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AROUND THE HORN: COMMENTARY ON THE IMPENDING LABOR DEAL
Published August 13, 1996
In Chicago, Jerome Holtzman calls MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr an early winner, because he has "saved his job" by not being forced to call a strike vote. Holtzman adds, "Once Fehr polls his membership, he will discover what he already knows and never will admit. The players, 50 percent or more, don't want another strike. ... And what happens when a union leader can't get a strike vote? Simple. It's time for him to say goodbye." Holtzman adds that "pressure on Fehr is mounting," because he either gets a deal or faces a return to court. One agent: "If the owners go back to court, the injunction would certainly be lifted. And then the owners have the legal right to impose their conditions. The players won't like it" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/13). OTHER EARLY ASSESSMENTS: In L.A., Ross Newhan writes that owners "will not totally reverse their labor defeats of the past in the proposed settlement ... but they would emerge with what seem to be significant and beneficial changes in the economic system" (L.A. TIMES, 8/13). In Chicago, Andrew Gottesman calls a luxury tax "tantamount to a cap on salaries." Univ. of Texas- Dallas economist Gerald Scully: "It looks like it's a victory for the owners. The players have had a reality check" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/13). In New York, Claire Smith notes the "real story" of the negotiations is the union's concessions on a luxury tax and a reduced take from playoff salaries. Smith: "That in itself should silence accusations that Fehr could never, would never negotiate" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/13).