prescription acivir pills online pharmacy canadian how much is aldactone tablets pharmacy escrow out of business best generic reglan review what is yagara arava tablets price generic zyban no prescription acheter alli pas cher asacol direct pharmacy zanaflex pills buy canada drugs tadalis sx with prescription toprol dosage for anxiety cheap accutane acne severe cheap alavert where to buy cheap generic astelin pulmicort coupons discounts where can i get some voveran buy aciclovir 100 sticky content ltd flagyl 500mg ivpb where to purchase fluoxetine side effects of citalopram 10mg half price kamagra bupropion online prices diamox shoppers drug mart clomid no rx side effects of misoprostol in dogs acticin low dose birth control viagra professional canada orlistat tablets 120mg brand advair diskus mg tablet plavix side effects mayo buy brand elocon cardizem buy uk cephalexin online store 100mg clomid iui success stories maxaman discount where can i get clomid from furosemide no prescription needed canadian online pharmacy cialis super active order online compra de cialis online nitroglycerin iv rxlist can birth control pills cause elevated liver enzymes where can i purchase aciclovir buy acivir pills us drugs approved tesco slimming aid tablets viagra super active usa pharmacy where are alligators found in oklahoma zyprexa 5 mg tablet generic florinef safe otc viagra walmart how long does it take for diovan to take effect cleocin online ordering missed sustiva dose buy doxycycline with zanaflex suppositories buy generic uk paypal ranitidine calan for discount acheter remeron pas cher tretinoin 0,05 canadian source noroxin uk buy florida azulfidine famvir generic release date septilin paypal acai max dose cytotec price in quiapo triamcinolone acetonide cream usp 0.1 ringworm all types clomid pills aciphex mail order india purinethol brand positioning when is generic maxalt available side effects of diovan 320 floxin otic drops generic generic ophthacare cost protonix user reviews quinine sulphate overdose can periactin pills make you gain weight best atacand prices hytrin spain prinivil over counter himcolin shopping donde puedo comprar effexor xr lov cost myambutol where can i buy provera online without a prescription albendazole pill shortage diflucan over counter australia no prescription zestril order abana pills meclizine side effects long term use indian pharmacy tadapox list of birth control pills 2013 what is the dosage for decadron can you get entocort how to take deltasone what is paroxetine hcl 40 mg tablet for baclofen discount buy cleocin gel 40 atorlip-5 mg tablet bupropion depression schizophrenia thuo^'c rocaltrol 0.25 where does synthroid come from canada price buy lamisil tulasi tablets buy femcare in singapore lipothin capsules mexico online pharmacy order differin skelaxan no prescription bactroban without prescriptions meclizine pas cher italie renagel 800 pill lioresal pills where to buy cheap generic sumycin female cialis use proscar medication prostate canadian vermox tablet can you buy pulmicort online generic elocon us desyrel without a script order dostinex 1mg is zyprexa a prescription drug safe place order motrin cuantas pastillas de misoprostol tengo que tomar para abortar atacand 8 mg prospect drugs similar to viagra soft revatio generic equivalent methylprednisolone injection price in india is entocort available over the counter uk version of kamagra oral jelly low cost myambutol buy canadian pharm prevacid recall 2012 walmart goes you buy levitra super active in ireland canadian cyproheptadine for cats how long to work hydrochlorothiazide canada eldepryl no prrescription canadian online pharmacy for aleve himcolin pill shortage rumalaya suppliers overseas get lotensin toronto discount procardia what is bismuth citrate used for levitra plus canadian pharmacy buy seroxat online doxycycline hyclate dosage for sinusitis best site to buy retin-a 0,05 etodolac for men in usa is there a generic equivalent for abilify xenical 120 mg how long does it take to work ordering haldol online without a p purchase xalatan cheap buy alligator hairclips hair bows how to pay by check on paypal revia no rx discount pharmacy locations brisbane lipitor discount card 2010 online pharmacy uk tadalafil generic paroxetine usa pharmacy sales zyvox mgb medicina ciprofloxacino para que sirve can you take bupron sr daily what does taking baclofen feel like buy mevacor online amazon mobic reviews 2009 phone in order for lanoxin calan birth control online canada altace generic name buy betnovate cream uk when does accutane start to work best online pharmacy for ed drugs what is the j code for cytoxan comprar kamagra gold original en madrid max prilosec dose purim baskets usa crestor medicine side effects cost of celexa in ontario triamterene online pharmacy shipped to canada where to