PITTSBURGH, SEPT. 12 -- Major League Baseball owners today moved toward resolving questions concerning American League President Bobby Brown, National League President Bill White and day-to-day control over the New York Yankees. However, they seemed headed toward conflict about whether AL owners should receive any of the money NL owners stand to receive when their league expands by two teams in 1993.
The NL is charging each of the new teams $95 million. Citing the course of events in previous expansions, NL owners say they want to keep all $190 million. But AL owners believe that would create a competitive imbalance because the 12 existing NL teams would be receiving nearly $16 million apiece while funds generated by national television, radio and licensing rights will be divided 28 ways instead of 26.
The topic was discussed during each of the respective league meetings that took place during the first day of the owners' quarterly two-day gathering.
Also during those sessions, Brown, whose contract expires at the end of the year, apparently was awarded an extension and White, who had threatened to resign during the recent controversy involving umpire Joe West, received a vote of confidence.
In a meeting that preceded the league gatherings, the ownership committee approved the nomination of Robert Nederlander as managing general partner of the Yankees.
White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who chairs the committee, said final approval of Nederlander will be voted upon Thursday. For Nederlander to replace George Steinbrenner officially, he must be approved by at least 11 of 14 AL owners and seven of 12 NL owners.
Jack Lawn has been serving as interim managing partner since Steinbrenner resigned Aug. 20.
Brown left the AL's meeting room after the formal agenda was completed. The owners remained, though, and it is believed they voted to offer Brown an extension. AL spokeswoman Phyllis Merhige said the league would have an announcement Thursday.
White entered today's session amid speculation he was unhappy not only because of the West case, but also because of his job. But NL owners came away from their meeting saying the situation appears resolved.
"Bill got full support from all the owners in his stance and he seemed satisfied that everyone was behind him," Phillies President Bill Giles said.
But asked whether he thought White was happy being league president, Giles said: "I think you better ask him that."
White declined to comment on that issue or the expansion revenue issue. Brown said the AL has made "no demands of any kind" and "no specific requests," but he made it clear the AL owners are looking for some form of compensation. It is believed some AL owners want the AL to share equally in the entry fee money in exchange for supplying half of the 72 players each expansion team will receive in a dispersal draft. The leagues have never shared expansion fees or provided players to the other's pool.
"The league has done some studies on the impact of what the National League expansion will do to the American League," Brown said, "and we have submitted that to the National League. We've said, 'This is what is going to happen to us when you expand.' It's for them to look at and decide what they think about it."
In other matters, Brown said he will request that AL clubs eliminate alcohol and champagne from postgame clubhouse celebrations.
The AL decided not to alter its policy of having the home team remain in control whether a game is postponed until the game begins. Earlier this month, the White Sox waited 7 1/2 hours before calling a game. "We decided to just leave that alone and just hope that teams didn't do it anymore," Brown said.
In addition, the NL announced Louis L. Hoynes will be resigning as league counsel and Robert J. Kheel will replace him.