SBD/18/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 160: THE BLAME GAME

     MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr sent a letter yesterday to Acting
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "scolding the owners for allegedly
blaming the union for the inactivity in talks."  The letter
"alleges that the owners took this tack" during their lobbying
efforts in Washington, DC.  Selig declined to comment.  He and
other owners are scheduled to meet with Special Mediator William
Usery tomorrow to discuss renewing joint talks.  According to
Mark Maske, "Negotiations perhaps could resume Monday."  Selig,
when asked about the resumption of talks: "I think Bill Usery
will make that determination later this week" (WASHINGTON POST,
1/18).
     OWNER HITTING BACK:  At a news confernce at Veterans
Stadium, Phillies President Bill Giles "had his harshest words
yet" for the union: "I do not believe in my heart that union
leaders care about the game. ... The union has spent most of
their energy in Washington trying to do away with our antitrust
exemption instead of negotiating and trying to grow the game"
(Frank Fitzpatrick, PHILA. INQUIRER, 1/18).       THE ANGELOS
POLL:  The polling firm hired by the Orioles to survey the team's
fans on the use of replacements has finished their survey, and
indications were that the survey was "strongly supportive of
Angelos' views" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/18).
     EXPANSION:  Giles, a member of the expansion committee said
he expects owners to meet soon to decide on expanding, possibly
by the end of the month, or early February.  But Red Sox CEO John
Harrington, the committee's chair, said no timetable for
expansion has been set (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/18).
Suns Owner Jerry Colangelo, who is leading the Phoenix expansion
effort, said he was promised a franchise by at least one owner if
he put together financing for the group and stadium (USA TODAY,
1/18).
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