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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 153: SECRET AGENTS?
Published January 11, 1995
MLBPA officials met with about 75 agents yesterday in New York and according to the union's General Counsel, Gene Orza, the agents "overwhelmingly supported" the union's decision to discipline any agents who represent replacement players. Orza said union sanctions would be decided on a case-by-case basis by the union's executive board and could include decertification. But, Orza added: "No discipline will be necessary, because no agents are going to represent replacement players." MLB General Counsel Chuck O'Connor said the owners believe that the union's stance is improper and perhaps illegal: "It's a players right to choose to cross the picket line or not cross the picket line. We think decertifying an agent interferes with a player's right to make a free choice" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/11). RECRUITING CALL: The Rockies have established a hotline for recruiting replacements. Candidates can make their "best sales pitch to a voicemail system if they call the team's downtown headquarters" (AP/FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/11). Dodgers GM Fred Claire and his staff have phoned several agents in an attempt to identify players who might be willing to cross the picket line (Bob Nightengale, L.A. TIMES, 1/11). AAA player Orlando Palmeiro on being offered a chance to become a replacement players: "It's like that Indecent Proposal movie" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 1/11). NEWS & NOTES: American League spokesperson Phyllis Merhige said AL President Gene Budig will have the authority to decide whether Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive game streak will be halted if replacements are used (USA TODAY, 1/11). ....The Braves are considering pushing back their date to renew season tickets from January 20 to February 3 giving the team time to formulate a policy in case replacements are used (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/11)....The Cubs said 88% of season ticket holders have put down deposits to renew (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/11)....All Blue Jays front office personnel -- from secretaries to CEO Paul Beeston -- accepted across-the-board pay cuts. The club refused to reveal the percentage of the cut (TORONTO STAR, 1/11).