Drop suits, pay fees, Steinbrenner is toldCommissioner Fay...

Sports briefly qVB

December 29, 1991

Drop suits, pay fees, Steinbrenner is told

Commissioner Fay Vincent said yesterday that before he would consider an application for reinstatement by George Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees owner would have to agree to pay baseball's legal fees from their two-year dispute.

"Baseball people are not allowed to sue the commissioner," Vincent said. "When you sue the commissioner, you pay his legal fees."

Vincent estimated that baseball's legal fees were approximately million from defending three lawsuits involving Steinbrenner. Two are still outstanding, a suit by Yankees chief operating office Leonard Kleinman -- an action Vincent said Steinbrenner controls -- and a suit by Steinbrenner against a stenographer involved in baseball's investigation.

There has been speculation that Vincent would entertain a request to reinstate Steinbrenner if the suits are dropped. Robert Nederlander's resignation as the Yankees managing general partner is effective Wednesday, and Yankees partners met Thursday and said they would like to nominate Steinbrenner as the replacement.

Steinbrenner agreed on July 30, 1990, to quit as managing general partner and bar himself from the team's day-to-day business, but has been unhappy with the agreement. Vincent had intended to suspend Steinbrenner for two years because of his $40,000 payment to gambler Howard Spira.

Vincent said that because of the agreement, Steinbrenner cannot succeed Nederlander as managing general partner. For now.

"I'm not going to discuss anything with George until the lawsuits go away," Vincent said. "There's nothing to negotiate. I'm not going to negotiate. They just have to drop the lawsuits. If they don't do it, then George just sits."

Vincent said he did not know who would be running the team as of Wednesday.

"The Yankees have to have a general partner," he said. "They'll have to make arrangements. I'll have to wait and see what happens and deal with that this week."

Skiing

Angela Schmidt-Foster, a four-time Olympian from Canada, nipped Italy's Petra Trocker by 1.5 seconds to win a 6-kilometer cross-country race in Putney, Vt.

Schmidt-Foster, who lost by a whisker in a 12-kilometer race, won this one in 16 minutes, 13.1 seconds. Trocker finished the two-lap race in 16:14.6.

Golf

Defending champion Jane Geddes moved into a one-stroke lead in the Daiyko Masters in Gold Coast, Australia, by shooting her second straight 5-under-par 69 in the second round. Helen Alfredsson of Sweden moved into second place at 139 after also shooting a 69 over the 6,149-yard Palm Meadows course. Corinne Dibnah of Australia eagled the 18th hole for a 69 and was two strokes off the pace.

* A federal judge will rule next month whether members of Kiawah Island's golf courses must pay dues to Landmark Land Co. of Carolina Inc., now under bankruptcy protection.

Kiawah's members, who are unsecured creditors in the resort's bankruptcy filing, will find out in the Jan. 7 hearing in Charleston if they have to pay their 1992 membership dues, which can be as high as $5,000.

Tennis

Richard Krajicek and Brenda Schultz led the Netherlands to a 3-0 victory over Australia in the first round of the Hopman Cup team tournament in Perth, Australia.

Schultz beat Australia's top female player, Rachel McQuillan, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-2, and Krajicek trounced Todd Woodbridge, 6-0, 6-3.

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