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Volume 24 No. 155

Leagues Governing Bodies

     Negotiating teams for the owners and players will meet today
at Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel at 4pm EST.  The groups will
reportedly be smaller than past sessions (Mult., 2/21).  Owner
Jerry McMorris: "I personally wouldn't look for a deal to happen
in the next two days."  CNN's Fred Hickman said MLBPA Exec Dir
Donald Fehr told CNN not to expect any major developments
("Sports Tonight," CNN, 2/20).
     WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?  Peter Gammons writes that the
owners' replacement plan "is turning out to be just another bad
idea turned worse. ... While the strike is engineered for the
Minnesotas, Milwaukees, Pittsburghs, etc., the Yankees, Dodgers,
Orioles and Blue Jays don't buy into it.  And what are the
Brewers and Twins going to do with their replacement players if
the markets that drive the industry don't participate?"  Gammons
calls William Usery's plan a "framework" for a deal, but the
players will probably "want to wait to get down to hard-core
bargaining until the NLRB comes down and the replacement farce
begins, which may vastly restore their leverage" (BOSTON GLOBE,
2/19).
     SPARKY REAX:  Several columnists and baseball observers
sounded off on Tigers Manager Sparky Anderson's decision to take
an unpaid leave rather than manage replacement players.  In
Washington, Thomas Boswell writes, "Maybe, just maybe, his
profile in character will be the catalytic act of spiritual
meditation that baseball so desperately needs" (WASHINGTON POST,
2/19).  In New York, Mike Lupica calls Anderson the "conscience
of the game" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 2/20).  But Bill Madden wonders
whether it "was simply his means of leaving an organization he no
longer wanted to be a part of -- on his terms" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
2/20).  Peter Gammons:  "I would be a little surprised if he were
offered his job back" (ESPN, 2/19).  But Stephen Brunt counters:
"None of that subtext matters.  For public consumption, the
impression remains that Anderson simply couldn't stomach what was
happening" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/21).
     NEWS & NOTES:  The MLBPA was criticized for its position
that minor league players who participate in spring training
games will be considered strikebreakers.  Mets Manager Dallas
Green said he told MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr, "It's totally unfair
of the union to ask (minor leaguers) to sacrifice when in fact
they are not under your protection" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
2/21)....The union also announced that other unions may handle
the picketing outside ballparks, which Jack Etkin & Tracy
Ringolsby refer to as "replacement pickets."  MLBPA General
Counsel Gene Orza:  "There's a security problem involved.  The
players would just be out there exposed" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,
2/20).
     NO LAUGHING MATTER:  The replacement players have become a
staple for late-night comedy.  Jay Leno, on Friday:  "You know
things are bad when Tommy Lasorda is thinner than any other guy
on the team" ("Tonight," NBC, 2/17).  Leno, last night:  "You can
tell these replacements don't have the hang of professional
baseball.  I was watching the news today and one of them signed
an autograph for free. ... Last year when everyone laughed when
Michael Jordan said he would be the greatest professional
baseball player?  Well, now he is" ("Tonight," 2/20).  Last
night's Letterman Top Ten was "Signs You Are Not Watching A Real
Baseball Game":  10) You recognize batter as the kid who sold you
a hot dog a couple minutes earlier;  9)  Everytime a player
slides into second, he busts his hip;  8) They keep shouting "Do
Over!";
7) When umpire yells, "Strike 3!", batter looks at him as though
the dude's speakin' French;  6) Try as they might, they just
can't scratch themselves like professionals;
5) First Base: Siskel, Second Base: Ebert;  4) Game stops when
some lady in a house near the stadium shouts "Dinner Time";  3)
Players constantly adjusting each others's cups;
2) You overhear the coach yelling, "Run, Forrest, Run!";
1) They play like the Mets ("Late Night," CBS, 2/20)

