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MEDIATOR USERY COULD COMMANDEER MEETINGS FOR TOMORROW
Published October 17, 1994
Former Labor Secretary William Usery, the newly appointed federal mediator for the baseball situation, "made it clear he sees no imminent nor easy resolution." Both Acting Commissioner Bud Selig and MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr appeared with Labor Secretary Robert Reich for the announcement of Usery's appointment. No one could say "precisely when representatives of the owners and the players would resume face-to-face negotiations" (Kathy Lewis, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/15). But Fehr said the most likely date would be tomorrow, if new talks are scheduled at all for this week (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/15). In Boston, Peter Gammons writes, "How absurd is it that the federal government has to get involved in something akin to the battle between Charles and Diana" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/16). FREEZE FRAME: Fehr told reporters Friday that he expects a freeze on player transactions to be imposed over the weekend. But Chuck O'Connor, general counsel of MLB's labor relations committee, said the teams have no immediate plans for a freeze. Selig: "I don't want to get into any of that. We will share all those thoughts with Bill Usery. All relevant questions from this point on will be discussed with Bill Usery." Four players, possibly short of the required six years of service, filed for free agency Saturday: Jim Abbott, Jack McDowell, Erik Hanson and Kenny Rogers. None of the four were accepted by the Player Relations Committee because they did not have the required six years of Major League service. The four needed a full '94 season to complete the sixth year. There are about 170 players who are eligible for free agency; they have until October 29 to file (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/16). CALIFORNIA: The Angels have pledged 5% interest on season ticket advances paid by January 13, 1995, if the start of the season is delayed. It would make interest retroactive to the August 12,1994 strike for season-ticket holders. Angels President Richard Brown: "We kept racking our brains for an incentive to bring the fans back" (Phil Rogers, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/16).