purchase elocon ralista over the counter famvir from canada what is vytorin pills used for aspirin side effects bruising buy online fda cialis what is the generic form of actos is there a shortage of methotrexate pills fertility pills for women in south africa long term prednisone effects dogs heartburn medication ranitidine online pharmacy revia generic synthroid what is metformin pills one man one jar tumblr purchase cefadroxil online lipitor now co uk tretinoin .05 online haridra online forum sumycin delivery ways pfizer could grow sales viagra why is there a shortage of compazine septilin pills baclofen next day shipping promethizine no prescription purchase zithromax z-pak what is strattera prescribed for suminat generic imitrex imigran tablets retin-a ge generico italiano recommended dosage for premarin cream coumadin in the uk now do mexican pharmacies sell adderall xr cytotec side effects on fetus viamedic ad girl cialis 50 mg fiyat? elavil amitriptyline reviews levaquin birth control online mexico why is there a shortage of cleocin brahmi gadi katha movie online free apo-fluconazole and alcohol buy nizoral 4 shampoo online trileptal medicine what is bactroban nasal used for lasuna rx buy retin a 0.1 seroflo cost without insurance buy cheap requip pills buying old formula colchicine cvs pharmacy toronto canada medicine calan products buy online estrace order canada accutane before and after back pictures can you buy over the counter in australia diflucan pill prometrium online australia ms in pharmacy in canada universities bactrim ds tablet wfh best generic deltasone review buy dilantin online no prescription us digoxin express canada buy viagra shoppers drug mart what is the drug solu medrol used for healthcare alliance prescription card scam diclofenac sodium 75 mg and alcohol can you buy abilify over the counter in germany where can i get yagara pills cheapest danazol to buy buy cheap bactrim online how much does walgreens pay per hour in wisconsin canada pharmacy exam doxycycline hyclate 100mg capsules price alli sales 2011 dostinex without prescription pavitra rishta desi tashan written update safe place order retin-a 0,05 buy mestinon australia buy brand levitra tablets online generic plavix us minocin online coupon code allegra commercial 2011 where can i buy cialis in toronto flomax shortage 2012 pain meds for cats over the counter fucidin cream rxlist what is zestoretic made of augmentin online legally liv standard contract of sale is generic oxytrol effective can i take other medications with claritin cost of viagra in spain lamisil topical rx brand levitra generic release date lynoral suppositories buy can you buy dulcolax in ireland what is abilify used to treat adhd purchase celexa in usa provera low dose birth control buy nitrofurantoin tablets online best over the counter sleep aid unisom buy wellbutrin sr boots finast brand order combivent buy on line styplon side effects is it safe to buy nolvadex online prometrium benefits side effects zoloft noprescrition needed canada online pharmacy how to by albenza online zanaflex pharmacies diclofenac gel order canada suhagra sale buy cozaar online with mastercard minocycline tablets 50mg zovirax discount voucher adalat over the counter drugs generic januvia maximum dosage indian pharmacy styplon buy benemid with paypal i pill dramamine website what schedule drug is benadryl symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the mouth buy wellbutrin sr without a prescription from canadian pharmacy dulcolax balance price use of nitrofurantoin in pregnancy harga salep bactroban zyrtec online coupon comprar remedio para emagrecer xenical dog morning after pill cost buy duetact in ireland celebrex coupons discounts keflex capsules 500mg price original zoloft online digoxin pharmacy us online pharmacy no prescription probalan what is the daily dosage for propecia ordering low dose dilantin zyrtec over the counter buy augmentin online no prescription canada tadacip over the couter how much is motrin without insurance keflex 100mg tablet buy cordarone overseas what is zetia genuine cialis online buy tadapox from mexico online where do i tinidazole in uk can you buy viagra jellyfish in ireland pharmacy buy zithromax overnight deltasone prescription cialis copay card can you take valtrex daily for cold sores clomid generico online shelf life valtrex pills ethionamide on line no script tricor from europe do i need prescription for cialis in canada what are diclofenac sodium tablets www.online pharmacy forzest canadian cialis sale online clonidine order online minoxidil 15 amazon over the counter blog allopurinol online zyloprim online overnight florida trandate purchasing pyridium online order tamoxifen online no prescription with a echeck canada drugs avalide with prescription what is aleve tablets used for prednisone pills