SBD/5/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 147: REPLACEMENT-LAND

     "On a day of baseball-related maneuverings on Capitol Hill,
the team owners put into motion their plan to open the 1995
season with replacement players" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST,
1/5).  Meeting by phone, the owners' operations committee began
examining the details on the use of replacement players during
spring training games, "grappling with roster size, eligibility
and other puzzling questions."  The committee will have another
session soon and is contemplating a formal meeting of owners to
give the replacement plan a approval "later this month" (Tim
Harper, TORONTO STAR, 1/5).  In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt
reports that, according to several Brewers players, the owners'
plan to use replacements "is primarily a ploy to tempt striking
major-leaguers to cross picket lines."  Brewer Kevin Seitzer:
"They're just creating this imaginary sense of satisfaction that
everything's going to be OK.  I'm not biting, and I don't think
many guys will" (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 1/5).  In the current issue
of SI, Tim Kurkjian reports that two club sources predict that
half of the Pirates, a "very young team with relatively low
salaries, will report."  Kurkjian also notes quotes from Astros
pitcher Greg Swindell saying he will cross the lines (Tim SPORTS
ILLUSTRATED, 1/9 issue).  Tigers GM Joe Klein said his is moving
forward with building a team:  "We have to provide a ballclub and
we'll do so" (WJR-Radio, 1/4).
     FEHR AND LOATHING IN WASHINGTON:  While the owners were
contemplating the use of replacements, MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr
was in Washington updating Labor Secretary Robert Reich on the
current state of negotiations.  The Clinton Administration "still
is pressing the sides to return to the bargaining table."  Acting
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig called for a resumption of talks:
"I've said all along and I'll say it again, this thing has to be
settled at the bargaining table" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN,
1/5).
     ON THE HILL:  Five baseball bills, ranging from complete
repeal of the sport's antitrust exemption to binding arbitration
to settle the strike, were introduced on Day 1 of the 104th
Congress.  Three of the bills, one from Sen. Pat Moynihan (D-NY)
and two from Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), were expected, but
two other House members also introduced bills.  Rep. Pat Williams
(D-MT) reintroduced his bill that would require the owners and
players to submit to binding arbitration if they did not reach an
agreement by February 1, although the date will most likely be
pushed back a month.  Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) also reintrduced
his bill, which had made it out of the House Judiciary Committee
last term, proposing that any unilateral implementation of new
work rules become subject to the antitrust laws.  Conyers kept
his bill narrow "rather than calling for complete repeal of the
exemption" in the hope that the GOP would not see it as
interfering with their "Contract with America" legislation.  Sen.
Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, may
introduce his own bill which would most "closely resemble" the
Conyers bill.  Paul Smith, a spokesperson for Sen. Hatch:  "He
did say he thought if his bill passed, the players would be back
for spring training.  That, to me, says he's going to do
something fast" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 1/5).
     EFFECT OF A REPEAL:  Selig: "Take away the antitrust
exemption and you create a system that nobody can live with"
(BOSTON GLOBE, 1/5).  Fehr on the owners' contention that labor
relations are not affected by the exemption:  "If the owners
really believed it made no difference, they would not oppose this
change in the law.  They understand that it fundamentally changes
the dynamic.  They understand that it would hold the owners
accountable to the law the same way everybody else is."  MLB
General Counsel Chuck O'Connor:  "If congress simply repeals the
antitrust exemption, it will not have any effect on this labor
dispute, and it will have ... a bad impact on Major League
Baseball's relationship with its minor leagues" ("SportsCenter,"
ESPN, 1/4).  Pirate Andy Van Slyke:  "We have replacement
senators and congressmen now, right?  Well, it's time for them to
do the right thing" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 1/9 issue).
     SIGNING FREEZE:  Union officials said they would ask players
to maintain a signing moratorium until Fehr and staff have
completed a 7-city series of meetings with players and agents
beginning tomorrow (See yesterday's DAILY for the list of cities)
(Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 1/5).
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