SBD/23/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 196: IT'S ON TO SCOTTSDALE

     "The two days in Milwaukee may just have been the two most
productive days of the labor dispute thus far," writes Andy
Fenlon in this morning's MILWAUKEE SENTINEL.  Rockies Owner Jerry
McMorris, who had a "positive" feeling after the talks:  "I don't
want to be portrayed as being too optimistic, though.  I think
we'll have a better sense at the talks next week when we get into
some negotiating.  We haven't had any negotiating here.  It's
mostly been just clearing the air."  Notes Fenlon, "That may
appear to be very slight progress.  But any amount of progress
with these two groups could be considered a monumental step
forward" (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 2/23).  The two sides agreed to
resume formal talks Monday in Scottsdale, AZ.  Officials from
both sides left Milwaukee "convinced that everyone involved would
like to make a serious, last-gasp effort to compromise" before
the owners implement their replacement player plans (Mark Maske,
WASHINGTON POST, 2/23).  The Scottsdale talks will reportedly be
held at a secret location, "off-limits to the media" (Hal Bodley,
USA TODAY, 2/23).  ESPN's Bob Sirkin  reported that acting MLB
Commissioner Bud Selig will be in AZ, but that Special Mediator
Bill Usery had no comment when asked if he will continue to
mediate ("SportsCenter," 2/22).    SHATTERING THE CALM:  MLBPA
Exec Dir Donald Fehr said he would prefer to "ignore" comments
from White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf that he has "a pathological
hatred for baseball owners."  In an interview with the CHICAGO
SUN-TIMES, Reinsdorf said the only hope of saving the season "is
if the players come to the realization that they are being misled
by Fehr" (Dan Bickley, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/22).  Fehr:  "Nothing
does my credibility more good with the players than to be
criticized by Reinsdorf. ... Listen, Jerry wants to pick a fight
and he's entitled to try.  But I'm at a stage (where) I prefer to
ignore him" (Mike Kiley, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/23).  In New York,
Murray Chass writes that the "goodwill and wishful thinking"
expressed by Fehr and Selig "could be buried" by Reinsdorf (N.Y.
TIMES, 2/23).  In Washington, Mark Maske writes, "That kind of
animosity is what the owners' and players' representatives were
trying to overcome in their meetings" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/23).
CNN's Mark Morgan in Milwaukee:  "An otherwise pleasant
atmosphere was darkened a little bit" ("Sports Tonight," CNN,
2/22).
     MORE FROM REINSDORF:  On charges they are trying to bust the
union:  "Nobody wants to bust the union.  We need a union.  If
this one didn't exist, we'd have to have another. ... But we
would like the players to say to the union, 'You're not serving
us properly.'"  On the view he is behind the owners' position:
"I fail to understand why the union is setting me up, other than
they need a common enemy."  On the future:  "The interesting
thing is we have an asset that has a perpetual life, and that's
the franchise.  The players have an asset that's diminishing.  We
have forever to recover what we're losing.  The players have only
the balance of their careers" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/22).
     WHAT'S SO FUNNY?  Jay Leno: "Did you ever read the
inscription on [the Statue of Liberty]? It says send us your
poor, your tired, your weak, your hudled masses and we will make
them major league baseball players! ... If those replacement
players were smart, they should go on strike and demand more
money.  What are the owners going to do, hire replacement-
replacement players" ("Tonight," NBC, 2/22).
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