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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 119: THE PLAYERS HAVE A PLAN
Published December 8, 1994
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).