BASEBALL BACK TO BUSINESS: OWNERS GROUP MEETS IN MILWAUKEE
MLB's Executive Council met last night over dinner to
discuss, as acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig put it, "a lot of
internal issues." Several council members said the issues of
revenue sharing and legal representation would be discussed. Red
Sox CEO John Harrington: "I'd like to see something on revenue-
sharing evolve out of this. We need to get started as soon as we
can" (Jim Litke, AP/FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/12). ESPN's Chris
Berman: "Baseball owners are finishing their meeting over dinner
tonight in Milwaukee. We presume the large market teams are
picking up the tab" ("Baseball Tonight," 4/11).
UMPS TO PICKET: ESPN's Robin Roberts reported that MLB
umpires "could set up picket lines" during the exhibition games
that begin Thursday ("SportsCenter," 4/11). The picketing "would
be informational and not intended to stop people from entering
stadiums" (AP/N.Y. TIMES, 4/12). The MLBUA has "given up" on its
bid to have replacement umpires banned from working in Toronto.
MLBUA spokesperson Bob Opalka: "It may not be as solid an option
as we anticipated" (Bill Lankhof, TORONTO SUN, 4/12).
TV DEALINGS: In New York, Phil Mushnick notes, "Well-placed
rumors persist that reps of Fox and MLB's TV committee held
covert meetings several months ago during which Fox made clear
its strong desire for baseball." But Fox's position since has
been that it is not interested in discussing a deal until MLB
gets a new long-term CBA in place. Mushnick: "If there's no CBA
for the 1996 season on the near horizon, baseball's downward
spiral could be accelerated beyond belief" (N.Y. POST, 4/12).
20-20 REVISION: Roy Firestone asked Cal Ripken if it were
August 12, 1994 again and the players faced the vote to strike
again, would they do it. Ripken: "Well, with the benefit of
hindsight, you might play through the whole season and do it that
way" ("Up Close," ESPN, 4/11).... Former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn
urged owners and players to develop an NBA-style partnership
(N.Y. POST, 4/12).
NEWS & NOTES: The A's announced that kids 14 and younger
will be admitted to all games this season for $1. The $1 prices
apply to four sections (A's)....Indians VP of Marketing and
Communications Jeff Overton said the team "actually gained,
rather than lost, corporate sponsors during the strike" (CRAIN'S
CLEVELAND, 4/10 issue).... Tickets for the Mariners opening four-
game homestand will all be half price (Mariners)....Cactus League
President Jerry Geiger expects an attendance drop for this year's
spring games of 45-85% from last year. Reasons include the
shortened season, travel restrictions for out-of-state fans and a
decrease in fan interest (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/12).