NFL Changes Date Of Goodell Press Conference Baseball HOF Expecting Another Large Crowd Yankees Embracing Youth Movement Jose Bautista's Contract Has Attendance Incentive Schefter Steps Down From Pac Pro Football Role MLBAM, NBC Reach Streaming Deal FIA Approves Sale Of F1 To Liberty Media NFL Gets Credit For Minority Hirings LPGA Committed To Joint Event With PGA Tour A-B InBev Latest To End USOC Sponsorship
SBD/11/Leagues Governing Bodies
CHICAGO STORY: MLB GOES MANO-A-MANO OVER LABOR DEAL
Published September 11, 1996
MLB's Executive Council will meet with its Labor Policy Committee today in Chicago to discuss what can be done to finalize a collective bargaining contract with the players union, according to Tom Haudricourt of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Haudricourt writes, "In essence, owners have put themselves in a trick box" as the two issues to be settled are service time and tax free years of a payroll luxury tax. Some owners are "against making either concession, but the tax issue is the potential deal-buster" as small market clubs "fear their current financial woes will resurface should the luxury tax be eliminated" after being in effect over a period of time. Haudricourt notes it will be up to the Executive Council to "decide what owners can and can't live with in a labor deal." But one management source "offered a somewhat somber forecast" when he said, "The only thing worse than no deal is a bad deal." USA TODAY's Hal Bodley calls the meeting, expected to last 5-6 hours, "a crucial step" toward completing a deal. Acting Commissioner Bud Selig "refused to speculate whether a consensus could be reached during the sessions -- or even if he would attempt to move the Executive Council toward one" (USA TODAY, 9/11). SET-UP MAN: In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt credits MLPBA Exec Dir Donald Fehr for doing "a masterful job of making it appear as if a deal is at hand" which has "set up owners to be the heavies" if a deal falls through. If owners want "major revisions" for a deal, it could put them "in a mess they have become familiar with in past labor battles: losing their negotiator." Speculation has management negotiator Randy Levine taking himself out of the process if instructed to do extensive reworking of a deal. Levine "declined to predict what would happen should owners draw a line in the sand" but added, "I think I've done the best I can do to this point." Haudricourt concludes small-market teams will determine the outcome of a deal and "it is believed most will cast their votes as (Acting Commissioner Bud) Selig casts his" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL,9/11).