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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 222: SECRET MEETINGS
Published March 21, 1995
Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr met secretly in Washington yesterday for a session "designed to give Selig and Fehr the chance to tell each other where their sides stood in the talks" (Ronald Blum, AP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/21). One management rep: "The purpose of the meeting is to determine if it would be beneficial to resume formal negotiations." Selig was accompanied by attorney Rob Manfred, while "indications were" that MLBPA attorney Lauren Rich was also in attendance (Jerome Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/21). "If yesterday's meeting was positive, negotiators for the owners and players apparently could get together -- probably in Washington or New York -- by Wednesday, and make one last push" for a settlement (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/21). WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Maske cites one management source who says that owners would postpone Opening Day and begin the season with the regulars if a settlement can be reached between now and April 1. Maske adds that some owners "apparently believe that Fehr might end the strike next month -- and force the owners to take a vote about a lockout -- even if the NLRB fails to obtain an injunction" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/21). Fehr has said he would end the strike only if the NLRB delivers an injunction against the owners. One owner, who said a month ago that there would be no lockout, now puts the odds at 50-50. The owner: "If Selig is for a lockout, he'll get 23 votes" (Jerome Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/21). Phillies GM Lee Thomas: "I don't think the players understand there's no money there now. We'll see where all these ideals are that they're fighting for when this is over and there are a few dollars for the big boys and the rest of the guys don't get anything" (Jayson Stark, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/21). NEWS & NOTES: The Yankees will give 50% refunds or credits to season-ticket holders for any games played with 10 or more replacement players on the 40-man roster. But season-ticket holders who get refunds may not be able to retain their seats for the 1996 season (N.Y. TIMES, 3/21). ....Cincinnati's WLWT-TV plans to drop its broadcast of Friday's Reds exhibition game citing lack of interest from advertisers. WLW-AM said it has not heard back from Owner Marge Schott on the station's request to drop weekday Reds replacement games (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/21).