When reps for theplayers' union come to the table later this year for talks on a new collectivebargaining agreement, one of the key figures across from them will again beManfred, an MLB executive vice president. Four years ago Manfred, 47, a Harvardlaw graduate who joined the commissioner's team in 1997, helped hammer out thecurrent CBA, which expires in December. It marked the first time since 1970that a deal was struck without a work stoppage, a feat that Manfred thinks heand union boss Don Fehr can replicate. "I'm optimistic we will be able tomake a deal sooner rather than later," he says.
ROBERT BECK (MANFRED)