In another week, it may be "Wait 'til next year" for baseball.
Acting commissioner Bud Selig on Friday threatened to cancel the season unless owners and players reach an agreement within a week.Selig, in a telephone interview from his office in Milwaukee, said he informed union head Donald Fehr of the Sept. 9 date during a telephone call Friday. Selig, however, said the owners' decision on the termination date wasn't final.
"This appears to me to be the most pragmatic approach, but we'll discuss it early next week," Selig said. "If you work the calendar back, it appears to be a logical date."
The sides have not met since Aug. 25 and no bargaining sessions are scheduled. There have been just two meetings since the strike began on Aug. 12.
Selig's announcement threatens the World Series, which has been played annually since 1905. The expanded playoffs were scheduled to start Oct. 4 and Selig said the clubs felt a pennant race was necessary before a postseason.
The Major League Baseball Players Association said it was not asked for any input by Selig.
"That's his decision to make, I guess," said Eugene Orza, the union's associate general counsel. "I guess that's the date the clubs choose to take down the postseason. I don't have any control over that."
Selig, in a statement issued by the commissioner's office, said he picked the date after taking into account the time necessary to get players back into playing condition, the time needed to "meaningfully" complete the regular season and the logistics of the postseason.
"Discussions of the date will continue between Don and me next week," Selig said in the statement. "I am hopeful of reaching a resolution on the matter early next week."
Fifteen more games were canceled Friday as the strike began its fourth week, increasing the total to 284, more than one-eighth of the season. Players' lost salary will pass the $100 million mark Saturday and teams' lost revenue will surpass $200 million Sunday.