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Players and Owners reach a tentative agreement

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The major players in the discussion have reached a tentative agreement.

Baseball players and owners set aside their long history of bitter negotiations to reach a tentative agreement on a five-year contract, the first time the sides have achieved labor peace before their current deal expires.

The agreement was struck during bargaining in New York on Friday night and Saturday, and is subject to the sides putting the deal in writing, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been finalized.

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Lawyers were working on drafting language for the new deal Sunday, and hoped to put the finishing touches on it Monday or Tuesday. Once that happened, commissioner Bud Selig would announce it in St. Louis at the World Series.

At present, it is in the hands of the law talking guys and should be finalized this week.  Normally, no major announcements are allowed during the World Series - wouldn't want to steal the spotlight from the game's pinnacle series.  But this is different.  It is an unprecedented achievement, at least in recent in history.

With any luck, it will happen.

One thing in the article did strike me as to the reason an agreement was so "easily" agreed upon.

Record economic success helped produce an agreement with no public rancor. Commissioner Bud Selig said last week that he estimated the sport will produce $5.2 billion in revenue this year, up from about $3.6 billion in 2001.

Major league teams drew a record 76 million fans this year.

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The huge influx of money smoothed negotiations. The average player salary was $1.1 million in 1995, the first season after the 1994-95 strike. It rose to just under $2.3 million in 2002 and will be about $2.7 million this year. The average likely will top $3 million next year or in 2008.

Since most are rolling in money there is no reason to kill the golden goose by doing what had become the norm - fighting it out in the media until the last second or beyond.

It is a welcomed change.

I had written a long diatribe about how if everyone is rolling in the money, couldn't attending the games be made more affordable but then it finally occurred to me - this a Marlins blog and the organization only has control over ticket prices and not much else.  And the ticket prices for Marlins home games are some of the lowest in the Major League - as well they should be given the venue where they play.  So I erased it.

But I think my point still holds, somewhere, maybe not here, but somewhere.