Hopefully, NFL dispute isn't repeat of baseball

March 11, 2011|Peter Schmuck

News item: The NFL players union made good on its long-standing threat to decertify, signaling a lengthy legal phase in the stalled collective bargaining negotiations between the players and the league. The owners are expected to lock out the players soon after the current labor agreement expires at midnight on Friday.

My take: This labor dispute is looking more and more like the disastrous Major League Baseball labor war of 1994-1995. Hopefully, both sides will come to their senses before they cook the golden goose and feed it to the lawyers.

News item: Union chief DeMaurice Smith said on Wednesday that the union will not agree to an 18-game regular season.

My take: Glad to hear that. Now forget it. The new collective bargaining agreement — if it ever gets done — will definitely include an 18-game regular-season schedule. It's the one trading chip that might break this deadlock before late summer.

News item: The Associated Press reported this week that an NFL work stoppage would hurt Las Vegas sports books.

My take: In other shocking news, Charlie Sheen is having some personal issues.

News item: Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson says that Gary Williams' job is not in jeopardy.

My take: It shouldn't even be a matter of discussion, unless there's another coach available who can guarantee 80 percent participation in the NCAA tournament over the next 18 years.

News item: Brian Roberts received multiple anti-inflammatory injections in his sore back on Friday and is expected to have an MRI on Saturday.

My take: It's still too early to push the panic button, but it's about time to open the silver brief case and start entering the launch codes.

Bonus take: If you were still wondering, this is why Andy MacPhail re-signed Cesar Izturis after replacing him at shortstop with J.J. Hardy.

News item: Projected Opening Night starter Jeremy Guthrie and likely closer Kevin Gregg each gave up four runs in a wind-swept 13-6 exhibition loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday at Ed Smith Stadium.

My take: Don't get excited. Those aren't the guys you have to worry about. Stay focused on Roberts and Derrek Lee.

News item: Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was suspended for two games against local Ohio doormats and fined $250,000 for failing to report NCAA violations by quarterback Terrell Pryor and several teammates.

My take: I think that's what the NCAA called "lack of institutional control" when it hammered USC for the Reggie Bush fiasco, but Ohio State got to postpone the player suspensions until after the Sugar Bowl and Tressel gets a slap on the wrist from the university. It'll be interesting to see what comes out of the NCAA Infractions Committee.

News item: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is blaming the media for the reaction to his comment that some Heat players were "crying in the lockerroom" after last week's loss to the Chicago Bulls.

My take: I'm on his side here. I don't see how anyone could think it was newsworthy that the team that staged a preseason Broadway musical to advertise its pending NBA title would go weepy after a regular season loss.

Related news item: Forward Chris Bosh complained this week that he isn't getting the ball enough in the Miami Heat offense.

My take: Wow. Didn't see that coming.

Bonus Heat item: Superstar guard Dwyane Wade also joined in the whinefest, claiming that the rest of the world wants the Heat to lose.

My take: I think that's an overstatement. I heard there are a couple of sports fans in Belize who are still making up their minds.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon Fridays and Saturdays and check out his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.

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