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Umpire Talks, Expansion Fees Are ’91 Issues: Vincent

From Associated Press

Commissioner Fay Vincent today listed negotiations with the umpires and expansion fees allocation as baseball’s toughest problems heading into 1991.

Vincent was unable to attend the winter meetings because of a respiratory illness, but a text of his speech was made available.

The contract with the umpires expired after the season and talks will start soon.

“These negotiations are right around the corner and the potential for another dispute is very real,” Vincent said. “I have been working with our league presidents--Bill White and Dr. Bobby Brown--who will be conducting these negotiations, and will continue to follow this process in our effort to reach an equitable and sound agreement for the leagues as well as the umpires.”

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Vincent said there could be a problem in dealing with the allocation of expansion fees. The National League is scheduled to expand by two teams in 1993.

“Traditionally, expansion fees have been paid directly to the expanding league, and then divided equally among the teams of that league. Also, in the past expansion endeavors, only those teams in the expanding league shared the burden of supplying players for the expansion draft.

“In the current expansion process, the American League has requested that it receive a share of the expansion fund and, in return will make its players available in the expansion draft.”

Vincent said he has asked that each league form a committee to discuss the proposal.

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