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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 126: IS IT "DOOMSDAY"?
Published December 15, 1994
The talks between the players and owners broke off, and now the "ugly stage" is set for the owners to declare a negotiating impasse (Alan Truex, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/15). IMPLEMENTATION: Three-fourths of the ownership must vote for implementation for passage at today's meeting in Chicago. It will take eight votes to block implementation of the salary cap (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/15). All reports acknowledge that Orioles owner Peter Angelos will vote against implementation, while most note that at least one (but maybe both) Canadian team will also vote against (Mult., 12/15). In Chicago, Jerome Holtzman adds the Dodgers and Mets (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/15). And in L.A., Ross Newhan adds the Reds (L.A. TIMES, 12/15). Red Sox CEO John Harrington will recommend implementation at today's meeting. Special Mediator William Usery has not ruled out going to Chicago "and asking the owners to hold off" (Alan Truex, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/15). In New York, Murray Chass notes the developments of the previous 24 hours could make the owners "take a harder look at the possible implications" of implementation (N.Y. TIMES, 12/15). WILL IT BE THE CAP? In Atlanta, I.J. Rosenberg writes, "There is a question of what the clubs will implement." There are two sets of proposals on the table, the original salary cap and an escalating tax which the owners presented on November 17 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/15). MORE INTERVENTION: Assuming the owners implement their salary cap, the players are expected to appeal to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) "with the charge that the owners have not bargained in good faith, that implementation of the owners' proposal was the objective when negotiations began almost two years ago." The NLRB already "came in with a verdict for the players" yesterday when it ruled in favor of the union on its complaint that the owners were in violation of their contract with the union for failing to make a $7.8M payment to the players' pension fund (Jerome Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/15). MLBPA attorney Doyle Pryor: "If we have to file another charge, it will already have been determined that they have not bargained in good faith" (L.A. TIMES, 12/15). In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck notes with NLRB's pension decision, "the owners may have suffered a significant setback. ... The announcement couldn't have come at a worse time for the ownership bargaining committee" (Baltimore SUN, 12/15). WHAT NEXT? Some owners believe the players will "turn on Fehr as they realize how much money he has cost them by leading this freedom crusade" (Alan Truex, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/15). ESPN' Peter Gammons and Bob Sirkin said "it is very unlikely" that Usery will be fulfill his hope to have both sides back this weekend ("SportsCenter," 12/14)