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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     In this morning's ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, David Dahl examines
a report likely to "increase baseball's woes on Capitol Hill."
The non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) said the
antitrust exemption "isn't justified and may have led" to the
players' strike.  From the report, written by CRS economists
Dennis Zimmerman and William Cox: "It is not clear what economic
benefits are provided by the antitrust exemption."  Among other
things, CRS says the exemption allows team owners to impose labor
restrictions such as a salary cap "without fear of an expensive
damage award in court.  Consequently, CRS speculates, team owners
may have decided it was cheaper to let players strike than to
meet their demands."  CRS also questions whether "market failure
exists," noting that MLB seems to be "doing fine" even after free
agency helped salaries to rise because the value of franchises
has also continued to rise.  CRS' recommendations include making
it easier for teams to relocate and further expansion (ST.
PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/19).
     HE'S A USERY FAN:  In a letter to MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr,
Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig responds to Fehr's comments
accusing owners of "lying" to members of Congress (WASHINGTON
TIMES, 1/19).  From Selig's letter:  "I and other club owners
told members of Congress that the strike will be resolved only
when both parties return to the bargaining table and address the
fundamental issue of labor costs."  Selig goes on to remind Fehr
of the owners' meeting with Special Mediator William Usery, which
will be held today:  "When Mr. Usery asks us to return to the
table, we will do so. ... Every other union in professional
sports has found a way to address the changed economics of the
1990s at the collective bargaining table.  There is no reason why
we should not be able to do so in baseball" (MLB).  Fehr does not
expect negotiations to resume any time soon, "probably not until
after the owners look at their teams of replacement players"
(Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/19).  In Boston, Larry Whiteside
notes that Selig will not be present at the Usery meeting.  Red
Sox CEO John Harrington will lead the owners' contingent (BOSTON
GLOBE, 1/19).
     ANGELOS UPDATE:  Orioles Owner Peter Angelos and AL Counsel
William Schweitzer will meet today to discuss Angelos'
"determination" not to field a replacement team.  Schweitzer will
not say how the league might try to "force" Angelos to use
replacements, but according to the league's constitution, it can
fine the team as much as $250,000 a game, or take over the team
(Hal Bodley, USA TODAY, 1/19).
     PHIL-LING THE VOID:  Former pitcher/Silver Bullets Manager
Phil Niekro, who turns 56 on April 1, said he has been approached
about playing on a replacement team:  "I don't really have any
reason to struggle with this because I haven't heard what they're
offering yet.  Once I find out more about the deal, then I'll
start running it through my mind."  Braves GM John Schuerholz on
signing Niekro: "What more natural development could there be?"
(Thomas Stinson, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/19).

     "In a conciliatory move designed to help put the ugliness of
the last three months behind him," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
let Blackhawk Chris Chelios "off with a slap on the wrist" for
threats Chelios directed at Bettman on the eve of the lockout.
Chelios and Blackhawks GM Bob Pulford met with Bettman for 45
minutes yesterday in New York, at which time Chelios apologized
again.  Bettman, in a statement, "chastised" Chelios for his
comments but noted that it was time move on: "We have a lot of
healing to do in the National Hockey League, and it is important
that we get started on that process right now."  Bettman said he
would have been "forced to discipline" Chelios had the comments
been directed at a player, a team, or an executive or other
league official."  Chelios issued a written apology: "My comments
were inexcusable, and I can't express how sorry I am" (Gary
Miles, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/19).

     In Baltimore, word that the Buccaneers will be staying in
Tampa Bay was good news for CFL franchise owner Jim Speros.
Speros told the Baltimore SUN:  "It's good for the organization."
Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who would have brought the team to
Baltimore, was one of the finalists in the bidding for the Bucs
(Rick Matsumoto, TORONTO STAR, 1/18)....Minto Development
President Roger Greenberg announced Tuesday that his company has
"turned down a chance to purchase the Ottawa Rough Riders."
Minto will, however, buy 500 season tickets for the upcoming
season, helping the team get closer to the CFL-imposed target of
15,000 by Jan. 31 (Don Campbell, OTTAWA CITIZEN,
1/18)....Greenwich, CT, businessman William Berkley is seeking a
commitment from the CFL to build a stadium and "lure" a team to
Connecticut.  Berkley is also considering San Antonio and two
other cities as possible sites for a team (Toronto GLOBE AND
MAIL, 1/18)....The Edmonton Eskimos announced that they need an
additional 7,000 season ticket holders by March 1 to reach a
critical 22,000, or the team may have to be sold, which in turn
could lead to the team relocating to another city.  In '83, the
Eskimos had 52,000 season ticket holders.  Last year, they had
15,000 (Jim Taylor, Vancouver PROVINCE, 1/19).

     IHL expansion was examined in yesterday's HOUSTON CHRONICLE.
With the league planning to add three teams for '95-96 and two
teams a year until 2000, there should be nine more North American
teams five years from now.  IHL commissioner Bob Ufer:  "People
ask the question: Are we risking unsuccessful teams?  Are we
risking diluting our product?  Those are risks, but with those
risks are tremendous opportunities.  I'm not advocating
recklessness, but I think we have to pursue them."  The league is
also expected to announce within the next two weeks completed
plans for a European division to debut next year.  A six-to-eight
team division in Europe would host one North American division,
rotating each year (Jody Goldstein, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/18).

     Over the past two days, USA TODAY has listed every NFLplayer's salary, team-by-team.  Today, they run the NFC (USATODAY, 1/18-19).  The NFL's salary cap is $34.6M per team.
TEAM AVG/PLAYER TOTAL SALARIES ROOM UNDER CAP
Cowboys
$586,521
$34,018,200
$581,800
Seahawks
521,955
33,927,100
672,900
Lions
573,080
33,811,700
788,300
Packers
522,542
33,442,700
1,157,300
Redskins
521,220
33,358,100
1,241,900
Eagles
546,139
33,314,500
1,285,500
Jets
602,311
33,127,100
1,472,900
Bills
559,110
32,993,100
1,606,900
49ers
578,698
32,985,800
1,614,200
Giants
577,488
32,916,800
1,683,200
Patriots
538,438
32,844,700
1,755,300
Steelers
555,315
32,763,600
1,836,400
Raiders
564,457
32,738,500
1,861,500
Broncos
518,770
32,682,500
1,917,500
Oilers
563,316
32,672,300
1,927,700
Falcons
549,110
32,397,500
2,202,500
Chiefs
530,118
32,337,200
2,262,800
Colts
587,425
32,308,400
2,291,600
Dolphins
519,731
32,223,300
2,376,700
Saints
511,403
32,218,400
2,381,600
Chargers
511,238
32,208,000
2,392,000
Browns
502,944
32,188,400
2,411,600
Cardinals
535,635
32,138,100
2,461,900
Bears
488,298
31,251,100
3,348,900
Rams
511,167
31,181,200
3,418,800
Buccaneers
517,171
29,995,900
4,604,100
Vikings
498,798
29,927,900
4,672,100
Bengals
489,611
29,866,300
4,733,700