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METZENBAUM SURRENDERS ON ANTITRUST LEGISLATION
Published October 3, 1994
Any hope for Congress to intervene in the baseball strike "wilted on the Senate floor" when Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) withdrew his legislation that would have temporarily lifted the exemption. Metzenbaum's "surrender" came during a "spirited debate" as he attempted to attach his amendment to an appropriations bill. But with bipartisan opposition forming and the likelihood of a "second amendment that would cripple his rider," the retiring Metzenbaum passed "the baton" to his colleagues, Orrin Hatch in particular (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/1). Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said the clubs were "grateful for the overwhelming support," but claimed the "No" votes in the Senate would have been about 2/3 (THE DAILY). MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr said the union would lobby Congress again on the matter when it reconvenes in January (Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 10/1). WHAT'S NEXT? Peter Gammons writes the MLBPA will file a complaint with the NLRB to try to block a possible owners' impasse declaration, but with the "November 1 Total Chaos date on the horizon, no one moves." Two problems the owners may not have considered if they plan to use replacement players: 1) The Blue Jays cannot open the season without an agreement because it is against Ontario law to use replacement labor; 2) It may be impossible to get work visas for foreign players to work as replacements, as some owners hoped to do with Hispanic players (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/2). BASEBALL NOTES: The owners informed ABC and NBC they will decide in a month whether they intend to renew The Baseball Network for '96. The original deal allows for any of the partners to opt out if the combined revenues for '94-'95 didn't reach $330M, which is virtually impossible because of the strike (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 10/1).