MLB TO DISCUSS REVENUE SHARING; ARE SUPERSTATIONS THE KEY?
Revenue-sharing is expected to top the agenda as MLB owners
begin two days of meetings in Phoenix today. But, Hal Bodley
reports unless owners can agree on how much superstations should
pay to televise games, no approval is likely (USA TODAY, 3/20).
In Tampa, Bill Chastain notes superstations have failed to pay
anything since '92 -- "a situation that must be corrected" (TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 3/20). In L.A., Ross Newhan is more optimistic for an
interim revenue-sharing agreement this week. One club official
says the small-market teams "have the votes" to approve a plan
for '96. The interim plan "is said to be similar to the
transition phase" of the Fort Lauderdale plan, approved in '94.
Under that plan, 13 clubs would give and 13 would receive, with
'93 expansion teams Colorado and Florida excluded. Each of the
high-revenue clubs "would basically provide 22% of their local
revenue to the subsidy fund." Management is "convinced" they
could receive union approval for such a plan (L.A. TIMES, 3/20).
In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt also expects approval for revenue-
sharing plan, but reports an interim plan would have all teams
contribute to a fund to be split among small-market clubs
(MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/20). Baltimore's Peter Angelos
said that revenue-sharing this season would be "problematic"
(Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/20). In Houston, Alan Truex
writes there is "reason to doubt" that revenue-sharing will be
approved (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/20).
ALSO ON THE AGENDA: Owners will also discuss the state of
labor talks, the A's decision to open in Las Vegas, and the sale
of the Cardinals (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/20).
NOT ON THE AGENDA: Nolan Ryan, visiting the Rangers camp
Monday, said he would consider becoming commissioner if asked --
but "only on his terms." Jim Reeves reports Ryan "would never
take the job as it is today ... gutted of power," but would
consider it if restructured (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM,
3/20)....Acting Commissioner Bud Selig calls D'Backs Owner Jerry
Colangelo's idea of a neutral-site World Series "interesting"
(ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/20).