SBD/23/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 134: NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

     The owners and players "failed to reach a bargaining
settlement before the midnight deadline established by the owners
last Friday."  Conferring by telephone, the owners' Executive
Council responded by declaring an impasse and unilaterally
implementing their salary cap system.  "It is certain to ignite a
bitter legal battle and jeopardize the 1995 season."  MLBPA Exec
Dir Donald Fehr: "The owners will come to regret this -- sooner
than they realize" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 12/23).  The final
joint negotiating session "became so contentious that Special
Mediator William Usery decided it would be pointless to keep it
alive up to the deadline" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 12/23).
Dodger Owner Peter O'Malley does not completely support the new
system because of the absence of a provision insuring good
management among clubs receiving the benefits of revenue sharing:
"I still don't like the idea of sharing money with clubs like San
Diego and Milwaukee, where there has been no evidence of good
management" (L.A. TIMES, 12/23).
     LAST-DITCH:  Yesterday afternoon, the players made another
proposal that contained a secondary tax.  But the owners said it
was insufficient, since only three teams would have had to pay a
10% marginal tax.  Phillies Exec VP Dave Montgomery: "This
proposal, as far as we're concerned, brought us no closer to the
objectives we were talking about."  Royals Player Rep David Cone:
"Anything short of a total collapse by the players would not have
gotten a deal done" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 12/23).  Selig:
"I can't tell you how disappointed we all are in their alleged
counterproposal.  It was so unresponsive that it is like we were
back in June or July" (L.A. TIMES, 12/23).  Fehr, on why their
latest proposal did not come until today: "It's not a proposal
that the players really wanted to make, because it goes against
what they wanted.  They don't think they need taxes."  Fehr noted
that the proposal was ready Wednesday night, but he said Usery
asked them to wait until Thursday ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 12/22).
     NOW WHAT?  The union plans to file an unfair labor practice
charge with the NLRB as early as today or Monday.  Usery will
speak with Labor Secretary Robert Reich to determine whether
Usery should remain involved in the dispute (Mark Maske,
WASHINGTON POST, 12/23).
     BOSNIA, NORTH KOREA, HAITI ... NOW BASEBALL?   Jimmy Carter,
the world's "foremost peacemaker," has offered his services as a
mediator.  Fehr spoke to Carter yesterday: "I'm very appreciative
of his interest, but at this point, I don't know what it will
mean."  Usery said he would welcome Carter's help, but added:
"The only thing I didn't think we needed was another mediator"
(I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/23).  Likewise, acting
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig told Carter "no thanks" (USA TODAY,
12/23).
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