BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 99: OWNERS UNVEIL TAX PLAN
"Baseball ownership presented a new contract proposal to
striking players yesterday, but it appears the long-awaited
alternative to management's salary cap proposal will not lead to
a quick settlement," according to Peter Schmuck in this morning's
Baltimore SUN. The MLBPA may have a response today, "but only if
they are satisfied they have enough information to properly
analyze the ownership proposal" (Baltimore SUN, 11/18). MLBPA
General Counsel Gene Orza: "We need to spend some time analyzing
a 102-page document that we saw for the first time today. ... The
owners have had their time at the plate. It's our half-inning"
(Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/18).
REAX: "The tax concept puts the owners and players on the
same philosophical footing, but the severity of the tax --
believed to climb above 100% -- works in the same manner as a cap
and might make a compromise difficult" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES,
11/18). "It could be a starting point, but days, maybe weeks
will be needed to make it workable for the players" (Hal Bodley,
USA TODAY, 11/18). The tax proposal is a "step towards
agreement, philosophically, if not practically" (Mark Maske,
WASHINGTON POST, 11/18).
KEEPING THE CAP ON THE TABLE: The owners also revised, but
did not withdraw, their salary cap. Removed was the $1B
guarantee in players' salaries; added were fixed salaries for 1st
through 4th year players. "The changes would make it easier for
the owners to implement their proposal" if there is no settlement
(Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 11/18).