The National Labor Relations Board yesterday rescheduled until Oct. 29 a hearing on whether an election should be held to consider whether a new union will replace the one that represents Major League umpires.

Lawyers for the Major League Umpires Association, the current union, and the Major League Umpires Independent Organizing Committee, a group formed in the wake of a labor action that cost 22 umpires their jobs in late August, met informally at NLRB offices in New York. They were unable to resolve their differences, according to NLRB regional director Dan Silverman, who will read transcripts of the hearing and any post-hearing briefs filed and likely issue a decision in mid-November.

* BELL GETS ROCKIES: Former Tigers manager Buddy Bell was named manager of the Rockies, filling the vacancy left when Jim Leyland retired at the end of the season. Bell, 47, managed the Tigers from 1996 to '98, compiling a 184-277 record.

Bell, who worked for the Reds for the past year, most recently as director of player development, signed a three-year contract believed to be worth about $2.25 million.

NOTES: The Mariners signed two-time AL batting champion Edgar Martinez to a contract extension for next season with an option for 2001.