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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     Agent Dick Moss plans to announce the formation of a new
baseball league on October 19 that he says will be operational
this April.  A similar project by Moss and NYC attorney David
LeFevre fell apart in '89-90.  But in the wake of the strike,
Moss now says:  "It's a very real thing.  We have some very
substantial people involved."  Moss said the league would be
comprised of 10-12 teams and play in cities "spurned" by MLB,
including Buffalo, Mexico City, Tampa and Vancouver, as well as
some smaller stadiums in MLB cities (Joel Sherman, N.Y. POST,
Harrington, who originally set November 1 as a deadline for
settlement, now sees December as "realistic" given the recent
House hearings on MLB's antitrust exemption.  Harrington:  "It's
a major distraction and I hope the players aren't thinking they'd
like to wait until January where they might think a ruling would
be favorable for them" (Nick Cafardo, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/25).  After
seeing a copy of the bill to do away with the exemption, Braves
President Stan Kasten said the players are "trying to become a
special class of citizen.  They are not asking for a level
playing field.  This is an outrage."  Kasten stressed that, in
the absence of an exemption, a court could not force the game
back on the field (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/24).
In Richmond, Paul Woody writes on the players' promise to return
to work and fight the issue out in court should the exemption be
lifted:  "That's a bluff worth calling" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH,
9/25).  Another paper's editorial board joins the players' cause.
From Sunday's CINCINNATI ENQUIRER:  "[The exemption] is as
unsporting as a corked bat.  It should be given the thumb"
(ENQUIRER, 9/25).  In Tampa, Neil Cote sees an upside for the
owners in losing the exemption:  "It would allow teams even
greater latitude to shake down their cities.  How?  By adding
teeth to their threats to move" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/26).
     BIG CITY, SMALL MEETING:  Cal Ripken, Dave Winfield and
Eddie Murray were among 22 players from 14 teams that attended
the third of seven informational meetings planned by the MLBPA.
Ripken, asked about the possibility of games played by
replacement players ending his streak:  "If replacement players
play, it is not major-league baseball and I won't be playing"
(Joel Sherman, N.Y. POST, 9/24).  MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr "said
he was not surprised at the low turnout, since most of the
players live in other parts of the country."  Fehr's "caravan"
visits four other cities this week (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON
GLOBE, 9/24).
     STRIKING THOUGHTS:  The Cardinal's "fan appreciation day"
open house at Busch Stadium drew 50,000 fans Sunday (ST. LOUIS
POST-DISPATCH, 9/26)....Former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suggests
the trio that negotiated the Haitian settlement (Carter, Powell,
Nunn) as baseball mediators (N.Y. TIMES, 9/25)....Agent Tony
Attanasio says Japan is a "very real" option for many players
should the strike continue into '95 (Jayson Stark, PHILADELPHIA
INQUIRER, 9/25)....Orioles Owner Peter Angelos and Fehr had lunch
Saturday afternoon.  Restaurant proprietor Naz Velleggia:  "They
were very quiet and congenial and never raised their voices" (Tom
Keegan, Baltimore SUN, 9/25)....Bill Madden suggest that former
MSG President Bob Gutkowski would be a better choice for
Commissioner than retiring George Mitchell.  "He knows the TV
business inside and out with the MSG Network at the top of his
resume.  Shrewd, dynamic, personable ... but most important of
all, Gutkowski made the Garden a fan-friendly place" (N.Y. DAILY
NEWS, 9/25).

     NFL owners meet in Dallas tomorrow for two days of
discussions on stocking expansion teams and realignment.  The
league office is expected to offer a stocking plan in which each
of the 28 clubs leaves seven players unprotected.  The league
plan allows for a maximum of three players to be taken from a
team.  Jacksonville proposed that each team leave at least one
quarterback exposed, but the league office dismissed that
proposal (Will McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/25).  The owners are
also expected to approve a plan in which Carolina and
Jacksonville get only one first-round pick at next year's draft,
and two picks in the later rounds (Vito Stellino, Baltimore SUN,
     MORE CAP NEWS:  In Boston, Will McDonugh comments on figures
released by the NFLPA showing 18 teams over the $34.6M cap:  "I
submit that anyone who sees the results in basketball and
football and thinks salary caps are bad for the players be given
a dunce cap" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/24).
     OWNERS TO PROBE DEION DEAL:  ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports
that some owners have "demanded" a meeting with NFL Commissioner
Paul Tagliabue this Friday regarding a possible third party --
"i.e., a corporate sponsor" -- involved in Deion Sanders'
contract with the 49ers,  In addition, they want to discuss the
49ers' tact of asking a free agent to take a pay cut and then re-
sign in the spring.  Mortensen: "There might be a penalty for
that" ("NFL Game Day," 9/25).