pictures baclofen pharmacy compare prices innopran xl long term side effects of dutasteride clomid pregnancy risks atorlip-5 drug class keppra pharmacy assistance valtrex herpes simplex 1 betnovate n cream alternative diflucan available over counter uk how to treat chlamydia and gonorrhea can i get a rash from cipro non generic augmentin premarin cream after delivery where to get motrin pct cialis viagra levitra difference quick online pharmacy where to buy sildenafil over the counter can get elimite over counter cialis online overnight delivery cialis super active generic mexico compazine suppository dosage pediatric how to buy calan in london mail-order benzac prilosec or prevacid for babies buy lotrisone online certain fungal mircette reviews 2012 can you mix prilosec nexium what is lopressor florinef tablets uk buy lexapro 200 buy prednisolone tablets online beat way to order keppra endep 100mg cheep plavix over the counter usa fluoxetine no prescription uk medicine cozaar 50 mg where can i buy singulair in canada liquid cialis side effects amlodipine besylate side effects tingling where can i get free samples of viagra bayer droncit tabletten 20 online viagra prescription how to get terramycin drug us online pharmacy no prescription rumalaya forte zyloprim how to buy prescription drugstore pharmacy pills buy viagra in london online very cheap trazodone cost of glycomet l-tryptophan without insurance online sale of alli cicloferon in usa cheap pletal sale uk where can i purchase hyaluronic acid citalopram how long do they take to work genuine trazodone 100mg claritin buy online ireland zebeta price terbinafine alcohol consumption abana overnight rx fedex order sominex overnight can you get brand cialis over the counter comprar evista en argentina what types of abana are there generic minipress paypal order abana 11 tablets triamterene 37.5 mg hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg robaxin medicine used trial erection packs 3 free shipping is there a generic form of keflex chloromycetin paypal endep side effects australia augmentin 625 duo india cialis sublingual discount voucher where to buy retin-a cream in singapore buy viagra dapoxetine online generic drugs for flomax fish antibiotics for sale uk all types nitroglycerin pills diclofenaco potassico 50mg cheap ayurslim what does generic doxycycline look like what is accutane used for retin-a 0,05 buy uk terramycin 40mg safe take meds india what is amitriptyline hcl 25 mg side effects cialis sublingual generic wikipedia drugs where can i get some luvox cheap kytril india cialis pill canadian prescription drug celebrex side effects ophthacare medication side effects paroxetine 12.5 mg tablets glimepiride metformin rxlist cost of generic benzaclin tamoxifen fertility success rates buy hydrochlorothiazide pills in the uk resources for cordarone alesse drugs where to buy cheap generic septilin como usar serophene 50 mg cipralex reviews weight loss generic tenormin cost prevacid western australia buy starlix online over the counter claritin dosage buy prednisolone usa piracetam amazon uk what is the generic drug for diovan order digoxin cheap lanoxin drug cytoxan shopping imiquimod reviews genital warts uk version of avapro zyloprim tablets side effects when does celebrex become generic order levitra no prescription buy mestinon reviews for men where can i buy cytotec here in the philippines maximum strength unisom sleepgels doxycycline 40 mg rosacea propecia generico in italia levlen ed pill reviews medrol online sales para que sirve el medicamento aciclovir en crema is long term nexium use safe buy ambien online paypal what bacteria does nitrofurantoin treat where can i order norvasc who is canadian rx online reviews non persciption moduretic motilium and breastfeeding oflocet commande prilosec side effects constipation cheap generic viagra professional buy nitroglycerin in singapore tamoxifen for sale australia hydrochlorothiazide tablets strength order canadian ephedraxin generic where can i get fincar where can i get speman pills where to buy cialis online without rx no rx inderal online buy domperidone from canada side effects of lipitor and plavix order levitra professional cheap cheap prescription medicine online benzac generico antivert tablets from buy buy paxil generico can you order bactrim alesse from china atrovent what does it do buy ampicillin online at canada pharmacy kamagranow.co.uk triamcinolone injection for scars pramipexole tren gyno geriforte syrup usa cvs prices levitra tablets look like buy metformin 100 cefixime legal us tofranil without script diltiazem lawsuit settlements erexin-v generic reviews shop costco membership welcome costco online buy didronel pills buy nootropil 1200 mg how to take zovirax capsules price of cialis 5 mg buy forzest online no prescription us what does a voltaren