SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 112: A GLIMMER OF HOPE

     MLB owners, "bowing to pressure" from mediator William
Usery, agreed to cancel a Monday meeting in Chicago in which they
were expected to declare an impasse in labor negotiations and
unilaterally implement their salary cap proposal.  The decision
by the owners "did not herald a breakthrough, but it frees the
union from the threat of implementation while it conducts a 3-day
executive board meeting in Atlanta starting Monday and formulates
a counterproposal" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 12/1).  CNN's Mark
Morgan called it "a surprising turn of events because with no
counter-proposal forthcoming from the union, the owners were all
set to unilaterally implenment their salary cap proposal next
week in Chicago" (CNN, 11/30).  Braves President Stan Kasten: "I
believe from everything that I have heard, that [the players] are
going to Atlanta with the purpose in mind of coming out of there
with something that does achieve a negotiated settlement."
ESPN's Bob Sirkin: "The owners have, at least for the time being,
put the ball back in the players hands" ("SportsCenter," 11/30).
     A SMALL OPENING:  MLBPA attorney Lauren Rich: "If there is a
window, both sides found a way to keep it open a few days more
and that's very important" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/1).  The players and
owners meet again in Rye, NY, on December 9.      A REASON TO
RELENT?  In New York, Joel Sherman reports that the
implementation of the salary cap "was expected to put the most
stress" on the owners unity.  Big market clubs such as the
Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Orioles were expected to
argue "behind closed doors against imposition of a salary cap"
(N.Y. POST, 12/1).
     THE PLAYERS' TASK:  Sources said that Usery "came down hard
on the union for failing to make" a counterproposal, but union
officials said they required more information on how the tax
works and wanted their constituency to approve any response in
Atlanta.  MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr: "It's our intention to take
everything we've learned and hopefully produce the framework for
a settlement" (L.A. TIMES, 12/1).  It is expected that more than
100 additional players may show up in Atlanta at the 3-day
assemblage of the union's 32-man executive board.  "If a
majority, or near-majority, express desire for immediate
settlement, it could be a Merry Christmas for all" (Jerome
Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/1).
     NO DC HELP:  Incoming U.S. House Judiciary Chair Henry Hyde
(R-IL) said the government should not get involved in the
baseball negotiations (Mult., 12/1).
     ONTARIO LAWS:  Blue Jay officials have decided they will not
field replacement players to start the '95 season.  Blue Jay
President Paul Beeston: "The Blue Jays will not take part in
breaking or flouting any law in the province."  Lawyers
representing MLB owners have researched the issue and come to the
"conclusion that they would be unlikely to win a challenge" to
the Ontario law.  Beeston said the team would not challenge the
law, but could do so if MLB ordered the team to do so.  Beeston:
"We will make it clear that we're doing it at the behest of Major
League Baseball" (Tim Harper, TORONTO STAR, 12/1).  Despite a
similar Quebec law, the Expos "have received the green light to
use replacement players" (Mike Zeisberger, TORONTO SUN, 12/1).
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