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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 117: RAVITCH GIVES NOTICE
Published December 6, 1994
Richard Ravitch, who for the last three years has served MLB as President of the Player Relations Committee and its chief labor negotiator, has notified the Major League Executive Council that he will leave MLB upon the expiration of his contract on December 31 (MLB). Ravitch was hired at $750,000 a year in November 1991 "to help develop a new economic system" for MLB. Ravitch: "I don't feel I'm leaving the owners in the lurch" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 12/6). Ravitch's role "diminished noticeably in early September" when Rockies Chair Jerry McMorris and Red Sox CEO John Harrington began speaking directly with MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr (Mike Fish, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/6). One owner: "Mr. Ravitch did a good job for us. He just didn't play well on television" (Jerome Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/6). Ravitch: "I've been around for a while, I've done a lot of things in the business world and the world of public servicedom and I don't think really that my reputation is going to be affected one iota by what Don Fehr says" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 12/5) PLAYERS MEETING: In a meeting of the MLBPA Executive Council, 78 players vowed not to give in to owners -- "even if it means sitting out next season and possibly not playing again" (L.A. TIMES, 12/6). "The window of opportunity that came last week when baseball owners delayed their decision to implement the salary cap appeared to shrink again." After "only a four-hour, closed-door session," Fehr emerged saying that the owners' tax proposal will not "provide the framework to reach an agreement. Moments later, one player after another reaffirmed the union's solidarity" (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/6). After the meeting, "it seemed apparent that the long baseball strike is going to get longer" (Jerome Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/6). Still Fehr "continues to maintain that his intent is to leave these meetings with a counterproposal" for when the two sides convene again Friday in Rye Brook, NY (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/6). Sources indicate that the union leadership may go to NY with a list of taxation alternatives -- "rather than one proposal -- and put the owners in the uncomfortable position of rejecting all of them before declaring an impasse" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 12/6). NOT-SO-IDLE THREAT: Terry Pendelton on players crossing the picket line: "If there is, the ones that do, it's not good for their health, believe me" (WUSA-TV, 12/5). SPECIAL GUESTS: Special Mediator William Usery will address the players this morning. Also talking to the players today will be agent Dick Moss. He will discuss his plans for starting the United Baseball League in '96 (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/6).