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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE MAJOR LEAGUES

Owners Not Close to Vote on Settlement

August 27, 1996|ROSS NEWHAN

Baseball owners may not vote on a proposed labor settlement before their previously scheduled fall meeting Sept. 10-12 in Seattle, insiders said.

Acting Commissioner Bud Selig wouldn't confirm or deny that but did say he wasn't close to taking a vote and that the issues of service time and the second, tax-free year at the end of a six-year agreement continue to trouble some owners.

It is presumed those issues would have to be resolved before the Seattle meeting.

There were no formal negotiations Monday, but union leader Donald Fehr and management negotiator Randy Levine discussed issues and procedure over lunch, then conferred later by phone. Levine said they moved closer to an agreement but would not discuss specifics.

Fehr said if the owners plan to vote in Seattle, a handshake agreement would be needed before that. He cited the likelihood of a break over the Labor Day weekend and said of a possible ratification in Seattle: "I'd like to believe that's what they plan to do because it would indicate they hope to reach an agreement in the next few days, as we do."

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