BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 165: ENOUGH BLAME FOR ALL SIDES
According to an independent survey conducted by the sports
division of Golin/Harris Communications from January 12-15, twice
as many respondents blame players than owners over the baseball
strike. Of the 1,008 adults surveyed throughout the country, 51%
were categorized as baseball fans -- because they at least watch
baseball on TV (45%), listen to baseball on the radio (20%), or
attend games (19%). Of those "fans," 55% blame both players and
owners; 21% the players; 11% the owners; 10% don't care. Of all
respondents: 46% blame both; 24% don't care; 18% blame the
players; and, 8% blame owners (Golin/Harris).
PLAYING HARDBALL: In Denver, Tracy Ringolsby notes that the
union's threat to withhold licensing money from managers and
coaches if they coach replacements "may backfire." A's Manager
Tony La Russa, who has questioned whether he would manage a
replacement team: "If the union doesn't go about its business in
the right way, that's when I lose sympathy for the cause. ... I
guess that means we're supposed to feel threatened. Isn't that
blackmail?" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 1/21). The Brewers have
insisted that manager Phil Garner and his staff report on
February 20. Brewers coach Duffy Dyer: "If I don't have a job, I
can't get licensing money anyway. There's really not much of a
choice" (Tom Haudricourt, MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 1/23).
RADIO AND TV RIGHTS, THE NEXT BATTLE: One broadcasting
exec, who noted the contingency plans the owners have come up
with on ticket prices and replacements: "If ballclubs think
they'll get the regular TV and radio rights payments, there will
be a war" (Phil Mushnick, N.Y. POST, 1/23).
UNITED THEY STAND: Dick Moss, who is heading the effort to
start the United Baseball League, announced that any
strikebreakers will not be considered for jobs in the new league
(Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 1/22).