SBD/5/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 116: KEY MEETINGS TODAY

     "If baseball has a chance of settling its labor strike, the
groundwork will have to be laid in Atlanta this week," writes
I.J. Rosenberg in Sunday's ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  The players
meet at the Westin Peachtree Plaza today through Wednesday, where
they are expected to put together a counterproposal to the
owners' payroll tax plan.  Braves Player Rep Tom Glavine: "I'm
not saying we're going to come out of our meeting with a proposal
that is just going to knock their socks off and they are going to
accept it as it is.  But hopefully we can come out of our
meetings with a proposal that has the basis to which we can start
negotiating a deal that is fair for both sides" (ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 12/4).  No "breakthroughs" are expected, but the
object of the union leadership may be to disarm militant owners
and keep the negotiations alive" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN,
12/5).  Special mediator W.J. Usery meets with players tomorrow
(USA TODAY, 12/5).
     PLAYER UNITY:  In Chicago, Jerome Holtzman examines the lack
of public breaks in the union: "Despite the fact that many
players are unhappy with the stalemated negotiations --possibly
as high as 30 percent of them -- they have remained silent."
Holtzman reports that he has received a "half-dozen calls from
baseball insiders -- umpires, general managers and agents -- all
of whom insist many of the players, particularly the big-name
stars, are in various stages of rebellion" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
12/4).
     THE FIRST CRACK:  Expos pitcher Denis Boucher said he would
cross the picket line: "I'm not a roster player.  I have a wife
and a little girl, and I'd be making  a lot more money if I was
playing in the majors."  Boucher is a free agent who expects to
sign a minor-league contract with the Expos in the next few weeks
(CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/5).   ECONOMICS:  Peter Gammons
examines possible changes in his Sunday column: "It appears any
settlement will trade arbitration for four-year free agency"
(BOSTON GLOBE, 12/4).  AP's Chris Sheridan reports at least ten
teams would reduce ticket prices if replacement players are used
in '95:  Orioles, Red Sox, White Sox, Royals, Brewers, Braves,
Cubs, Dodgers, Pirates and Giants (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/04).
Under "Baseball's Hardest Sell," NEWSWEEK examines some of the
different promotions teams have created to sell their season
tickets (NEWSWEEK, 12/12 issue).  One club president on selling
TV/radio ads:  "We can't ask sponsors to belly up to the bar for
replacement players, and we can't ask them to hold their money
much longer" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/4).
     MITCHELL:  In an interview on "John McLaughlin's One on
One," retiring Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was asked
about becoming MLB Commissioner:  "The answer is that no offer
has been made to me.  The baseball people are occupied now in
their negotiations between the owners and the players, which I
hope they settle soon.  Several owners have contacted me and
urged me to consider it, and what I've said to them is that if
and when an offer is made, I will consider it" ("One on One,"
12/4).
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