pill look like buy alli from canada levaquin lowest price mestinon canada overnight delivery order isoptin overnight atarax hydroxyzine hydrochloride buying snovitra super power in manchester low combivent cost of illegal drugs in usa cheap shallaki buy online avalide over the counter comes drugs dr reddys online pharmacy online pharmacy no prescription needed fast shipping levitra professional no prescription compare prices viagra type medicine in india allegra d generic alternative ventolin purchase online erythromycin dosage australia buying carbozyne in manchester cheap imitrex legal buy amoxil online canada levlen coupons how long does it take for prilosec otc to work lamisil weight gain no prescription tricor sale how to take duphalac dry xenical diet pill reviews plavix generic uk what are the side effects of benadryl overdose venlor cheap price side effects of dulcolax balance celebrex cost cvs where cozaar losartan potassium advair diskus tablets price vytorin weight gain buy seroquel online no prescription canada all types lopressor pills citalopram hbr 10 mg tablet side effects what does tetracycline hydrochloride do what is cymbalta similar to mestinon lawsuit canada acquistare aceon in italia requip medicine children accutane dosage mg citalopram hydrobromide generic drug what does generic bentyl look like levitra 20 mg bayer noroxin 400mg generic trileptal for sale on line lasix injection im cheapest drug suhagra order imitrex online with visa neurontin overnight voltaren tablets for back pain where to requip best place buy trileptal order doxazosin cheap cardura what does cymbalta do to the liver zyvox shipping overseas evista order canada post cycle therapy stromectol can i make terramycin mirtazapine 45mg orodispersible tablets unisom 2 reviews what does the drug paxil treat buy lamictal 200 us pharmacy online snovitra super power purchase frumil buy prilosec in australia menosan pas cher buy tretinoin .025 buy prescriptions from canada acheter pas cher lipothin order anafranil medication by mail can order calan online detrol with paypal payment what is brahmi pills used for long time side effects prazosin lopressor medicine where lithium was discovered is my metformin dose too high female cialis next day shipping all types of drugs photos where can i buy buffered aspirin uk atarax without a prescription from mexico sildenafil citrate+indian brands cardura xl prescribing information search overnight generic viagra testosterone therapy uk astelin paypal valtrex mexico no prescription lanoxin medication for dogs differin coupon code prescription medicine for acne mupirocin resistance canadian rx pharmacy juvederm generic for protonix 30 mg mail order generic brand advair diskus cytoxan infusion orders best cialis super active prices overnight canadian buy generic apcalis sx cipla pharmaceuticals limited goa lov cost paroxetine viagra discount prices maximum dose of lisinopril daily acheter pilule alli ligne toprol xl overnight pharmacy foods that interfere with coumadin warfarin propranolol dosage for high blood pressure happened generic colchicine what is tamoxifen prescribed for most reliable place to buy anafranil online tadacip 10 price top 10 online actonel sites duetact canada overnight delivery what does generic tegretol look like renagel no prescription compare prices buy allegra d 12 hour zoloft and pregnancy risks ramipril 2.5mg side effects cheap serophene 40 mg non prescription anti nausea medicine do you need a prescription for pioglitazone what is the correct dosage of roxithromycin lamisil prescription only order nizoral cheap fluconazole interactions purchase viagra super active online no prescription zyloprim 100mg buy micardis telmisartan side effects how much does infant prevacid cost abilify over the counter writing dosage ovulation after clomid calendar propecia hair-loss treatment reviews trazodone online overnight generic gyne-lotrimin in usa cipla field call first asp ciplafield best generic voveran sites chloramphenicol usage ve'te'rinaire pharmacy diet pills comprar lioresal original en madrid diflucan online discount prescription where reminyl coumadin on the internet what does finax funny viagra effects pictures orlistat over counter canada power slim acai reviews buy pletal online amazon canadian premarin cream prednisone for dogs side effects buy-viagra-through-paypal order promethazine codeine syrup online blue cross blue shield michigan mail order prescriptions casodex limited india robaxin tablets purchase on line buy diclofenac greece procardia dose sarafem 40 mg dose geriforte syrup online coupon code how long does it take for meclizine to work erythromycin uk online cost of generic actos can you buy citalopram over the counter
Home Pete Toms LWIB: StarCaps & MLB, Poll on Competitive Balance, Credit Facility, World Series Start Times

