SBD/8/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 119: THE PLAYERS HAVE A PLAN

     The MLBPA Exec Board ended three days of meetings by
approving the outlines of a plan to engage club owners and
striking major leaguers in an economic partnership" (Chris Haft,
CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 12/8).  Union members left their meetings
"with such confidence and enthusiasm, one might think they'd
already purchased the ceremonial pens with which to sign the new
agreement" (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/8).  This
weekend's talks between players and owners in Rye Brook, NY, will
be the "final attempt" to reach a settlement before the owners
declare an impasse and impose their salary cap (Ross Newhan, L.A.
TIMES, 12/8).
     THE PLAYERS' PLAN:  The plan is believed to tax clubs
between 5-7% of their payrolls.  It would also give players a say
on major decisions such as hiring a commissioner and national TV
contracts (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/8).  The plan
"does not include the one item owners have wanted most:  a
ceiling on cost controls, be it a straight cap or a high-rate tax
plan" that includes a payroll ceiling.  It does retain free
agency and arbitration in their current forms, but also calls for
"joint marketing and capital ventures" including elements of a
suggestion by Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who has said some of
the funds shared by the clubs go towards stadium construction in
failing cities (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 12/8).  In New York,
Joel Sherman reports the players would put money from their $150M
licensing fund to help with owners' financial problems.  That
money could be used to build stadiums, promote the game and
create int'l markets (N.Y. POST, 12/8).
     THE SALARY SURVEY:  According to USA TODAY's 10th annual
salary survey, major leaguers lost nearly $230M during the 52
days of the baseball strike last season.  Mets third baseman
Bobby Bonilla was hit hardest, losing $1.706M.  Only base
salaries were used for the survey, conducted of 760 players on
major league rosters as of August 31.  The average loss per
player was $300,000.  Complete NL payrolls are listed in the
paper today, while complete AL payrolls will appear tomorrow (Hal
Bodley, USA TODAY, 12/8).
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