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PLAYERS, OWNERS WAIT BY PHONES, BUT NOBODY CALLS

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Like teen-agers before the high school prom, baseball players and owners spent the weekend waiting for each other to call.

"There's nothing going on," executive council chairman Bud Selig said Sunday by telephone from Milwaukee.Negotiations broke off Thursday and no further talks are scheduled to end the walkout that began Aug. 12. The strike canceled 14 more games Sunday, raising the total to 223.

"I've had no contact with anyone," union head Donald Fehr said.

Both sides say they expect to hear Monday from federal mediators, who entered the dispute the day after it began. The mediators probably will call another bargaining session for the middle of the week.

Management negotiator Richard Ravitch said last Thursday he expects the delegations from each side will be smaller at future sessions. There were 55 people in the room during Wednesday's meeting - the first since the strike began.

"That was a guess on my part," he said. "I haven't changed my guess."

No progress is forseen in the talks until at least after the owners' quarterly meetings, scheduled for Detroit from Sept. 7-9. While there have been rumors that the meetings will be called off, Selig said that's not true.

"At this point in time, I would think they would take place," he said Sunday. "Everything is subject to review."

Four years ago, the quarterly session in Dallas during the owners' 32-lockout was canceled to allow negotiations to continue. In 1981, a meeting in Kansas City, Mo., was called off - some say to prevent some owners from expressing dissent.

Selig said he wouldn't want the meetings to interfere with bargaining.

"That's always a concern," he said. "That's something we'll take a look at."

Ravitch said the meeting isn't necessary because of the constant telephone conversations and conference calls.

"Communication among the owners is very extensive at this point and, therefore, I don't know what specifically can be gained by a meeting," he said.

Players, meanwhile, continued playing golf and spending time at home. Mike Kingery of the Colorado Rockies was bailing hay in Atwater, Minn., at home in the summer for the first time in 15 years.

"You live the simple life here," he told The Denver Post. "We get our big-city fill during the season. I don't know as many people in town as I used to, but I know a lot of them."