MLB owners and players could be heading for an impasse in
labor negotiations that "could put both sides back in the
courtroom," according to Hal Bodley of USA TODAY. The owners
negotiating committee met Thursday to discuss "what little
progress had been made in bargaining talks and where to go next."
Bodley writes that if management decides an impasse has been
reached and attempts to implement terms of its last proposal, it
would have to appear before U.S. District Judge Sonia Sotomayor,
who issued the injunction in March '95 that ended the players
strike (USA TODAY, 5/10).
NEWS AND NOTES: Acting Commissioner Bud Selig on Bret
Butler's throat cancer possibly caused by chewing tobacco: "I
hope we can pick up the intensity. This is such a horrible
habit." Selig said he was unaware that Milwaukee County Stadium
provided chewing tobacco free in the visitors clubhouse. Selig:
"It shouldn't be. Let (the players) bring it themselves"
(Michael Silverman, BOSTON HERALD, 5/9)....L.A. TIMES columnist
Mike Downey writes on the "good years" of Adolf Hitler. Downey:
"Everybody called him Adolf "Designated" Hitler backed then,
which made him laugh and laugh, even though the DH hadn't been
introduced to baseball yet. The guy was always way ahead of his
time that way. It's all there in the new book, 'Hitler: The Good
Years' (on sale at Riverfront Stadium)" (L.A. TIMES, 5/10).
NFL sources tell the DALLAS MORNING NEWS that former Cowboys
WR Cory Fleming has been told he will be suspended for violating
the NFL's substance-abuse policy while playing last season with
the Cowboys. He is the third player from last season's team to
be suspended for drug use (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/10)...The
LPGA's McDonald's Championships has been reduced from 72 hole to
54 due to rain. It marks the first time one of the four major
championships has been reduced to 54 holes (N.Y. TIMES,
5/10)....Peter Vecsey writes on NBA official Lee Jones being
"stiffed" in the playoffs by the NBA's Darell Garretson in this,
his final year after 25 seasons of service. Vecsey: "If your
chief of staff disrespects his officials, why should we be
surprised when the players do likewise" (N.Y. POST, 5/9).
The Equal Opportunity Committee of MLB issued an update on
baseball's opportunity efforts over the past year. The last EOC
report was in June '94. Among the findings: MLB has seen a
decrease in the percentage of women in central offices and front
office positions. Central offices include the Commissioner,
A.L., N.L. offices, the Players Relations Committee and MLB
Properties. In '93-94, 111 women were employed in the central
offices making up 56% of the workforce. In '95-96, women made up
54% with 76 employees. But the percentage of women as executives
and department heads increased from 10% to 21% on the central
office level, but remained at 13% in the club's front offices.
The percentage of African-American employees in the central
offices increased slightly, but remained at 9% in club front
offices, the same level since '89. The greatest increase was in
the number of female owners/investors in teams, which grew from
31 in '94 to 43 in '95-96. On the whole, hiring numbers showed
no dramatic gain in any one category (MLB).
REACTION: Minority hiring changed little "despite promises
from owners to improve ethnic diversity" (DETROIT NEWS, 5/10).
ESPN's Bob Ley: "If progress is measured by numbers, then Major
League Baseball is not making progress" ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
The NHL announced it will help stage the inaugural
International Ice Hockey Federation In-Line Hockey World
Championship. The event, played in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN in
August will be produced by the NHL and IIHF along with USA Hockey
In-Line. The round-robin format will host teams from up to 16
countries. Information on final site, TV and sponsorship plans
will be released shortly (NHL).
As qualifying for the U.S. 500 and Indy 500 begin Saturday,
IMS President Tony George said Indy may expand its race card
beyond the traditional 33 starters. George: "I don't believe the
traditional 33 starting spots will be a problem filling. The
question is will we consider ... maybe expanding. ... I'm not
suggesting anything other than this is an unusual year .. (and
that) anything is possible" (Skip Myslenski, CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
TAKING SIDES? Profiles of the IRL/CART split continue. In
Detroit, Angelique Chengelis writes the feud has not "officially
escalated to the point where the D-word is used, but it seems
their differences are irreconcilable." The "trial separation
appears headed toward something more permanent" (DETROIT NEWS,
5/10). In Orlando, Mike Dame writes Indy "has been reduced to a
farcical sideshow." Driver Paul Tracy, who will be at the U.S.
500, won't miss Indy, calling it just another race track while
adding all the best racers are in Michigan. Tracy: "I don't
watch the Super Bowl to look at the stadium" (ORLANDO SENTINEL,
5/10). In L.A., Jim Murray writes George is betting the event
"overshadows the individuals. ... Individuals retire, get old,
get out. The event stays" (L.A. TIMES, 5/9).