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NBA labor talks break off

NEW YORK, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Negotiations to reach a labor agreement and end the NBA owners' players lockout ended without a breakthrough Tuesday in New York.


Billy Hunter, executive director of the players union, said he was "a bit pessimistic and discouraged" following the fruitless 5-hour bargaining session, The New York Times reported.

"We came obviously with the intent of negotiating," Hunter said. "We were prepared to compromise somewhat on the position that we'd staked out previously in the hopes that we could get a deal, save dollars and maybe start the season on time.

"The owners are not inclined at this stage to move off the position where they've anchored themselves."

He said the owners rejected the union's proposal to go with reduced player compensation while retaining the so-called soft salary cap, the Times said.

NBA Commissioner David Stern had not yet commented on the situation, the newspaper said.

The league owners, who say they are losing $300 million a year, seek an 8 percent cut in player salaries followed by several years without any increases. The owners, who are to hold a meeting Thursday in Dallas, locked out the players in July.


Union President Derek Fisher is to hold a players meeting Thursday in Las Vegas, where dozens of players are working out.

The league's teams are supposed to open their training camps Oct. 3, start playing pre-season games Oct. 9 and open the regular season Nov. 1.

Report: Selig upset with Mets over caps

NEW YORK, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was irate when the New York Mets blamed him for them not wearing Sept. 11 commemorative caps, the New York Post reported.

Baseball fans across the country were disappointed when the Mets came onto the field Sunday wearing their usual caps instead of caps honoring New York first responders on the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Mets officials divulged it was Selig's decision to ban the caps because baseball rules demand uniformity on the field. That, in turn, prompted a call to the Mets from an upset commissioner who accused the team of throwing him "under the bus," a Mets official whose name was not reported told the New York Post.

"(Selig) got embarrassed by it," the source said. "The game got moved into prime time because of 9-11, and (MLB) ended up getting embarrassed."


Mets player representative Josh Thole said Monday the team wanted to wear FDNY and NYPD caps in the contest, but were threatened with fines.

MLB Vice President Joe Torre, however, denied that Tuesday, telling Sirius-XM Radio: "I don't think money was ever an issue or they were ever threatened with a heavy-fisted fine. If that's the case, I have no knowledge of it."

3 Ohio State players reinstated

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The NCAA Tuesday reinstated three Ohio State players suspended for two games for receiving $200 apiece at a charity event this year.

Junior running back Jordan Hall, sophomore defensive back Corey Brown and junior defensive back Travis Howard will be eligible to play Saturday at Miami if they each repay $200 to charity.

"The university appreciates the NCAA's expeditious response in reinstating these three student athletes," Buckeyes Athletics Director Gene Smith said.

OSU opened its season with wins over Akron and Toledo without the trio.

Marlins cut Cameron, citing conduct

ATLANTA, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Veteran Florida Marlins outfielder Mike Cameron was released due to conduct detrimental to the team, the club announced Tuesday.


Cameron was let go following the Marlins' victory over the Braves Monday.

The club offered no further expiation as to why the 38-year-old was cut loose, reported.

Cameron was obtained by Florida from the Boston Red Sox in July for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

The 17-year veteran has a .249 career batting average with 278 homers and 968 RBI in 1,955 games for the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati, Seattle, New York Mets, San Diego, Milwaukee, Boston and Florida.

This year Cameron had been bothered by a nagging hamstring injury.

"Here is a guy who has a great work ethic," Marlins Manager Jack McKeon told in Atlanta. "He tried to help some of these young kids. I was fortunate to have him in Cincinnati. If they (young players) look the way he went about his work, they would learn something."

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