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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 91: IMPASSE DECLARATION LOOMS
Published November 10, 1994
Ownership sources confirmed that if a settlement can not be reached, MLB owners plan to declare an impasse in negotiations and unilaterally impose a proposal that includes a cap on players salaries by December 19. The two sides return to the bargaining table today and negotiations are scheduled to run through the weekend. MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr said he does not expect a breakthrough: "I have no reason ... to believe their position has changed at all" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 11/10). The union is not expected to make any new proposals. Management negotiators have developed a revised proposal but will see how talks develop before deciding whether to present it at these sessions (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/10). REPLACEMENT PLAYERS: A senior exec with the Detroit Red Wings has told WJR-Radio in Detroit that baseball owners will open spring training in 1995 with replacement players, and plan to lure fans back to ballparks by cutting ticket prices in half. According to the source, owners believe that large numbers of striking players will break ranks and cross picket lines either during spring training, or early in the '95 season. The Red Wings are owned by Mike Ilitch, who also owns the Detroit Tigers (WJR Radio, 11/9). REAX TO OWNERS AD: The players yesterday were not pleased with the owners full-page advertisement in yesterday's editions of USA TODAY, which restated the owners' concerns about the game's economic health. Fehr: "The ad was timed and phrased to be provocative. It's a clear indication that they are thumbing their nose at the world and the mediator. If you take it at face value, there's no reason to talk to them." But MLB Acting Commissioner Bud Selig maintained that the letter merely restated the owners position and was not designed to be "confrontational" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 11/10).