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OWNERS FACE TIMETABLE DECISION ON IMPOSING SALARY CAP
Published September 19, 1994
The major decision facing the owners is whether to declare an impasse and implement their salary cap system, and "implementation seems to be the most critical step." One source on the players' side said management "might be having second thoughts because the strike has drastically changed the clubs' economic position and the change could affect the proposed payroll cap." The source said if the owners do implement, "they might first alter their proposal to account for the change and offer it to the union" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 9/17). Bill Madden writes, "Judging by what has happened so far, you have to believe the owners are intent on implementing their system (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/18). NO WAY, NO HOW: Former MLBPA Exec Dir Marvin Miller: "I can think of no terms, no conditions of employment that would produce a settlement that would be ratified by a majority of the players and by 21 or more of the 28 owners. (Frank Fitzpatrick, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/17). IN THE LINE OF FIRE: One attorney "familiar with such matters" said Bud Selig's dual role as small-market owner and acting commissioner "has its perils": "What would really get him in trouble is if some franchise goes broke and then a trustee or somebody who comes in to run the club brings a lawsuit because of his conflict of interest. And, clearly he has a serious conflict of interest" (Frank Fitzpatrick, PHILA. INQUIRER, 9/18). Selig is pictured on the cover of Sunday's NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE -- sitting at a table with a bat in front of him (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18). DEATH TO TBN? The fact that a work stoppage ensures the owners will revisit The Baeball Network provides "one possible explanation" why Yankees owner George Steinbrenner "has gone along so easily with the small-market owners while losing several million dollars more than them." Steinbrenner: "I think we'll have the right to walk. I'm not hopeful for that [TBN] deal working. You've got Fox, and CBS has to be hungry" (Jon Heyman, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 9/16). THE PLAYERS' LEAGUE: Don Fehr "cautions against overexuberance" about a players' league: "Venues are a major problem." One agent: "Are players willing to go from making $5 million to losing $2 million? I think not" (Peter Gammons, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18). BRING IN THE POLITICIANS: Representatives of the owners and players met with a committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which is expected to take up the issue of the strike at its meeting this week in Knoxville, TN. Cities with MLB franchises are considering a lawsuit that would focus on violations of stadium leases as well as lost jobs and tax revenue due to the strike (AP/mult., 9/17). CUTBACKS: In a meeting with about 110 Cardinal and Civic Center employees, Cardinals President Mark Lamping said that no front-office employees would be laid off (Rick Hummel, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/17). However, the Padres and A's could not afford to maintain their full staff. On Friday, Padres President Dick Freeman announced the firing of half the team's administrative staff, including the team's publicity head (AP, 9/17). The A's also announced a layoff of 17 out of 71 front office workers. A's President & GM Sandy Alderson: "We held the line as long as we could" (AP, 9/16). Thirteen teams have decided not to participate in the Arizona Instructional League this fall (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/18). A vote on the fate of the Arizona League will be held this week (Peter Gammons, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18). OPEN HOUSE: The Cardinals will open Busch Stadium to the fans next Sunday. Admission and parking will be free. Fans will be able to tour the clubhouses, press box and play on the field (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/17).