     BALTIMORE -- PETER'S PRINCIPLES:  The Orioles informed MLB
that they won't play spring training games against teams using
replacement players (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 2/18).  Acting
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said the opposition from Orioles Owner
Peter Angelos "isn't anything new, obviously" (Buster Olney,
Baltimore SUN, 2/18).  But columnist Ken Rosenthal asks:  "How
would the Orioles know if their opponent was using scabs?"
(Baltimore SUN, 2/18).
     CALIFORNIA -- SLOW TICKET SALES:  Angels VP of Stadium
Operations Kevin Ulich said sales of tickets to Cactus League
games are down about 5,000 from this point last year, and sales
of regular season games are down about 2,800 (Mike DiGiovanna,
L.A. TIMES, 2/20).
     CINCINNATI -- HARD LINE:  Reds GM Jim Bowden said Reds minor
leaguers will be expected to play in Grapefruit League games.
Bowden:  "If they decide not to perform, they have that statutory
right and we will not discipline them.  They will be put on the
disqualified list and go home" (Chris Haft, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,
2/18).
     COLORADO -- REPLACEMENT PARK:  According to the team's ad
agency, the "star" of the Rockies' '95 marketing campaign will
not be the players, but the team's new stadium, Coors Field (Norm
Clarke, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/19).
     DETROIT -- PARTING THOUGHTS?  Tigers Manager Sparky
Anderson, who went on unpaid leave Friday rather than manage
replacement players, called the team a "mess" and accused the
front office of "phoniness" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/20).
FLORIDA -- RIGHTS FEES:  Marlins President Don Smiley said if
replacement games are played for an extended period, he would
consider reducing the rights fees of the team's TV partners or
increasing the number of telecasts on Sunshine Network and WBFS-
TV (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 2/19).
     LOS ANGELES -- PICKET PREPARATIONS:  The Dodgers, the only
private owner of a spring training facility, met with local
authorities to prepare for possible picket lines at Dodgertown
(Bob Nightengale, L.A. TIMES, 2/20).
     MINNESOTA -- AD TIME:  Midwest Sports Channel GM Kevin
Cattor said he will decide in a few weeks whether MSC will lower
its ad rates to attract more advertisers to Twins games.  WCCO-TV
will do the same this week (Rachel Blount, Minneapolis STAR
TRIBUNE, 2/21).  Some Twins sponsors have requested "rate
adjustments," and WCCO-TV is "struggling" to sell ads at full
price (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/17).
     MONTREAL -- ALOU WAVERS:  Expos Manager Felipe Alou said he
is undecided whether he would manage a replacement team
(AP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/21).
     NEW YORK -- SHOWALTER PUTS OFF DECISION:  Early on Friday,
Yankees Manager Buck Showalter "expressed uncertainty about
whether he would manage replacement Yankees."  By the afternoon,
he said he would be at the March 2 spring training opener, but he
put off a decision on the regular season (Jack Curry, N.Y. TIMES,
2/18).
     OAKLAND -- OPEN-DOOR POLICY:  A's President & GM Sandy
Alderson, on the team's openness on their replacement players:
"We don't want to expose any of our guys to pressure or ridicule"
(SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/19).
     PHILADELPHIA -- WHAT TO DO?  The Phillies are to open their
spring schedule with the Orioles on March 3, but the O's say they
won't play teams with replacement players.  Phillies GM Lee
Thomas:  "If we're just going to play minor-leaguers against
minor-leaguers, then why do we even have the replacement players
here?" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 2/19).
     PITTSBURGH -- JOB TO DO:  Pirates Manager Jim Leyland, who
described the scene as "weird," will manage the team this spring:
"I have to do my job.  And I intend to do that to the best of my
ability" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/21).
     ST. LOUIS -- UNION TOWN:  Labor leaders are urging the St.
Louis area's 250,000 union members to boycott Busch Stadium if
the Cardinals use replacement players (Roger Signor, ST. LOUIS
POST-DISPATCH, 2/19).
     TORONTO -- NO FREE LUNCHES, OR DINNERS:  The city of
Dunedin's annual "Welcome Back Blue Jays" dinner was cancelled
(Jim Byers, TORONTO STAR, 2/18).

     The Celtics "put up an air ball when the 1998 NBA All-Star
Game was on the line," but the team is looking for another chance
to host the game, reports Will McDonough of the BOSTON GLOBE.
The deadline for bids was February 3, and since the Celtics
failed to do so, they are now "out of the running."  While
Celtics VP/Special Events Stu Layne said the Celtics would like
the game in Boston at some point, "it is still not a great deal
for the city."  Layne:  "It would be very expensive and take up a
lot of time [for Celtics employees].  And also, it could cause
some real problems with our own ticket-holders and game sponsors.
The league takes the game over."  New Boston Garden Corp.
President Larry Moulter "wants the Celtics to push harder the
next time" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/18).  In Chicago, Sam Smith writes it
will be "a while" before the United Center hosts the NBA All-Star
Game.  Bulls VP Marketing & Broadcasting Steve Schanwald:  "We'll
probably apply again around the turn of the century" (CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 2/20).

     MLB responded to a report last week that MLB was "cracking
down" on copyright infringement by Little League teams and
amateur adult leagues by requiring them to pay an additional $6
fee to wear uniforms with "big-league nicknames."  The league
issued a statement Friday that not only will Little League teams
not be required to pay the fee, but that MLB would also "donate
more money to youth baseball than it receives in royalties on
licensed products sold to youth teams" (Kathy Reakes, FLORIDA
TODAY, 2/18).  Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig:  "It is Major
League Baseball's intent to encourage Little League clubs and
other youth baseball clubs to use the names of Major league
teams, not discourage it" (MLB).  MLB Properties VP & General
Counsel Don Gibson:  "It's not a money issue.   It's a matter of
trademark use.  If you don't protect your trademark, you risk
losing it" (USA TODAY, 2/20).

     The Raptors and Grizzlies are discussing submitting a
proposal to the NBA that would allow June's expansion draft to be
televised in Canada.  The draft, to be held June 28 at Skydome,
is slated to be held via phone and the players' names are not
released during the proceedings.  There is speculation that the
draft may be shown on a tape-delay basis (Howard Tsumura,
Vancouver PROVINCE, 2/19).
     WILKENS TO COACH DREAM TEAM III?  Hawks Coach Leny Wilkens
has emerged as the "prohibitive favorite" to coach the U.S. team
at the '96 Games in Atlanta.  Wilkens' "professional demeanor and
no-nonsense approach" are seen as key factors, considering the
U.S. team's behavior at the '94 Worlds (Ailene Voisin, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 2/19).