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 1200 guests online

Atom RSS

LWIB: StarCaps & MLB, Poll on Competitive Balance, Credit Facility, World Series Start Times PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 13
PoorBest 
Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 09 November 2009 09:51

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in LWIB, Rob Manfred and Michael Weiner from MLB and the MLBPA testify before Congress concerning “StarCaps”, a new poll reveals widespread concern amongst fans about competitive balance, positive signs for MLB as they negotiate a new “credit facility” and earlier World Series start times yield positive results.

STARCAPS & MLB

LWIB both Rob Manfred, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Labor and Human Resources and Michael Weiner, the MLBPA‘s General Counsel (and soon to be Executive Director) were two of the witnesses to appear before a hearing of The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The subject of the hearing was, "The NFL StarCaps Case: Are Sports' Anti-Doping Programs At A Legal Crossroads?". Why are two of the most important and influential men in MLB labour relations involved in a dispute over the legality of some NFL players testing positive for a banned diuretic (Bumetanide)? The reason is that “StarCaps” has the potential to nullify the drug testing policies in place in all the “stick and ball” leagues.

A quick summary of the history of “StarCaps”: Two Minnesota Vikings players tested positive last season for the aforementioned “Bumetanide” as a result of their consumption of an over the counter weight loss supplement “StarCaps”. (no longer on the market) . The players contested their suspension in Minnesota state court, arguing that it violated state workplace laws. The court sided with the players, who have continued to play amidst a series of ongoing appeals. Last week’s hearing came at the request of the NFL, who argued that Congress should exempt professional sports’ collectively bargained drug testing policies from state labour laws. Northeastern University Law Professor Roger Abrams wrote in July for The Huffington Post:

The resulting litigation has been a sports law professor's dream. It is filled with questions of the supremacy of federal law, collective bargaining, the rights of states to regulate aspects of drug testing, the role of a non-neutral "arbitrator" and that is just for starters.

T.J. Quinn reported on the hearing last week for ESPN:

Their lawsuit against the NFL over their positive drug tests exposed a weakness in the league's antidoping policy -- in all professional American sports' drug policies, for that matter. The leagues knew the loophole was there and hoped no one would try to wriggle through.

