SBD/30/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 172: TALKS TO RESUME THIS WEEK

     Baseball owners are expected to make the "first move when
talks resume" Wednesday in Washington, possibly by making a new
proposal.  "But don't expect major movement."  Braves President
Stan Kasten: "Thus far, the union has been resolutely unwilling
to address the economic problems of our game. ... If that doesn't
change, nothing is likely to happen" (Ronald Blum, AP/CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 1/29).  According to Peter Gammons, the moderate owners
have convinced the hawks to offer up a new proposal, "one without
the salary cap and with an offer based on what the owners walked
away from in Rye Brook and Washington."  It may be "something
akin" to a 25% secondary tax triggered at a particular payroll
figure.  The players' starting point was $64M, but, more
logically, the number rests between $35-40M, with fifth year
unrestricted and fourth year restricted free agency.  Gammons
concludes by asking if MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr is "too
preoccupied" with the NLRB and the antitrust exemption to listen
to this offer (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/29).  In New York, Tom Keegan also
notes the likelihood that the owners will offer a proposal
without the cap (N.Y. POST, 1/30).  Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris:
"There's a sense of urgency now that if we don't get something
done, somebody else is going to do it for us" (WASHINGTON POST,
1/28).
     FROM THE PLAYERS' POINT OF VIEW:  The union will hold a
meeting of its executive council in Washington tomorrow.  The
agenda includes whether to lift the player signing freeze, the
question of who among minor league players should report to
spring training, a possible schedule of games under Reebok's
sponsorship, and the status of managers, coaches and trainers as
recipients of union benefits (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 1/29).
     MORE ON FALLOUT FROM THE NBA CASE:  In Denver, Tracy
Ringolsby reports that MLBPA staff had helped prepare the NBPA's
case before the 2nd Circuit, in which Judge Winter ruled that
antitrust laws do not prevent teams from imposing work rules,
such as salary cap.  "And Fehr told players and agents he was
confident of victory the NBA players, which he said would
strengthen the challenge of baseball's exemption" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN
NEWS, 1/29).  Harvard Law Professor Paul Weiler notes that an NFL
case in the DC Circuit will soon produce the opposite decision,
and sees the issue heading to the Supreme Court (Peter Gammons,
BOSTON GLOBE, 1/29).
     NIGHTLINE FOCUS:  ABC's "Nightline" examined the possible
use of replacements by MLB.  ABC's Jeff Greenfield traveled to
two camps to talk with players trying out for replacement teams.
Braves 3B Terry Pendleton:  "This time it seems like they're just
playing hard ball and saying 'This is the way it's going to be.
I don't care how many compromises the union makes, this is the
way it's going to be.'"  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Columnist John
Harper, who tried out at a replacement camp, on when a possible
settlement:  "They won't go long with these replacement players.
... If a couple of big names cross, it's easier for the little
guys to justify coming in, so that's the key" (ABC, 1/27).
     NEWS & NOTES:  Looking ahead, Peter Gammons notes some of
the new owners such as Red Sox CEO John Harrington, Rockies Owner
Jerry McMorris, Giants Owner Peter Magowan, Astros Owner Drayton
McLane and Padres Owner John Moores will step into positions of
leadership in MLB when the strike is over (BOSTON GLOBE,
1/29)....Baltimore city councilman Joseph DiBlasi has introduced
an ordinance to would make it illegal for replacement players to
play games at Camden Yards.  MLB would be fined $1,000 for every
game that violated the ordinance (Mult., 1/28).
Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug