Vincent brought union and management representatives together three times last week, and his behind-the-scenes involvement, sources said, contributed to the conciliatory tone Friday.
Although there had been media speculation that several clubs oppose a lockout, Selig insisted that Friday's meeting, which lasted only two hours, was "non-confrontational in every sense."
Reading from a statement at the news conference, Selig said changes in strategy and bargaining position were not requested or made during the meeting, and that the ownership remained entirely supportive of the negotiating team.
Selig said there was no need for a vote since ownership had passed resolutions in July and December in support of PRC strategy, including a lockout.
He said the Feb. 15 deadline put pressure on both sides, but "we're not in a position yet where we have to sit and wonder how many days of spring training are we going to have. The camps will not open on Feb. 15 if we don't have an agreement, but there's time to reach that agreement. We're going back to the table Monday and we'll be there every day."
Technically, players are not required to be in spring training until Feb. 28. Players who report earlier do so on a voluntary basis. O'Connor said that given the time structure, he was hesitant to call it a lockout until late March or a date when the regular season was actually affected.
He said that major league managers and coaches would not be permitted to join minor league workouts, but that injured players receiving treatment could continue to receive it at their home or spring training stadium. He said no decision had been reached as to the possibility of playing the exhibition schedule with minor leaguers.
Most owners left for the airport while the news conference was in progress or later refused comment, saying members of the PRC would talk for them.
Said Marge Schott, owner of the Cincinnati Reds:
"There's still time for the camps to open, but if there's no agreement, we'll support the PRC. I'm sure they'll work out something that's best for baseball. We all care what the fans think, myself in particular."
Fehr, meeting with players in Phoenix, said a Feb. 15 shutdown represented a lockout no matter what O'Connor or anyone else called it, and he reiterated that the absence of genuine bargaining by management is likely to result in a legal action by the union.
Of the fans, he said, "I think it's going to be hard for an industry that just signed a $1.5-billion television contract to generate any sympathy."
WHAT OWNERS WANT
-Revenue sharing. Players would be guaranteed 48% of the money from ticket sales and broadcast contracts.
-Pay-for-performance. Players with fewer than six years of major league service would be paid on one-year, nonguaranteed contracts according to statistical formulas. Each team would pay 1/26th of the total for these players.
-Participation level. Teams going above predetermined payroll levels could not sign free agents from other clubs.
WHAT PLAYERS WANT
-Salary arbitration. Eligibility restored to players with between two and three years of service.
-Rosters. Restored to 25 players.
-Minimum salary. A raise from $68,000 to between $100,000 and $125,000.
-Free agency. Players removed from 40-man roster and sent to minors on outright assignments would become free agents. Draft pick compensation for free agents would be eliminated.
-Collusion. Automatic penalties for collusion.
-Benefits. An increase tied to the new television contracts.
WHO BENEFITS FROM EXHIBITION GAMES?
A LOOK AT WHOSE INCOME IS IN JEOPARDY
THE CACTUS LEAGUE ANGELS
FACILITY: Mesa, Gene Autry Park: Owned/operated City of Mesa. Training facility only.
SEATS: No Games
LEASE ARRANGEMENT: 30-year lease. Two 10-year options. One 5-year option. Expires 1995. ANGELS
FACILITY: Palm Springs, Angel Stadium. Owned/operated Palm Springs.
TICKETS: Angels 60%. Visitors 40%.
PARKING: Charity 100%
CONCESSIONS: Angels 100%
LEASE ARRANGEMENT: 10-year lease. 5 year option. Current option expired 1989. ATHLETICS
FACILITY: Phoenix, Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Owned/operated City of Phoenix.
TICKETS: Athletics 50%. Visitors 50%.
PARKING: Athletics 100%.
CONCESSIONS: Athletics 100%.
LEASE ARRANGEMENT: 3-year lease. Expires 1991. BREWERS
FACILITY: Chandler, Compadre Stadium. Owned/operated City of Phoenix
SEATS: 4,943, +5000 (lawn)
TICKETS: Brewers 40%. Visitors 40%. Compadres 20%.
PARKING: Compadres 100%.
CONCESSIONS: Boys Club 65%. Compadres 17.5%. Brewers 17.5%
LEASE ARRANGEMENT: 10-year lease. Expires 1996. CUBS
FACILITY: Mesa, HoHoKam Park. Owned by City of Mesa. Operated by HoHoKams
TICKETS: Cubs 45%. Visitors 40%. HoHoKams 15%.
PARKING: HoHoKams 100%
CONCESSIONS: HoHoKams share with Cubs.
LEASE ARRANGEMENT: 5-Year renewable lease. GIANTS
FACILITY: Scottsdale, Scottsdale Stadium. Owned by City of Scottsdale. Operated by boosters Charros.
TICKETS: Giants 40%. Visitors 40%. Charros 20%
PARKING: Scottsdale Memorial Hospital 100%