SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies


     "Amid mounting pressure from the nearby White House,
negotiators for the baseball owners and players put the central
issue of management's proposed luxury tax on hold Thursday while
narrowing differences on issues classified as non-economic,"
reports Ross Newhan of the L.A. TIMES.  Both MLBPA Exec Dir
Donald Fehr and the owners' lead negotiator Red Sox CEO John
Harrington said Special Mediator William Usery has made it clear,
once again, that President Clinton "expects a settlement or
significant progress"  by his Monday deadline.  Harrington called
the White House pressure "Heavy, heavy pressure."  Fehr: "Usery
emphasized in extremely strong language that the President
expects this to be resolved" (L.A. TIMES, 2/3).  Usery made his
comments after an afternoon meeting with Clinton aides.  Usery
also "rejected a union suggestion that it might be best to wait
an additional week" before a 3rd-party effort was made to settle
(Tracy Ringolsby, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/3).
     YESTERDAY'S SESSION:  Fehr said the union would not respond
to the owners' two-tiered luxury tax proposal until today or
Saturday, but he did report that several non-economic areas of
disagreement had been "narrowed."  As for the economic system,
Fehr said their proposal will determine whether the two sides are
within "shouting distance" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 2/3).
     SOME WEEKEND HOPE:  Harrington: "In negotiations, things get
done at the last minute.  They may not always get done in the
best possible manner.  But once the larger issues get resolved,
things can happen very quickly" (PHILA.  INQUIRER, 2/3).  One MLB
owner said he expects a settlement this weekend (Mark Maske,
     AN USERY RESOLUTION?  In Washington, Thom Loverro examines a
possible Usery-forced solution. "There is a strong belief among
some close to the talks that his settlement would be far better
than anything the players could get from the owners."  Privately,
some management officials believe that it will "ultimately come"
to an Usery settlement (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/3).  ESPN's Peter
Gammons thinks the Clinton deadline will pass and calls the first
week of March key because that is when "teams are going to try to
force top minor league players to play with replacement players
and it's not going to work.  Then, I think all the pressure on
replacement players may cause the owners to force a settlement"
("SportsCenter," 2/2).
     NEWS & NOTES:  Padres President Larry Lucchino said the club
would consider having the team's manager and coaches not work
with replacements (WASHINGTON POST, 2/3)....Two IL state
legislators have introduced a bill that would strip Comiskey Park
of $27M in state aid while replacement players play in the park
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