Bavasi also plugs customer service. "We want our fans to leave the ball park with a good feeling," he says. "They realize we don't have any Jim Palmers out there pitching for us, so we try to sell all the sensual aspects of the game—the sights, sounds and touches of baseball.
"We are going to keep a full-court press on the market," says Bavasi. "Five years from now the Blue Jays won't be out begging, like some expansion franchises have had to do."
Culminating an 18-month search, which obviously was less than extensive, the National Hockey League board of governors last week looked inward and picked John Ziegler, 43, to succeed retiring Clarence Campbell, 71, as NHL president.
Ziegler is a Detroit attorney who is both chairman of the NHL board and a vice-president of the Detroit Red Wings—possibly the worst-run franchise in professional sport. The Red Wings, who have had 13 coaching changes in the last 10 years, have not made the Stanley Cup playoffs since 1970. Last season Detroit's 16-55-9 record was the NHL's worst, and the club also managed to lose almost $2 million.
The NHL might have done better had it looked outside its own conference room for a new president. One can only hope Ziegler will run the league better than he ran the Red Wings.
Whether they want to or not, athletes ultimately gain knowledge of bones, which they sometimes break and occasionally dislocate and which often ache after competition. So when Stanford University Medical School graduated three varsity athletes among its new crop of doctors, their area of further study was no surprise. Don Bunce (football), Tom Williams (baseball) and Mike Mann (basketball) all plan to specialize in orthopedics.