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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     Greg Murphy was officially named President & CEO of the
newly created entity, Major League Baseball Enterprises.  Murphy
has worked in consumer marketing for over 20 years and most
recently led Kraft Foods Bakery companies.  MLB Enterprises is a
new division that incorporates MLB Properties and will oversee
TV, advertising, PR, licensing, sponsorships and international
development (MLB).  Acting Commissioner Bud Selig called the
structure of MLB Enterprises "radically different than anything
baseball has ever had" (Paul Schwartz, N.Y. POST, 6/12).  Murphy,
on his challenges:  "Fans are angry.  I think disgusted.  In many
ways that's great because they really care."  Murphy, who
experience includes marketing Kool-Aid in '78 after the mass
suicides in Jonestown, Guyana, added, "Everyone feels
passionately about baseball.  Even Marge Schott.  The core equity
of Kool-Aid and the core equity of baseball are strong" (Richard
Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).  Murphy:  "We need to restore
baseball to its proper place in American life" ("SportsCenter,"
ESPN, 6/11).
     MEDIA REACTION:  The announcement was noted covered widely
outside the Eastern media.  The N.Y. TIMES' Richard Sandomir
notes Murphy "lacks sports experience, which did not scare off
baseball."  He also notes Murphy was "reluctant to reveal his
possible strategies" to increase revenue, attendance, TV ratings,
and franchise values -- "his four goals" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).  In
Philadelphia, Michael Sokolove writes Murphy's hiring could
change the type of candidate MLB will seek as new commissioner.
Previously, owners had talked of hiring a person with a marketing
background "in the mold" of a Peter Ueberroth.  But with Murphy
on board, Phillies President Bill Giles said a new commissioner
would "more likely" be someone like the late Bart Giamatti
(PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/12).  NEWSDAY's Steve Jacobson notes
the challenges facing Murphy, who was "glowing" with the
appointment.  Jacobson:  "Let's see his face after he's had a
couple of years on the job."  But Jacobsen added "it was
interesting to see" immediately after his introduction, Murphy
was shaking hands and planning a get-together with a Nike
official (NEWSDAY, 6/12).

     MLB owners are threatening to return to court on a second
attempt to impose a new economic system should negotiations with
the MLBPA not accelerate by the All-Star break, according to Mark
Maske of the WASHINGTON POST.  One management source told Maske,
"We're either going to have a deal or something close to a deal
at the all-star break, or we're going to court soon after that."
The owners attempted such an implementation in December '94
during the strike, but "under pressure" from the NLRB, they
withdrew a salary cap system soon after imposing it.  MLB chief
negotiator Randy Levine declined to comment on a possible return
to court, but MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr said, "It doesn't
surprise me.  It's easy to rattle sabers."  The union is expected
to deliver a new proposal to management this week (WASHINGTON
POST, 6/12).

     ESPN reports that MLB's Executive Council will announce
today the suspension of Reds Owner Marge Schott as President of
the club and overseer of day-to-day operations through at least
the '97 season.  Some MLB officials are "still pushing" to have
Schott suspended through '99, when her partnership agreement to
run the team ends.  To ensure that Schott won't be in control
through hand-picked replacement (most likely Reds Controller John
Allen), the Council is expected to name an interim president.
Top candidates: Pirates President Mark Sauer and former Angels
President Richard Brown.  Schott will not relinquish any
ownership stake in the Reds and will still be able to attend
games.  However, she will not be permitted to participate in any
decisions involving the club, nor represent the Reds at any NL
and MLB functions.  ESPN reported Schott is not expected to fight
the decision ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/11).  In Dayton, Hal McCoy
reports Council sources say they are removing Schott "under the
catch-all phrase, 'the best interest of baseball.'"  One high
ranking source said Schott told the Council, "I don't see that I
said anything wrong." A second Council source said, "If you're
looking into how we can do this, just check what Schott signed in
February 1993."  In '93, Schott signed a document saying she
would accept indefinite suspension if she made any further
insensitive comments (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 6/12).  In Atlanta, I.J.
Rosenberg notes Schott will not be able to apply for
reinstatement for at least two years (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
6/12).  In New York, Murray Chass notes it "was unclear" whether
Schott would voluntarily relinquish control as of late yesterday
(N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).  In DC, Mark Maske notes that Schott and her
representatives "have indicated to baseball officials that she
will fight any sanctions."  MLB leaders are seeking a deal where
she would "be removed from the club's day-to-day operations for
one year and would pledge not to sue over the matter" (WASHINGTON
POST, 6/12).
     SCHOTT SPEAKS:  As Schott left Riverfront Stadium last
night, she told Cincinnati's WLWT-TV:  "I'm going to do what's
best for baseball. ... I just love the team."  Through her
attorney, Robert Martin, Schott suggested to MLB that Allen be
put in a more "significant -- but still secondary -- role."  This
point reportedly was still being negotiated.  On reports he might
be brought in to run the club, Sauer told the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER
it was "the first time I've heard anything about it" (Hal Bodley,
USA TODAY, 6/12).  One Pirate official said Sauer "had not been
contacted about such duties and remains committed to building a
new ballpark in Pittsburgh" (Ken Daley, DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
6/12).  The PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE notes that Sauer is still
President of the Pirates, although "he was stripped of much of
his power" under new ownership (Bob Smizik, PITTSBURGH POST-
GAZETTE, 6/12).  Sauer is reportedly a close friend of Reds GM
Jim Bowden, who took over the team during Schott's first
suspension in '93 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/12).  The N.Y. TIMES'
Murray Chass notes the Executive Council "apparently would
approve" Bowden to run the team if Schott nominated him, but
Schott reportedly will not since the two are not getting along
(N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).
     ONE VOICE:  Columnist Ira Berkow writes Schott should not be
removed.  Berkow notes it is the right of fans "not to patronize
such a fool ... they should be the ultimate judges, not her pious
fellow owners" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).
     MORE FUN: Indians OF Albert Belle's hearing on his five-game
appeal will be heard tomorrow in New York by AL President Gene
Budig (Akron BEACON-JOURNAL, 6/12).