disapproval over the cancellation of the season,
playoff and World Series.
TAKING EXEMPTION TO THE RULE: BUSINESS WEEK: "With
million-dolar salaries and billion-dollar television deals, the
idea that baseball is not a business is simply ludicrous. ...
With the 1994 season called on account of greed, the message is
clear: Yank the antitrust exemption and let baseball get back to
its business -- entertaining the fans" (BUSINESS WEEK, 9/26).
The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: "Baseball deserves no special
protection from the consequences of its stupidity arrogance and
greed" (INQUIRER, 9/18). The ATLANTA CONSTITUTION: "The
American public is not helpless in this mess. Through their
elected representatives, they have the ability to withdraw the
anti-trust exemption that allows the baseball owners to act as
they have" (CONSTITUTION, 9/18). USA TODAY: "Without the
antitrust exemption, there would be no baseball strike. If
Congress repeals the exemption, the strike will end. ... No
logical or legal reason exists why 28 businesses should enjoy
antitrust immunity" (USA TODAY, 9/19).
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK: Rep. Jim Bunning (R-KY), a former
player, has intorduced a bill co-sponsored by Reps. Major Owens
(D-NY) and Mike Synar (D-OK) that would give the players "the
right to seek an injunction under anti-trust laws if owners were
to unilaterally impose working conditions." The hearings, to be
held before the House Judiciary Commitee, will include testimony
from Acting Commissioner Bud Selig, MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr,
Royals Player Rep David Cone, and possibly others. While House
Judiciary Committee Chair Jack Brooks (D-TX) hasn't taken a
position, he is considered an exemption foe (Colin Miner, N.Y.
POST, 9/17). Fehr: "There had been a belief in Washington that
things will work out, that the owners can't be that arrogant.
Now that they know they were wrong, maybe there will be action"
(N.Y. POST, 9/19). David Rosenbuam writes, "Chances are slight
that generations of inertia can be overcome in the month
remaining in this session of Congress" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18). In
BUSINESS WEEK, Aaron Bernstein: "Although the owners have won
this battle in the past, public anger over another lost season
could stiffen congressional attitudes" (BUSINESS WEEK, 9/26