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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 146: THE REPLACEMENTS
Published January 4, 1995
Labor Secretary Robert Reich has scheduled meetings with both sides in baseball's labor dispute. Today, Reich meets with MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr; next week, he will meet with Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris, acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Red Sox CEO John Harrington (Tracy Ringolsby, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 1/4). Meanwhile, the 104th Congress gets under way today. Two lawmakers, one in the Senate and one in the House, will introduce legislation to repeal some form of MLB's antitrust exemption. The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Pat Moynihan (D-NY), could be debated within the next two months. Moynihan's bill states that, except for negotiating national broadcasting rights, the antitrust laws "shall apply to the business of organized professional baseball" (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/4). REPLACEMENTS: Many GMs and owners around the league said that preparations to field replacement teams have begun. Blue Jays GM Gord Ash notes that even though the team cannot field a replacement team in Toronto, that does not mean they will not field a spring training team in FL. Ash: "We can't afford to wait until March 1 and say all of a sudden we've got to play a [exhibition] game on March 3 and we've got no one to play it" (Larry Millson, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/4). Blue Jays President Paul Beeston notes that the team will not break Ontario laws or move to another city to use replacement players: "We're the Toronto Blue Jays, not the Buffalo Blue Jays or Vancouver Blue Jays. It's not our intention to break the rules of the province of Ontario" (TORONTO SUN, 1/4). Braves President Stan Kasten said the Braves have plunged "full force" into developing plans to field a replacement team (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/4). Cubs President Andy MacPhail: "We have to start looking at this point. What practical alternative do we have now?" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/4). Harrington will speak today by telephone with MLB's 10-man operations committee about having a season without the striking players. Harrington hinted that instead of replacements for spring training, the teams could ask minor leaguers to report earlier and work with major league coaches: "That isn't to say we would use minor leaguers as replacements. The notion is that we would spend more time developing those younger kids" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 1/4). UNION'S WORLD TOUR '95: Fehr is scheduled to hold player meetings in seven cities (Chicago; Tampa; San Juan, PR; Phoenix; Los Angeles; Dallas; and Caracas, Venezuela) over the next two weeks in order to update players on the situation. The union staff will meet with agents in Chicago on Saturday, in New York next Tuesday and Los Angeles on January 12 (Tracy Ringolsby, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 1/4).