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Volume 24 No. 116
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     MLB owners voted unanimously to approve a proposal to
experiment with limited interleague play in '97.  Under the plan,
each team will play 15-16 games versus teams from the same
division in the opposite league; games will be played around
Memorial Day and Labor Day; the DH will be used in AL parks only
("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/18).
     WHAT MAKES BUD HAPPY?  NEWSDAY's Jon Heyman writes,
"Yesterday was a rare day for total good feeling in the baseball
community" (NEWSDAY, 1/19).  Murray Chass notes the likely
controversy over the DH under the new system, but writes acting
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "was too ecstatic, though, to allow
details such as the [DH] to intrude on his elation" (N.Y. TIMES,
1/19).  Selig:  "I think the DH is a nonissue" (I.J. Rosenberg,
ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/19).   Selig, on possible union
opposition:  "Don [Fehr] and I personally have talked about
interleague play for a long time and its a subject we've never
had any disagreement on" (Tom Keegan, N.Y. POST, 1/19).  Red Sox
CEO John Harrington, on the DH:  "It might kill interleague play,
but I don't expect the union to do that" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/19).
     TV REAX:  ESPN's Charley Steiner:  "On a day when Lisa Marie
tells Michael to beat it, when Disney buys the Angels in the
outfield -- and the infield, and the dugout, and the bullpen --
Major League Baseball took a major step towards Fantasy Land."
Peter Gammons:  "All that's happened the last couple years has
been about demographics. ... They are trying to address some fans
who really don't care about numbers, but about moving forward"
("SportsCenter," 1/18).
     PRINT REAX:  In Philadelphia, Bill Conlin: "Interleague play
will work better only because nothing the owners came up with in
Los Angeles could possibly be worse than the Baseball Network"
(PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 1/19).  In Chicago, Bob Verdi: "This schedule
modification is so overdue and so logical that even the union's
most militant soldiers will have to dig deep for causes to
resist" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/18).  In New York, Mike Lupica --
arguing that MLB needs a CBA, a commissioner, revenue-sharing and
a less confrontational union:  "Baseball did not take a giant
step forward yesterday with interleague play.  It just danced a
little more" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/19).  Ira Berkow, who argues for
realignment:  "Baseball was frightened into it" (N.Y. TIMES,
1/19).  Steve Jacobson:  "In a word, it stinks.  It messes up a
century of geometry" (NEWSDAY, 1/19).  In Washington, Tom
Boswell:  "It's about time baseball tried to please the public,
even if embracing change leads to a few errors in judgment"
(WASHINGTON POST, 1/19).  In Atlanta, I.J. Rosenberg:
"Interleague play should put a charge into a sport that continues
to try to regain what it lost in the strike" (ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 1/19).  But Terence Moore adds, the problem with
baseball isn't the lack of interleague play, it's the lack of a
CBA -- and the fact "that most of those who run the game would
rather trick the public with smoke and mirrors" (ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 1/19).  In Orlando, George Diaz writes, "For once,
baseball got it right" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/19).  In Tampa,
Martin Fennelly:  "Interleague play isn't a grim reaper.  He has
come and going, going, gone" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/19).  In Dallas,
Cathy Harasta:  "Making sense and taking a positive step?
Baseball owners?" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/19).