AND

Which brings us to Tuesday. The NFL felt the latest court decision is enough of a threat to its drug policy that it asked for a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, where it asked Congress to pass a law that would exempt sports from state labor laws. The league's point: If a state can pass a law that overrides a collectively bargained drug policy, a player in one state could take drugs that a player in another state couldn't.

John R. Parkinson quoted some of Commissioner Goodell’s testimony in a report on the hearing for ABC News:

"Professional athletes and their collective bargaining representatives should not be permitted to manipulate state statutes as a means to gain a competitive advantage," Goodell told lawmakers. "The professional sports leagues cannot operate properly and maintain even competition on the field if players in one state are subject to rules in this area that vary from state to state."

Rob Manfred, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Labor and Human Resources testified that MLB is supportive of the NFL’s request for Congressional intervention in exempting professional sports’ drug testing policies from state labour laws. Ken Belson quoted Mr. Manfred in a report for the New York Times:

Major League Baseball and other professional sports leagues, as well as the United States Anti-Doping Agency, have stood behind the N.F.L.’s request that Congress amend federal labor laws to prevent challenges in state courts.

Rob Manfred, M.L.B.’s executive vice president for labor relations, told the subcommittee that his league and the baseball players union probably did not “have the legal power to waive in advance state law claims of individual union members.”

As a result, Manfred said, “a narrowly drafted statute could solve the problem faced by professional sports while avoiding undue interference with the prerogatives of the states.”

Cynthia Dizikes quoted some of Mr. Manfred’s remarks in her report on the hearing for The Minnesota Post (HT The Sports Law Blog):

“Uniformity of enforcement is an essential element of any drug testing program in the context of professional sports,” Manfred said in prepared testimony. “The essence of sport is fair competition. The use of performance-enhancing drugs undermines fair competition. In a nation-wide sport such as professional baseball, athletes must be held to a single standard of clean competition.”

MLBPA General Counsel Michael Weiner testified in support of the NFLPA’s stance that congressional intervention is unnecessary. Both NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Mr.Weiner asserted that a resolution to this dispute should and can be negotiated by the PA and the league. Ms. Dizikes also quoted from some of Michael Weiner’s remarks before the hearing:

“Nothing we have seen — in this litigation, or in Minnesota law, or elsewhere — suggests that Congress needs to take such extraordinary action,” Weiner added.

In prepared testimony, Weiner said that such action by Congress could lead to “the unusual proposition that parties to a collective bargaining agreement can contract for that which is illegal under state law.”0

Reaction from Committee members to Commissioner Goodell’s request for government intervention were mixed. Anti-steroid crusader, Rep. Henry Waxman, always vocal on the subject of drug testing in professional sports, was typically overblown. (Mr. Waxman chaired congressional hearings on the use of PEDs in MLB in 2005 and 2008) From the aforementioned report from John R. Parkinson:

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee, warned that if the state laws prevail and trump federal law, the ensuing result would complicate enforcement of suspensions and would threaten progress on steroids in sports at all levels of competition.

"If the rulings are taken to their logical conclusions, players on one team could be allowed to use drugs that would subject players on another team to suspensions and fines," Waxman said. "These new legal interpretations could render the NFL and Major League Baseball drug testing programs unenforceable, loophole-ridden and unacceptably weak and ineffective."

Waxman said if the courts do not rule that collective bargained drug policies can stand against state laws, congressional action could be necessary.

"We should not allow the drug policies that the NFL, Major League Baseball and other sports leagues have put in place to be rendered null and void," Waxman said. "That is an invitation to steroid abuse in professional sports. And it will inevitably lead to more steroid use."

And Cynthia Dizikes also quoted Mr. Waxman in her aforementioned report:

“The federal district court in Minnesota has ruled — and been upheld by the Court of Appeals — that the state laws governing workplace drug testing may trump the collectively bargained agreements of the NFL, Major League Baseball, and other sports leagues,” Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said today in prepared testimony at a hearing of the Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Subcommittee. “This is a serious problem because some state laws undermine the stringent sanctions established by the sports leagues and their players associations.”

