SBD/7/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 180: ANOTHER LINE IN THE SAND

     Special Mediator William Usery will deliver his recommended
solution to end the strike to President Clinton at 3:00pm ET.
While Usery "deferred" on announcing his recommendations
yesterday "saying he 'simply ran out of time' to prepare them
fully,"  Jayson Stark reports there were indications that Usery
"had, in fact, drawn up his plan and that the deadline was
extended because the White House discovered it might not have the
political muscle to back up the President's show of force."
Senate Judiciary Chair Orrin Hatch "made it clear" that Clinton
would have a "difficult battle on his hands trying to get a bill
of that sort through Congress":  "I don't think it's our role to
impose any plan on anybody" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/7).  I.J.
Rosenberg also reported that the reasons for the delay "appeared
to be political" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/7).
     TROUBLE FOR CLINTON?  A senior White House official admitted
that if Usery's recommendation is rejected by both or either
sides, Clinton may not be able to impose a settlement (Ross
Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 2/7).  Rep. John Boehner, the 4th ranking
House Republican, suggested that the House leadership is against
intervention: "Disputes between labor and management ought to be
resolved between labor and management" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON
POST, 2/7).  REUTERS' Robert Green reports, "Clinton's options
for imposing a settlement were limited, and indeed, the parties'
failure to meet his deadline underscored his political weakness"
(Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/7).  White House Chief of Staff Leon
Panetta:  "The president's alternative is to make a strong
recommendation to the Congress either with regards to binding
arbitration or trying to impose the settlement that Mr. Usery is
working with."  NBC's Jim Miklaszewski: "The best the President
can do really is to use the bully pulpit, to try to convince
Congress, the players and the owners to end this thing.  But ...
at this point it looks like that may be the only opening pitch
the President makes all season" ("Today," NBC, 2/7).
     CLINTON UN-PLUGGED:  NEWSDAY's Mike Lupica interviewed
Clinton over the weekend and mentioned to the president that his
intervention could be an act of what a commissioner would do.
Clinton:  "Maybe that's a positive impact, somebody acting like
the commissioner" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 2/5).       THE USERY PLAN:  As
for the terms of any settlement offered by Usery, "splitting the
differences in half would not fly with the union."  MLBPA General
Counsel Gene Orza: "That would be rewarding the owners for going
backward and penalizing the players for going forward" (Tom
Keegan, N.Y. POST, 2/7).  Braves Player Rep Tom Glavine said the
players do not want the government to get involved: "It's in our
own best interests to get an agreement ourselves" (CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 2/7).  Orza said the union submitted a "narrative" on
nine crucial areas to Usery:  a payroll tax, salary arbitration,
free agency, the length of the agreement, governance/"industry
growth fund," pension, revenue-sharing, non-economic issues, and
strike settlement issues (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 2/7).
Rockies owner Jerry McMorris, on Usery's recommendation:  "I hope
that it's one that we can live with.  We can't destroy the game,
we can't make the game unaffordable, we can't take the game to
where it's not accessible to people or to where it's not
competitive.  So, it has to meet certain criteria for us"
("Sports Babe," ESPN Radio, 2/6). ESPN's Peter Gammons: "The
owners have to abide by the proposal, eventually.  I think that
even though they may not end up getting what they want, it's
going to be very hard for them to fight the president"
("SportsCenter," 2/6).
     NLRB FIGHT:  The union re-filed its unfair labor charge
against the owners with the NLRB over management's signing
freeze.  In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck questions why MLB issued a
freeze after the union lifted its freeze:  "Management sources
said that [MLB General Counsel Chuck] O'Connor did it simply to
delay the reimplementation of the old economic system, hoping
that the issue would become moot when a new settlement is
reached.  He apparently was shocked that the union took such
offense" (Baltimore SUN, 2/7).
     BUSINESS OF BASEBALL:  In a full-page examination of the
economics of the sport, the WASHINGTON POST's Charles Babcock and
David Hilzenrath report that owners and players "are worlds apart
in their assessments of the game's economic condition and neither
side's position reflects the complete picture of baseball's
finances."  They do note that numbers provided by management run
counter to the owners' claims of "spiraling salaries."  According
to the POST's analysis, player pay in relation to revenues was
projected to decline 3% in total dollars in '94.  MLB's Rich
Levin:  "How can that be?" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/6).
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