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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

          Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, on the five-game
     suspension handed down to Yankees P Mike Stanton by AL
     President Dr. Gene Budig after Stanton hit Orioles Eric
     Davis with a pitch in Tuesday's game: "I respect [Budig's]
     position.  Whether he is the right man for the job ... I
     like Budig, he is a nice man.  He is an educator with a
     briefcase.  I don't know if there is a jockstrap in there,
     but he has a briefcase" (N.Y. POST, 6/18)....WNBA President
     Val Ackerman is profiled by Athelia Knight of the WASHINGTON
     POST under the header, "Her League On The Rise, Ackerman's
     Having A Ball" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/18).  Also in DC, Thomas
     Heath examines the WNBA and its marketing partnerships. WNBA
     Exec VP & CMO Rick Welts, on the league's partners: "What
     speaks more about where women's sports are is the list of
     companies who bought in.  These are mainstream sports
     advertisers who believe they are reaching a very mainstream
     sports audience.  One of the benefits is that they have
     passionate female consumers" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/18).

          A "moratorium resembling a no-lockout, no-strike
     pledged was discussed" Wednesday during an NBA collective
     bargaining session as a way to reinstate the 12 players who
     were removed from the U.S. World Championship team,
     according to an AP report by Chris Sheridan in the SALT LAKE
     TRIBUNE.  Sources told Sheridan that a "moratorium extending
     into mid-summer ... was discussed in broad terms," which
     would allow for the return of the 12 players.  After meeting
     yesterday, the league and the union agreed to meet again
     "early next week" (AP/SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 6/18). 
          DREAM TEAM TURNED INTO NIGHTMARE: In Denver, Mark
     Kiszla writes, "Caught in the crossfire of a labor war
     between the NBA and the league's players, the Dream Team is
     dying.  Let it fade away.  The Dream Team, a tired concept,
     has a duty to die. ... Good.  No more Dream Team means no
     more stars wrapping themselves in Old Glory for corporate
     gain.  No more pampered athletes" (DENVER POST, 6/18).
          NEXT PLEASE: In L.A., Greg Johnson surveys sports execs
     who say that the NBA "will be hard-pressed to crown an heir
     apparent when Air Jordan grounds himself."  Rick Burton, Dir
     of the Warsaw Sports Marketing School at the Univ. of OR:
     "Hero appreciation is driven by superhuman performance, and
     now to be a hero you have to be a champion to the level that
     Jordan has set the bar at."  DC-based attorney Lon Babby,
     who represents Grant Hill and Tim Duncan: "You're never
     going to duplicate Michael Jordan, because he's a once-in-a-
     lifetime phenomenon.  And I don't think anyone is seriously
     aspiring to duplicate him.  But there is an opportunity out
     there for someone who can be the next iteration of an
     important spokesperson for the league" (L.A. TIMES, 6/18).

          Bud Selig, who has served as MLB's acting commissioner
     for nearly six years, "has decided to accept the job" on a
     permanent basis, according to Murray Chass of the N.Y.
     TIMES.  Chass' piece was teased on the front page of the
     paper and featured above the fold in the Sports section. 
     Two sources, one a "high-ranking" MLB official and one who
     "is not in baseball but has close contacts with people in
     the sport's hierarchy," said that an official announcement
     "could be made by" the All-Star Game on July 7.  One owner
     said the announcement "could be coming in two to four
     weeks."  Chass writes that the naming of Selig as
     commissioner "should surprise no one," and that despite his
     statements of non-interest, "[o]verwhelming support from
     owners for him to take the job made it possible for him to
     agree to take it."  Several sources said that "only two or
     three" owners were opposed to Selig taking the post.  All of
     Chass' sources named White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf as one
     who opposed the appointment.  Giants Owner Peter Magowan and
     the Cubs' Tribune Co. were also named as being opposed to
     the Selig appointment (N.Y. TIMES, 6/18).
          NOT EVERYONE'S BUD? Chass writes that "[o]ne problem"
     Selig might have is "public acceptance," since he was the
     "face that fans saw" throughout the '94-'95 strike. Another
     possible problem may be management's relations with the
     MLBPA, as the relationship between Selig and MLBPA Exec Dir
     Donald  Fehr "deteriorated badly" during the labor dispute,
     "reaching the point where Fehr didn't even want to talk to
     Selig."  Selig's acceptance of the post has prompted some in
     MLB to "question whether he was really sincere in his
     repeated insistence that he didn't want" it.  One senior
     club exec said he thought "the whole thing was orchestrated.
     [Selig] was telling a small group of people from day one he
     wanted it but told everyone else he didn't" (N.Y. TIMES,
     6/18).  Selig, asked about the report by Tom Haudricourt in
     WI said, "There's always been a great deal of speculation on
     this matter, but at this point in time I can assure you
     there is nothing definitive" (JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 6/18).