- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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THE SANCTITY OF CONTRACTS
...A group of dissident major-league owners joined forces yesterday at the winter baseball meetings to try to oust Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. But Montreal Expo President John McHale, a member of the pro-Kuhn faction, insisted that "nothing could happen" to the commissioner because his contract doesn't expire until August 1983...
That must have made interesting reading for former Expo Manager Dick Williams, one of 10 big league skippers fired in the past year with time left on their contracts, as well as for Kuhn himself, who became commissioner in 1969 after the owners fired William Eckert, who had four years to go on his contract.
BLIP! BOUNCE! TILT!
The four-day event last month in Chicago in which arcade hotshots supposedly would vie for $400,000 in prizes in a variety of coin-operated game competitions was billed as the Tournament Games Spectacular. But some participants complained that after playing in regionals to qualify for the Chicago showdown, they had to pay their own way to the Windy City, cough up a $1 admission charge as well as entry fees for individual games and even use their own quarters for the games. Worse, some of the winners complained that the prize-money checks they'd been given had bounced.
One party that vowed to make good on its share of the prize money was Atari, Inc., which provided the machines for the Centipede video-game competition and has since sued some of the tournament's sponsors. But even Atari had reason to be embarrassed. It seems that each of the five competitions was divided into open singles (in which both men and women were eligible but, in fact, only men entered) and women's singles, with substantially more prize money offered in the former category. Because gender isn't ordinarily a significant factor in playing coin-operated games, it's hard to understand why everybody didn't compete in the same class. The upshot? The $12,000 open singles prize in the Centipede competition went to Eric Ginner of Mountain View, Calif. and the $4,000 women's prize to Ok-Soo Han of North-ridge, Calif., who racked up 53,220 points, 879 more than Ginner. An Atari spokeswoman blithely said, "Ok-Soo Han must be kicking herself for not entering the open class."
Seems to us that a lot of people involved in Tournament Games Spectacular deserve a kick.
FIT TO SERVE