SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 64: PREZ APPOINTS MEDIATOR

     The Clinton Administration named former Labor Secretary
William Usery as a special mediator in "an attempt to craft a
settlement in the two-month-old baseball strike."  Usery, 70, who
served under Gerald Ford and was director of the Federal
Mediation and Conciliation Service, will be introduced this
afternoon at a White House news conference.  (Maske & Swoboda,
WASHINGTON POST, 10/14).  Labor Secretary Robert Reich asked the
players and owners to agree to "return to the bargaining table
next week" with Usery acting as a special mediator.  The two
sides have not met since September 9.  Gene Orza, MLBPA's
associate general counsel: "It has been clear for a while that
the Administration, as well as it should, has a keen and ongoing
interest in seeing that this disagreement is resolved" (Ross
Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 10/14).  One administration source said they
have "been working behind the scenes on this for quite some time"
(Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 10/14).
     NO COMMENTS FROM THE TOP:  Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig
and MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr refused comment on the appointment,
but Orioles Owner Peter Angelos called it "a constructive and
positive step."  Angelos:  "In labor matters, (Usery) has few
peers" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 10/14).  Another owner
called it a "significant step in the right direction" (WASHINGTON
POST, 10/14).
     MORE LAYOFFS:  Central Baseball -- the Commissioner's
office, the American and National Leagues, MLB Properties, the
Baseball Network and MLB International -- reduced its work force
by 27 employees due to revenue losses from the work stoppage
(MLB).
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