Was there tampering at the ballot box? Sources said Thursday that the announced rejection of the proposed labor agreement by major league baseball owners Wednesday by an 18-12 vote wasn't accurate.
Sources said the actual vote was 16-14 in favor of the deal--the Dodgers were in favor and the Angels against--but that acting Commissioner Bud Selig and opposition leader Jerry Reinsdorf of the Chicago White Sox influenced four of the clubs that had been in favor to switch, making it appear they have stronger support for a revised deal when the owners go back to the players' union in an attempt to modify five of the agreement's major provisions.
It was also learned Thursday that Randy Levine, the only management negotiator--and there have been several--to secure concessions from the union during the three-year labor battle, will resign after next Thursday's deal deadline. Levine would neither confirm nor deny that.