SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

AS NEGOTIATIONS START UP, OWNER'S AD ANGERS UNION

     "Just as baseball's negotiators were headed back to the
table to talk peace, a new phase of the war broke out yesterday
between the owners and striking players."  The owners placed a
full-page ad in today's issue of USA Today and issued a news
release quoting acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig discussing the
"fine tuning" baseball needs -- "presumably meaning a salary cap"
(Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/9).  The USA TODAY ad states that
other professional sports organizations have maintained parity
through "labor agreements that establish team salary mandates or
ranges -- establishing pay ceilings, and just as important,
salary floors."  In baseball, "competitive parity, especially in
the smaller markets" has been threatened by "skyrocketing cost"
(MLB).  MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr called ad "regrettable, but not
surprising, given their motivation through all of this."  Fehr
added that ownership has made it clear "their purpose is not to
negotiate or reach an agreement but to conduct a public relations
campaign aimed at the fans" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 11/9).
Fehr also said owners are more interested in "setting the stage
for implementation" of a salary cap, and "making it look like
they're bargaining when they're not."  Selig said the union was
"overreacting to what he called 'a way of communication with our
fans, all of our fans, players and owners.'"  Selig: "The ad was
placed two weeks ago ... It has nothing to do with negotiations"
(N.Y. TIMES, 11/9).  Talks are scheduled to resume on Thursday in
Rye Brook, NY.  Sources say there has been no change in positions
regarding the salary cap, and that special mediator William Usery
may not be able to keep the "owners at the table" at the time
when they want to implement a salary cap, "probably within thirty
days" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 11/9).
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