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With managament and MLB's locked out umpires "no closer to an agreement Thursday than they were five days ago," MLBUA General Counsel Richie Phillips said that both sides will "review the entire dispute and discuss philosophies today." The two sides exchanged new proposals on Wednesday (Hal Bodley, USA TODAY, 4/21). In Washington, Thomas Boswell writes, "While the owners look Neanderthal for subjecting their product to further ridicule at such a tender time, the umpires look even denser." Boswell writes that umpires "don't deserve" the raise they are seeking -- "Not because they're umpires. But because, as a group, they're not good enough umpires" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/21). REVENUE PROJECTIONS: Red Sox CEO John Harrington said the 28 MLB teams are projecting between $1.3-1.4B in revenues this year, down from the $1.8B the clubs were projecting for a full '94 season. Harrington predicts players will earn $900M in salaries, down from about $1B for a full '94 (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 4/21).
Media accounts of the reasons for the resignation of Charles Grantham as Exec Dir of the NBPA continue to vary. In the current issue of SI, Phil Taylor cites sources close to the talks between the league and union who say that Grantham "was losing support of some of the players because of what they considered his hard-line approach." Taylor adds that with former NBPA General Counsel Simon Gourdine taking Grantham's place as head of the union negotiating team -- "and presumably taking a more conciliatory tack -- some owners have said there could be a new agreement in place before the playoffs are over. ... The split between Grantham and the players wasn't especially bitter, but a rift of any kind represents an opening for the league" (SI, 4/24 issue). But in Boston, Jackie MacMullan continues to report that Grantham's spending habits led to his departure. One agent who sits on the union's advisory committee notes that during last summer's antitrust trial, union officials stayed at a "$500-a-day hotel" and traveled to the courthouse in limos. The agent: "I think we could have survived at the Hyatt and taking cabs." In addition, the agent reports that players were assessed an extra $3,000 for '94 on top of the usual $5,000 in union dues (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/20). The NBPA Executive Board is expected to meet today in Philadelphia (Lacy Banks, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/20).