Not all members of the committee were as activist in their reactions as Mr. Waxman. From T.J. Quinn’s aforementioned report:

Subcommittee chairman Bobby Rush, D-Ill., made it clear in Tuesday's hearing that he wants the NFL and the NFL Players Association to work out their differences on their own and that legislation would be a "last resort."

The AP reported that the general mood of the committee during the hearing was rather apathetic:

Tuesday's session was hardly a meaty hearing. At times, no more than three lawmakers were present: Waxman was among those who didn't stick around to question the panel of witnesses.

And again from T.J. Quinn, who speculates that the likelihood of federal intervention is remote:

Federal legislation, though, looks unlikely in the near future, and some observers Tuesday questioned whether the NFL truly even wants it. Once Congress gets involved a little, they said, it might get involved a lot in the league's business.

Gabriel A. Feldman, the director for the Tulane sports law program, testified before the hearing. Mr. Feldman argued that there are a number of alternatives to federal intervention that should be pursued before Congress legislates on this matter. Again from Cynthia Dizikes report:

“It is important to emphasize that the Eighth Circuit did not hold that the NFL [Performance Enhancing Drug] Policy violates Minnesota law,” he said in prepared testimony. “Instead, the court only held that the Williamses may challenge their suspensions in Minnesota state court under state law.”

Thus, Feldman concluded that it was only a “potential” problem. And even if the court did ultimately rule in favor of the Williamses, it was still a “narrow” problem because only three states, including Minnesota, currently have drug-testing laws that might conflict with the NFL policy.

“This narrow potential problem warrants a very narrow solution, and many steps should be taken before Congress intervenes,” said Feldman. “The most appropriate — and simple — solution is for the NFL to litigate the case in state court and convince the court that the Minnesota Laws were not intended to apply to the NFL [Performance Enhancing Drug] Policy and that suspensions do not violate the Minnesota Laws. If that suit is unsuccessful, the NFL should seek an exemption from the state Legislature that makes it clear that the Minnesota Laws do not apply … If that fails, the NFL and the players association should try to bargain around the Minnesota Laws. If that fails, then, only as a last resort, Congress should consider passing a narrow federal law that will protect” the NFL policy.

The NFL’s appeal of the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit will be heard in March.

Select Read More to see details on a poll regarding competitive balance, MLB's negotiations for a new “credit facility” and earlier World Series start times yielding positive results

NEW POLL REVEALS FAN CONCERNS OVER COMPETITIVE BALANCE

The New York Yankees World Series victory has exacerbated the debate amongst baseball pundits over the issue of competitive balance in MLB. Maury Brown wrote about the vitriolic response to the Yankees’ championship in a post at his Sports Bash blog. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote a column titled “Yankees widen baseball’s chasm”. Peter Gammons of ESPN wrote a column titled “Blame the System, not the Yankees.”

But there is more to the competitive balance issue than the size of the Yankees payroll and how frequently they make the playoffs and win the World Series. While 2009 regular season attendance was down a very respectable 7% (the recession) from 2008, perhaps more important was that attendance declined for 22 of the 30 franchises. Is there a correlation between declining attendance in more than 2/3 of MLB markets and the relative on field dominance of “large payroll“ franchises this season? LWIB, a Seton Hall Sports Poll (read details of the poll - Word Doc) revealed that many fans in small markets are increasingly cynical about the prospects of “their” teams’ ability to field competitive teams. The poll was conducted last week, during the World Series. From the poll:

Sixty percent of Americans who follow sports feel that teams located in bigger markets have an advantage in producing winning seasons…

Seventy percent of fans feel that Major League Baseball should make a bigger effort to equalize revenue for all teams, as the NFL has done.

“While occasionally a small market team like Minnesota or Tampa Bay will break through and win a division or a playoff round, the big markets continue to prevail in the later rounds, and the fans clearly link that success to the ability to generate bigger revenue,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted by The Sharkey Institute.

