BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 103: SORRY TO IMPOSE, BUT ...
"Baseball's owners have set a doomsday deadline for the
sport to settle its labor problems" by scheduling a meeting in
Chicago on December 5. The owners will likely use the date to
declare an impasse in negotiations and vote to impose their
salary-cap plan on the players. "The negotiating committee will
present the options and then the owners will vote," according to
MLB spokesperson Rich Levin (Colin Miner, N.Y. POST, 11/22). The
meetings place an "added sense of urgency" on the talks next
Monday, when players will respond to the owners' luxury-tax
proposal. Red Sox CEO John Harrington indicated that the
arbitration deadline on December 7 might "force the owners into a
decision on implementation" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN,
11/22). MLBPA General Council Gene Orza was "not surprised"
(N.Y. POST, 11/22). Keith Olbermann said one union source told
ESPN the owners' luxury tax plan "is the same old idea with a
'new cover on it'" (ESPN, 11/21).