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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Three Strike Meetings, Jury Out

WASHINGTON -- Add Baltimore Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos to the growing list of baseball people who say they see no reason to believe there will be any more major league games played this year.


"I think the outlook is pretty grim," Angelos said Sunday. "It's hard to say from a distance whether last week's discussions will produce any progress. Only time will tell. But I think to be optimistic at this point would be somewhat naive."


The players' strike, which began Aug. 12, reaches the 18-day mark Monday and has caused the cancellation of 224 games. Bargaining sessions between the representatives for the team owners and the players probably will resume by midweek. The sides have met on three days of the strike, most recently last Wednesday and Thursday in New York, sessions that produced plenty of dialogue but no resolution. There still are no signs that the owners are willing to budge on their insistence upon finding a way to contain players' salaries, or that the players are willing to budge on their resistance to any sort of salary cap proposal.


The federal mediators involved in the proceedings apparently plan to speak Monday by telephone to union chief Donald Fehr and owners' negotiator Richard Ravitch and attempt to set up the next meeting. That session could come Tuesday, but most likely will not be until Wednesday. Sources say there still is a chance the meetings could be moved to the District of Columbia.


Fehr said Sunday he had not spoken to Ravitch or to the mediators all weekend, and added: "We're ready to meet anytime, any place. We've made that clear. When Dick is ready to meet with us, we'll meet."


Sources close to the proceedings say they expect little progress this week, but indicated they believe the window of opportunity for a settlement will come just after Labor Day, when the principals will have to face the prospect of being remembered as the culprits who forced the cancellation of the World Series for the first time since 1904. The owners say they consider mid-September the point of no return for the 1994 season.


When the two sides reconvene this week, five to six ownership representatives and five to six players likely will participate, as the mediators originally requested. Last week, 12 ownership participants and 21 players were involved in the meetings.


Milwaukee Brewers owner and acting commissioner Bud Selig said Sunday he sees no need to become directly involved. He indicated the owners still are planning to hold their quarterly meetings next week in Detroit, but said that could change.


Selig said there's been no discussion among the owners about the possibility brought up last week by Boston Red Sox general partner John Harrington that the World Series could be played at a neutral (meaning indoor or warm-weather) ballpark in November if there's a late-September settlement. Harrington called that scenario impractical, but indicated the owners would have to consider it. Harrington also called it "unlikely" that the owners would approve going directly to the playoffs or the World Series with no more regular season games following a settlement.