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Volume 24 No. 159
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     The "stalled" baseball negotiations are "expected to move
forward today for the first time" since the players went on
strike on August 12.  But, according to Peter Schmuck in this
morning's Baltimore SUN, "it remains unclear whether a new
proposal devised by owners will be attractive enough to the union
to end the stalemate."  Management's salary cap proposal is now
"off the table," but it will be replaced with a taxation plan
that is intended to have a similar effect on team payrolls
(Baltimore SUN, 11/17).  "There is at least a sliver of hope that
the negotiating between representatives of owners and striking
players over the next few days could lead to a settlement" (Mark
Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 11/17).  The players "remain leery" that
the owners' tax plan will be "nothing more than a salary cap with
a different name" (Joel Sherman, N.Y. POST, 11/17).  The owners'
6-member bargaining committee -- Red Sox CEO John Harrington,
Rockies Chair Jerry McMorris, Braves President Stan Kasten,
Phillies Exec VP David Montgomery, Brewers VP Wendy Selig-Preib,
former Cardinals President Stuart Meyer, and management
negotiator Richard Ravitch -- met in DC yesterday, "applying the
finishing touches to the owners' new proposal."  They were to
meet with Mediator Bill Usery last night (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON
POST, 11/17).
     HALF-FULL, HALF-EMPTY OR LEAKING?  Braves pitcher Tom
Glavine: "We're so far apart it's hard to believe something will
change so quickly, but a lot depends on the tone set early"
(ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/17).  Peter Schmuck: "If the owners
were willing to make a significant compromise, why would they
wait until after they lost two months of the regular season,
their first 3-tiered playoffs and hundreds of millions of dollars
in ticket and television revenue."  But Schmuck also notes that
the owners "have a growing sense of urgency.  They would like a
new economic system in place before" the December deadlines on
re-signing players or signing free agents (Baltimore SUN, 11/17).
     NEWS & NOTES:  According to Joel Sherman in the N.Y. POST,
Usery is being paid $120,000 a month to mediate the situation
(N.Y. POST, 11/17).  In L.A., Ross Newman notes that Usery "has
clearly had a persuasive impact, urging both sides to rethink
their positions" (L.A. TIMES, 11/17). ....Murray Chass examines
the GMs' Winter Meetings in Phoenix, under the headline: "With
Hands Tied by Talks, Traders Can't Shuffle Their Decks" (N.Y.
TIMES, 11/17).