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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- III: WHO WILL REPORT THIS WEEKEND?
Published February 16, 1995
It was widely reported that the Mariners would kick off spring training today, but that was a "false alarm." The Mariners will open camp Monday. The Yankees are reportedly the only team that officially opens camp today in the Grapefruit League. Tomorrow, the Giants, Rockies and Angels will be the first to open camps in AZ. In this morning's ARIZONA REPUBLIC, Bob Eger writes, "Not so fast. It's going to be another day before they're even playing catch in the Cactus League" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/16). NATIONAL ATTENTION: On "Good Morning America," ABC's Tyler Mathisen examined the effect the strike will have on AZ and FL cities. One sports merchandise store in Fort Myers is cutting its prices on baseball apparel up to 50%, and "it is still not selling." Fort Myers Mayor Wilbur Smith: "The Sheraton Hotel, our largest hotel, has lost 3,000 room nights, that translates out to about $275,000." Mathisen said each city that hosts a spring training team will lose between $3M-$5M (ABC, 2/16). THE ORIOLES: The Orioles are the only team that does not plan to field a replacement team during both spring training and the regular season. The team will play "B" games with minor leaguers if no admission is charged and the opposition does not use replacement players (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 2/16). O's manager Phil Regan: "My worst case scenario is that I have a two- year contract and go 0-and-0 for two years" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/16). Selig dodged the question of whether he would revoke the Orioles franchise --either permanently or temporarily -- if they refused to participate in replacement baseball (THE DAILY). PLAYER SQUABBLES? According to Nick Cafardo in Boston, Red Sox 1B Mo Vaughn "apparently spoke the conscience of middle- salaried and younger players around baseball. His idea of a secret-ballot to end the strike and his urging of the union to better represent all sides of the membership have been met with approval in some quarters." Red Sox 2B Terry Shumpert: "A lot of players feel things that they can't come out and say" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/15). Meanwhile, the Red Sox released hitting coach Mike Easler after turning down Easler's request for a raise. Easler claimed that he should have been paid at least as much as replacement players, who will make at least the league minimum of $115,000. Easler, who made $80,000 last year: "My contract stipulates that I'm a 'major league hitting coach.' I'm not a 'replacement player hitting coach.' What a joke" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/15). ESPN reports that Wally Whitehurst may be the first major leaguer to cross the picket line. He is expected to be in the Giants camp, but neither he or the team would comment (ESPN, 2/15).