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Volume 24 No. 159
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     In a joint announcement released Friday, MLB and the MLBPA
said that they have "resolved their dispute regarding non-payment
of welfare and pension fund contributions from last August," thus
assuring that the All-Star Game, scheduled for July 11 in
Arlington, TX, will be played.  Under the deal, the clubs will
contribute $8.2M to the Benefits Fund no later than June 1 and
another $7.8M following the Game.  MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr:
"This is a first step, but a clear indication we can work
together to reach agreements."  Acting MLB Commissioner Bud
Selig:  "Both sides are now moving in a more positive direction."
(MLB & MLBPA).  The NLRB agreed to drop its unfair labor practice
charge against the owners over last year's non-payment and also
agreed to postpone a hearing today on other bad faith negotiating
claims against the owners (Gerry Fraley, DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
5/20).  The owners and players hope to settle the dispute over
the owners' unilateral free agency and arbitration system out of
court, as they did with the pension issue.  The hearing on those
complaints was put off until June 19 (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES,
     TIME IS AT ISSUE:  MLB's effort to speed up play and shorten
games is examined by the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER and the FORT WORTH
STAR-TELEGRAM.  In Philadelphia, Jayson Stark outlines former
umpire Steve Palermo's seven-point plan, which includes not
allowing the batter to leave the box, shortening the time between
innings to two minutes, and elimination of the DH rule.  Palermo:
"We're at a time when players and owners are both saying to the
fans, 'What can we do to get you back?'  Well, this would be a
great start" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/21).  The average game
time this season is three hours and five minutes, up 12 minutes
from the average for '94 (FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/20).