Specifically addressing the Yankees, 56% of respondents felt that their ability to generate more income gave them an unfair advantage.

The poll was conducted among a random sampling of 858 adults 18 and older.

Commissioner Selig has acknowledged that the current model in place to promote competitive balance requires “tweaking”. Mr. Selig’s commitment to implementing both mandatory slotting in the amateur draft and expanding the draft internationally are, in part, motivated by the desire to “level the playing field”. Whether or not greater revenue sharing and a more punitive “luxury tax” (both would be opposed by the MLBPA and large revenue franchises) will also be required in order to placate “small revenue” franchises and their fan bases remains to be seen.

MORE GOOD NEWS FOR MLB FROM CREDIT MARKETS

Last week, LWIB reported that Fitch Ratings is very optimistic about the present and future prospects of MLB. LWIB brought more good news for MLB from the credit markets. Daniel Kaplan reported for The SportsBusiness Journal that MLB is close to re-establishing it’s “credit facility” aka “”loan pool” after failing to do so last fall during the worst period of the “credit crisis”. From Mr. Kaplan’s report:

Major League Baseball, less than a year after turmoil in the financial markets prevented the league from refinancing its $1.2 billion loan pool, is back in the market, fully confident it can now obtain better terms.

Baseball’s lead lender, Bank of America, hosted financial institutions at MLB headquarters before Game 2 of the World Series last Thursday and expects to get a new deal done soon, banking sources said.

That would be good news for the 22 teams that borrow from the loan pool, or credit facility, because the inability to refinance last year triggered about $30 million in amortization costs that had not been budgeted for. About $39 million of amortization is scheduled to come due next month, but MLB would eliminate that cost, as well as much steeper bills in future years, with the desired refinancing.

AND

“The more people I talk to now, people are pretty sanguine compared to where they were five or seven years ago on baseball,” said Rob Tilliss, founder of sports financial adviser Inner Circle Sports. “People view it as recession-resistant.”

Last fall, when the credit markets seized up, MLB and the NFL were faced with refinancing their credit facilities. Historically, these pools of loans had been tremendous successes in delivering credit to teams at far cheaper rates than they could have secured on their own. In MLB’s case, it uses its national media contract as collateral and borrows most of the money through short-term markets.

MLB appears to have come through the recession (has it ended?) suffering relatively little damage. Concerns about disparities between large and small markets will likely never be entirely resolved but league wide revenues were stable in 2009 (a notable feat for obvious reasons) and the fundamentals of the industry remain strong.

EARLIER WORLD SERIES START TIMES YIELD POSITIVE RESULTS

By now we should all understand that despite the annual complaining of east coast baseball pundits that postseason games end too late, in fact, TV audiences grow as the evening progresses. Nonetheless, MLB and FOX did implement earlier start times for World Series games this year and the results were positive. Michael Hiestand reported LWIB for USA Today:

There were lots of variables behind this year's World Series boffo TV box office — like having a super-big budget cast in the New York Yankees— but this seems at least pretty clear: Earlier Series start times helped build late-night viewing.

Four of the six Series games started slightly before 8 p.m. ET, which was the earliest start time ever for primetime Series games. Sunday's Game 4 had a slightly later scheduled start — to fit in with Fox's NFL action — while only Saturday's Game 3 started later than scheduled, due to rain delay.

The result: Ratings increases for viewing after 11 p.m. ET.

In the four games that started on schedule, ratings after 11 p.m. ET was 6% higher than viewing before that time. Last year, ratings were 3% lower after 11 p.m. ET.


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF FOOTBALL)

(THE BIZ OF HOCKEY)

(THE BIZ OF BASKETBALL)

(SPORTS BASH)


Pete Toms is an author for the Business of Sports Network, most notably, The Biz of Baseball. He looks forward to your comments and can be contacted through The Biz of Baseball.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter Twitter

FacebookFollow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

 

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?