BASEBALL PLAYERS-OWNERS MEET TO DISCUSS THE NEXT MEETING
Baseball's labor negotiations resumed yesterday in
Washington. CNBC's Sue Herera: "The talks were short, lasting
only 90 minutes" ("Market Wrap," CNBC, 10/19). ESPN's Linda
Cohn: "Nothing has changed. After not talking for 40 days, both
sides in this labor dispute could only manage to meet for 90
minutes" ("SportsCenter," 10/19). Most of the session was
devoted to special mediator William Usery briefing
representatives of team owners and striking players "on how he
plans to approach the renewed talks, and setting ground rules for
future get-togethers." Usery said the next bargaining session
will not come until next week. He plans to speak to both sides
separately then bring them together "when he feels they can make
progress." Usery: "The meeting, as far as I'm concerned,
achieved the results I wanted to achieve" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON
POST, 10/20). Usery: "The journey is starting today. We have a
lot of things to overcome, but we have a lot of things to do and
I believe we can" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/19).
REVIEWS: It was "a non-substantive ceremonial get-together"
(Bill Madden, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/20). Richard Ravitch, the
owners' negotiator, "offered hints of change." Ravitch did not
rule out any "possible steps the owners could take that would
affect players and their ability to sign contracts, but he seemed
to indicate nothing was imminent" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES,
10/20). "Remember this is Washington, home of gridlock, not Oz"
(Joel Sherman, N.Y. POST, 10/20). "If there was animosity, it
was hard to detect. ... But Usery was not selling false optimism"
(Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/20). "The official stance of
each bargaining unit was positive and mildly optimistic, which
also was reminiscent of that first abortive attempt at mediation"
(Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 10/20).
LOVE, MARGE: Reds owner Marge Schott is personally signing
each of the ticket refund checks being sent to fans. "It's
believed that no other club owners are "affixing their signatures
in this matter." Requests for Reds refunds -- "and, temporarily,
Schott's autograph" -- must be in by October 31 (Chris Haft,
CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/20).