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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- II: FACT- CHECKING OWNERSHIP
Published February 16, 1995
Two statements made before the Senate by MLB officials were questioned after the hearing. First, acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said that season ticket holders could receive refunds for games with replacement players and would not lose their seats. Reds Owner Marge Schott's response: "If he said that, this lady will be on the phone tomorrow." The Reds have not offered a refund to season-ticket holders. They are the only club that has not either lowered ticket prices or offered refunds for replacements games (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/16). Two other clubs are following different plans -- the Giants, who are being sued by a season ticket holder over the issue, and the Rockies, who are not allowing season ticket holders to retain their seat locations if they fail to buy for replacement games (THE DAILY). HAZY REPORTS FROM CANADA: The second disputed statement came from MLB General Counsel Chuck O'Connor, who announced to the media that the Canadian government will allow the Expos to hire replacement players. But neither Pam Cullum, a spokesperson for the Canadian Department of Immigration, and Paul Cavalluzzo, a Toronto-based lawyer who is acting as Canadian counsel to the MLBPA, would confirm the report. In addition, Expos President Claude Brochu was unaware of O'Connor's statement. Cavalluzzo: "It appears Mr. O'Connor believes we're some sort of banana republic up here, but we're not." Brochu: "All I can say is that we're optimistic, we're moving ahead on it and these things take a bit of time" (Mike Rutsey, TORONTO SUN, 2/16). According to the TORONTO STAR, O'Connor based his statement on a memo from Brochu stating that the Expos were advised by Peter Harder, Deputy Minister Citizenship and Immigration Canada, that temporary replacement from outside Canada will be allowed entry into Canada. But Judy Morrison, press secretary to Immigration Minister Sergio Marchi, questioned the "accuracy" of Brochu's memo (TORONTO STAR, 2/16).