     ESPN's Linda Cohn followed up on speculation from last week
that the NBA is considering a Thanksgiving lockout of players if
a new collective bargaining agreement is not signed.  NBA Deputy
Commissioner Russ Granik denied that would occur: "It is much too
early to make any decisions about anything like that.  We still
have six weeks before the season starts" ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
9/24).  The possibility of a lockout is expected to be discussed
at Wednesday's NBA Board of Governors meeting at which
representatives from all 27 teams will convene.  Before
negotiating with the owners, the players reportedly want to hear
the decision by a federal court panel on the validity of the
NBA's salary cap, free-agency system and draft.  A decision is
expected in 4-6 weeks.  NBPA Exec Dir Charles Grantham contends
that the players "will stand firm" against any calls for a hard
cap.  Grantham added: "I want to make this clear: they [players]
are not going to stand for the status quo" (Lawrence & Bunn, N.Y.
DAILY NEWS, 9/25).

     "The art of compromise takes on a sense of urgency" today
when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
Goodenow resume talks in Toronto on a new Collective Bargaining
Agreement (Alan Adams, CANADIAN PRESS/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
9/26).  Bettman's negotiating team will be in Toronto through
Wednesday.  NHL Public Relations VP Arthur Pincus said the league
has "no plans" to formally cancel games as of yet: "We'll be
evaluating things day to day, but at some point a decision will
have to be made about Saturday's games" (Lance Hornby, TORONTO
SUN, 9/26).
     JUST IN CASE:  NHL teams have booked their arenas for dates
at least through the end of June in order to allow for a full
regular-season schedule, followed by a full playoff. NHL teams
reportedly plan to play the entire 84-game schedule by
rescheduling postponed games at the end of the season (Larry
Brooks, N.Y. POST, 9/24).
     WHERE WERE THEY IN JUNE?  In New Jersey, Devils captain
Scott Stevens "expressed disappointment" that there had been no
negotiations between March and August: "We should have started
long ago.  There are so many time restrictions and now we face
this time restriction.  Both sides have to take the blame for
that."  But Bettman said his requests to meet with Goodenow over
the summer were "rebuffed repeatedly": "I don't want to dwell on
it because we are talking now, but there were numerous occasions
we asked to meet and were turned down" (Larry Brooks, N.Y. POST,
Exec Dir Bob Goodenow met with Blues players on Saturday and
updated them on the negotiations.  Goodenow: "There's a lot of
work left on both sides of the table.  We'll try to reach an
amicable solution in the appropriate time frame" (ST. LOUIS POST-
DISPATCH, 9/25).
     VANCOUVER SUPPORTS OWNERS:  Last week, the Vancouver
PROVINCE conducted an unscientific poll in which 261 respondents
were asked: "Do you support the players in their salary fight
with NHL team owners?"  The response was "resounding":  90% No.
Kent Gilchrist advises the poll "not be dismissed out of hand" by
the players (PROVINCE, 9/26).
     ARE PLAYERS READY TO DIG IN?  In Washington, Capitals Player
Rep Don Beaupre: "Right now we're prepared for a three-, four-,
five-month lockout"  (Mark Asher, WASHINGTON POST, 9/24).  But in
Tampa Bay, Lightning Player Rep Danton Cole said he "wasn't sure"
how strong the union is: "We're strong like a family, but I don't
think anyone can say for sure how long either side could hold
out" (Tom Jones, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/24).  Mighty Ducks Player Rep
Bob Corkum called Bettman a "hired gun":  "He definitely came
here to get a salary cap and he's not going to fold up easily"
     COLUMNISTS VOICE OFF:  In Toronto, Jim Hunt writes that
Bettman "has done his damndest to provoke the players," and if a
lockout occurs, "it's Bettman who will have blood on his hands"
(TORONTO SUN, 9/26).  In Boston, Kevin Dupont writes, "Try to
remember what the players have forgotten: It's Bettman's side
that owns the show. ... Hockey players have no choice now but to
accept what's before them" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/25).  In
Philadelphia, Bill Lyons writes, "There is a decidedly mean edge
to the way the league has operated recently.  It seems to be
bristling for a fight" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/24).  In
Washington, Dave Fay writes, "The players don't trust Bettman
because he is an outsider and not a hockey man.  Put Wayne
Gretzky on one side of the table and Boston GM Harry Sinden on
the other and this thing might be settled in 15 minutes.  Half an
hour, tops" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/25).  In Tampa Bay, Roy Cummings
advises hockey fans to "aim your angst" at Goodenow.  While a
possible lockout is one week away, "Goodenow sits, like Nero amid
Rome's burning embers.  He may negotiate, he may not, but
apparently only when it's convenient for him" (TAMPA TRIBUNE,
     COMEDIANS AGAINST THE CAP:  At the end of the season premier
of "Saturday Night Live," Mike Myers was front-and-center showing
off his "NHLPA" sweatshirt (NBC, 9/24).