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Can It Be Only Two More Weeks of Baseball?

Aired August 16, 2002 - 14:02   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Can it be only two more weeks of baseball? That is what Major League players are saying, unless, of course, they and the owners make a deal.
Josie Karp of CNN's sports is tracking developments out of New York, and there has been a lot of developments today -- Josie.

JOSIE KARP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am here standing outside of Major League Baseball headquarters. Now, we are expecting a press conference to start at around 3:00 p.m. Eastern, when the ownership representatives will respond to the fact that Major League Baseball players union has set a strike date for August 30.

Also any time between now and 3:00 p.m. Eastern, we are expecting the union to release a statement to summarize what they, in effect, did on a conference call this morning when the executive board of the Major League Baseball union held a meeting, via conference call. They were actually even some players in town who attended the meeting at Major League Baseball Players association headquarters.

Again, they are going to release a statement, the union, on their behalf, sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 Eastern. Major League Baseball, on its behalf, is going to have a press conference at around 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

And from what we can tell and what we have heard going into these labor negotiations, everyone was insistent that what represented the potential for the biggest stumbling block was the idea of a luxury tax. and how a luxury tax on payrolls would be executed. And indeed, that's what has come to pass.

On Monday, when the executive board of the player's union held a meeting in Chicago, this is what most people expected would happen, they would set a strike date. They came out to say, because some promise had made, they were hopeful that maybe in three days time, if they gave it three more days, there was a chance that something might get settled , or they would get close to getting something settled. That is what has not transpired.

The worst day of the three had to be Wednesday when the ownership, the players teams got together. They exchanged proposals on the idea of a luxury tax. It was at that point that the ownership came out and said they felt like they hit a bump in the road, and as they described it to me, it is substantially more than that.

So at this point in time, again, there is no actual bargaining session scheduled for today. We don't know about the weekend. But when and if they do get back to the table, it's the issue of the luxury tax that they are going to have to address and that they are going to have to work through.

In midtown Manhattan, I'm Josie Karp. I'm going to send it back to the studio.

SAVIDGE: All right, Josie, we will be keeping an eye on things. Thanks very much for the update.

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