Clock Ticking For Baseball Players, Owners - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Clock Ticking For Baseball Players, Owners

NEW YORK (AP) - Negotiators for baseball's players and owners took Sunday off and will resume talks Monday in hopes of avoiding the sport's ninth work stoppage since 1972.

Lawyers met twice Saturday for about three hours, but did not discuss the key issues of a luxury tax and revenue sharing. On Friday, the union set a strike date for Aug. 30.

Owners want a luxury tax that would restrain player salaries, but they have proposed a far lower threshold and higher tax rate than the union will accept.

The proposal from the owners is a tax of 37.5-50 percent on the portions of payrolls above $102 million. Players want a 15-30 percent tax on the portions above $130 million next year, with the threshold increasing $10 million annually. The union also doesn't want a tax in the final year.

The union fears that a luxury tax combined with increased revenue sharing would act as a cap because it would drain large amounts of money from high-revenue teams.

Players don't want to finish the season without a contract because they believe owners would lock them out or change work rules. The union prefers stop late in the season, when more of the owners' revenue is at stake.

Baseball's last strike began Aug. 12, 1994, dragged on for 232 days and wiped out the World Series for the first time in 90 years. Average attendance dropped 20 percent the following season and still hasn't fully recovered.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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