SBD/13/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HITS ITS FINAL HOURS

     "There will come a day -- maybe today, maybe tommorrow --
when Bud Selig finally will pull the plug on the late, great
baseball season of 1994," writes Jayson Stark in this morning's
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER.  "It is only a matter of time now.  But
even amid an atmosphere marked by no new talks, no new ideas, and
no reason for hope, Selig refused to pull that plug yesterday"
(9/13).
     JUST LIKE MOM USED TO MAKE:  During a media conference call
yesterday, Acting Commissioner Bud Selig said he still hopes that
"something happens" in the next day or two:  "It's sort of like
chicken soup when you have a cold.  We know it's a long shot, but
nothing bad can come of it" (Jerome Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
9/13).  But he made clear during a halftime interview on "Monday
Night Football" that the end is near: "We are going to try
everything we possibly can to avoid calling the season off.  So
we will just take each day as it comes.  There is no specific
deadline, but it is true, we are very close to the end" (ABC,
9/12).
     CALL WHEN YOU'RE READY:  On CNN's "Sports Tonight," MLBPA
chief Donald Fehr said the union is available to talk, but he is
not optimistic.  Fehr:  "Unless and until the owners show a
willingness to negotiate, there is not really very much else left
to do" (CNN, 9/12).
     NOW, TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES:  Owners spoke to owners
yesterday, and players spoke to players, but there were no
coversations between the two groups, especially on the issue of
ending the season.  In fact, the N.Y. TIMES reports this morning
that Selig and Fehr have not spoken about a formal cancellation
in over a week.  Fehr:  "It doesn't matter what I say.  He'll do
what he wants to do.  The notion that he cares the slightest
about what we say is nonsense.  It's all pretense" (Murray Chass,
N.Y. TIMES, 9/13).
     STANDSTILL NOT A POSSIBILITY:  Union officials said at their
meeting yesterday with player reps in New York that they "briefly
discussed the possibility of returning to work to play some of
the remaining portion of the season if the owners would agree to
a 'standstill' period," but are adament "that scenario wouldn't
unfold."  MLBPA general counsel Gene Orza:  "I can see no
scenario under which the players would return to work without an
agreement."  The players also discussed the possibility of
forming a new league, but such speculation is "premature"
according to Fehr (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 9/13).
     BRING ON THE LAWYERS:  Fehr did indicate "the players are
prepared to negotiate on the 'taxation' concept they proposed
last week, and also "said the union is preparing possible bad-
faith bargaining charges against the owners with the National
Labor Relations Board."  Fehr:  "It will come as no surprise to
anyone that if the season is lost, lawyers are going to fill an
awful lot of hours this winter" (Mike Fish, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
9/13).
     TRUST-BUSTERS:  Rep. Jack Brooks, Chair of the House
Judiciary Committee, will hold a hearing Sept. 22 on MLB's
antitrust exemption.  Brooks:  "My general view is that
exemptions are disfavored and that the burden is on those seeking
to obtain or maintain such special treatments from our
competition statutes" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 9/13).  ALSO
HEARD ON THE HILL:  An editorial in today's WALL STREET JOURNAL
takes a swing at George Mitchell for his latest efforts on health
care reform.  "We're beginning to understand why baseball owners
are so eager to make Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell their
next commissioner.  They must figure that a man who has been so
relentless on health care, and has so often gulled so many
Republicans, is just the man to break the players' union next
year. ... If the owners want Mr. Mitchell to destroy a free-
market in baseball salaries, we might even say it's worth it if
it takes him away from trying to destroy the world's greatest
health care system" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/13).
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