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Owners Plan to Discuss Ratification of Deal

September 04, 2002|Ross Newhan

Major League Baseball owners will meet in Chicago on Thursday to discuss ratification of the new labor agreement, it was learned Tuesday.

A majority--or 16 of the 30 owners--is required to approve the agreement in its entirety, but three-fourths, or 23 owners, is required to approve the revenue-sharing component.

Although a group of seven or eight owners took a hard-line stance during the negotiations, lobbying Commissioner Bud Selig to refrain from major compromise on the key issues, the agreement is expected to be approved.

"I'd be surprised if it's not a unanimous vote," San Diego Padre owner John Moores said.

Moores had said during the negotiations he was prepared to sit out the 2003 season rather than approve a bad agreement. He said Tuesday that he would have liked a "stronger deal" and that "the union probably feels fortunate it didn't have to give up more," but "on balance I think the game will be ahead because of it.

"I think it will improve our financial situation and enable us to do some things differently, but in our situation it's hard to overstate how important the new ballpark [scheduled to open in 2004] will be. The ballpark is still the 1,000-pound gorilla in the equation."

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