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Volume 24 No. 158
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     While Randy Levine, MLB's chief labor negotiator, and MLBPA
Exec Dir Don Fehr "remained optimistic" that a new CBA could be
approved in the coming days, "there were indications that owners
are in no hurry to reach a deal," according to this morning's
MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.  It is possible that owners will not
be ready to vote on a deal until their quarterly meetings
September 10-12 in Seattle.  Tom Haudricourt reports, "Unless
there is an oral agreement beforehand that merely has to be
ratified by owners, the union would frown on such a delay."
Haudricourt notes, in addition to granting service time and the
prospect of a second tax-free year at the end of the deal,
"owners are also disturbed by the perception that it is totally
up to them to make a deal."  But until there is management
consensus and Levine is told on what the union will have to give
up in exchange for concession on those issues, "there will be no
     VOTE-COUNTING:  The pace of talks has slowed because of
acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's aim "to take a vote at the
meetings in Seattle but not before then," according to Mark Maske
of the WASHINGTON POST.  Selig is said to have "secured" at least
22 -- and more likely 24 or 25 -- votes in favor of a deal that
closely resembles the one negotiated earlier.  Management sources
said Selig "is ready to move forward" with the White Sox, Cubs
and Marlins the "only certain votes against" (WASHINGTON POST,