The Major Indoor Lacrosse League players have decided, by a vote of 87-40, not to be represented by the Teamsters union.
What that means, simply, is that the league will function again next year. The general belief was that the Kansas City men who own and run the MILL, Russ Cline and Chris Fritz, probably would have shut it down if the vote went the other way.
"I think the players made the right decision," said Baltimore Thunder general manager Darrell Russell yesterday when he was notified of the vote.
"The players have some legitimate concerns, but they're all college graduates. They're smart enough to represent themselves. The league is in favor of that. The league has already said it would change some things next year, if the players didn't join the Teamsters."
All this has to be good news to the thousands who crowd arenas all over the league to watch indoor lacrosse, including those who zTC sold out the Baltimore Arena for the Detroit game. Thunder fans don't just like this sport; they love it.
Meanwhile, the Thunder continues to prepare for its playoff opener Sunday against the Wings in Philadelphia.
"Everybody's even now," said Russell, whose team was only 3-5 in the regular season. "All we have to do is win three games and we'd be league champions."
* How would you like to be poor Jeff Tackett? Every Orioles fan is pulling for him to be cut -- so sentimental favorite Rick Dempsey can be kept.
* The opening of Pimlico Race Course today is another sign that spring has arrived. A young Pimlico owner, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, once said of the place:
"Pimlico is more than a dirt track bounded by four streets. It is an accepted American institution, devoted to the best interests of a great sport, graced by time, respected for its honorable past."
Vanderbilt wrote that 50 years ago. Pimlico is still going strong at the age of 122.
* Kenny Cooper's "life-and-death situation" description of the
Blast's plight may be a wee bit of an exaggeration, but it's close enough.
The Blast has four games left, starting tonight against St. Louis at the Arena. Probably it has to win them all to make the playoffs. The Blast is 3-3 against St. Louis this year.
Even that desperate situation does not make Blast owner Ed Hale flinch. Says Hale: "This year's team has more character than last year's."
* One of the things I like best about Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the sectionalized acoustics. Instead of a bunch of public address system speakers clustered in centerfield with echoes bouncing all over the place, this park has state-of-the-art speakers in each section. When Rex Barney says, "Thank yewwww," in this place, you'll think he's speaking in your ear.
* Look for Loyola College, ranked No. 2 in the USILA coaches' poll, and No. 3 Syracuse to beat Brown and Duke, respectively, on Saturday and meet Sunday for the championship of the Fleet Invitational lacrosse tournament at Brown. And don't be at all surprised if No. 3 beats No. 2.
In losing, 15-14, at Johns Hopkins last week, Syracuse was penalized 10 times compared to twice for the winners. Hopkins capitalized, scoring four extra-man goals. That was the difference.
Hopkins, top-rated in the coaches' poll, Saturday goes against the winningest coach in lacrosse, Virginia's Jim "Ace" Adams. He has 283 college wins. Hopkins' Tony Seaman has 98. The difference is, Seaman has been coaching college lacrosse since 1982. Adams, a Hopkins grad, has been at it since the Indians ruled the sport (actually since he went to Army in 1958).