BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 91: IMPASSE DECLARATION LOOMS
Ownership sources confirmed that if a settlement can not be
reached, MLB owners plan to declare an impasse in negotiations
and unilaterally impose a proposal that includes a cap on players
salaries by December 19. The two sides return to the bargaining
table today and negotiations are scheduled to run through the
weekend. MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr said he does not expect a
breakthrough: "I have no reason ... to believe their position
has changed at all" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 11/10). The
union is not expected to make any new proposals. Management
negotiators have developed a revised proposal but will see how
talks develop before deciding whether to present it at these
sessions (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/10).
REPLACEMENT PLAYERS: A senior exec with the Detroit Red
Wings has told WJR-Radio in Detroit that baseball owners will
open spring training in 1995 with replacement players, and plan
to lure fans back to ballparks by cutting ticket prices in half.
According to the source, owners believe that large numbers of
striking players will break ranks and cross picket lines either
during spring training, or early in the '95 season. The Red
Wings are owned by Mike Ilitch, who also owns the Detroit Tigers
(WJR Radio, 11/9).
REAX TO OWNERS AD: The players yesterday were not pleased
with the owners full-page advertisement in yesterday's editions
of USA TODAY, which restated the owners' concerns about the
game's economic health. Fehr: "The ad was timed and phrased to
be provocative. It's a clear indication that they are thumbing
their nose at the world and the mediator. If you take it at face
value, there's no reason to talk to them." But MLB Acting
Commissioner Bud Selig maintained that the letter merely restated
the owners position and was not designed to be "confrontational"
(Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 11/10).