AROUND THE HORN: COMMENTARY ON THE IMPENDING LABOR DEAL
In Chicago, Jerome Holtzman calls MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr an
early winner, because he has "saved his job" by not being forced
to call a strike vote. Holtzman adds, "Once Fehr polls his
membership, he will discover what he already knows and never will
admit. The players, 50 percent or more, don't want another
strike. ... And what happens when a union leader can't get a
strike vote? Simple. It's time for him to say goodbye."
Holtzman adds that "pressure on Fehr is mounting," because he
either gets a deal or faces a return to court. One agent: "If
the owners go back to court, the injunction would certainly be
lifted. And then the owners have the legal right to impose their
conditions. The players won't like it" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/13).
OTHER EARLY ASSESSMENTS: In L.A., Ross Newhan writes that
owners "will not totally reverse their labor defeats of the past
in the proposed settlement ... but they would emerge with what
seem to be significant and beneficial changes in the economic
system" (L.A. TIMES, 8/13). In Chicago, Andrew Gottesman calls a
luxury tax "tantamount to a cap on salaries." Univ. of Texas-
Dallas economist Gerald Scully: "It looks like it's a victory
for the owners. The players have had a reality check" (CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 8/13). In New York, Claire Smith notes the "real story"
of the negotiations is the union's concessions on a luxury tax
and a reduced take from playoff salaries. Smith: "That in
itself should silence accusations that Fehr could never, would
never negotiate" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/13).