SBD/21/Leagues Governing Bodies

BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 194: TALKS RESUME TODAY

     Negotiating teams for the owners and players will meet today
at Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel at 4pm EST.  The groups will
reportedly be smaller than past sessions (Mult., 2/21).  Owner
Jerry McMorris: "I personally wouldn't look for a deal to happen
in the next two days."  CNN's Fred Hickman said MLBPA Exec Dir
Donald Fehr told CNN not to expect any major developments
("Sports Tonight," CNN, 2/20).
     WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?  Peter Gammons writes that the
owners' replacement plan "is turning out to be just another bad
idea turned worse. ... While the strike is engineered for the
Minnesotas, Milwaukees, Pittsburghs, etc., the Yankees, Dodgers,
Orioles and Blue Jays don't buy into it.  And what are the
Brewers and Twins going to do with their replacement players if
the markets that drive the industry don't participate?"  Gammons
calls William Usery's plan a "framework" for a deal, but the
players will probably "want to wait to get down to hard-core
bargaining until the NLRB comes down and the replacement farce
begins, which may vastly restore their leverage" (BOSTON GLOBE,
2/19).
     SPARKY REAX:  Several columnists and baseball observers
sounded off on Tigers Manager Sparky Anderson's decision to take
an unpaid leave rather than manage replacement players.  In
Washington, Thomas Boswell writes, "Maybe, just maybe, his
profile in character will be the catalytic act of spiritual
meditation that baseball so desperately needs" (WASHINGTON POST,
2/19).  In New York, Mike Lupica calls Anderson the "conscience
of the game" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 2/20).  But Bill Madden wonders
whether it "was simply his means of leaving an organization he no
longer wanted to be a part of -- on his terms" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
2/20).  Peter Gammons:  "I would be a little surprised if he were
offered his job back" (ESPN, 2/19).  But Stephen Brunt counters:
"None of that subtext matters.  For public consumption, the
impression remains that Anderson simply couldn't stomach what was
happening" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/21).
     NEWS & NOTES:  The MLBPA was criticized for its position
that minor league players who participate in spring training
games will be considered strikebreakers.  Mets Manager Dallas
Green said he told MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr, "It's totally unfair
of the union to ask (minor leaguers) to sacrifice when in fact
they are not under your protection" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
2/21)....The union also announced that other unions may handle
the picketing outside ballparks, which Jack Etkin & Tracy
Ringolsby refer to as "replacement pickets."  MLBPA General
Counsel Gene Orza:  "There's a security problem involved.  The
players would just be out there exposed" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,
2/20).
     NO LAUGHING MATTER:  The replacement players have become a
staple for late-night comedy.  Jay Leno, on Friday:  "You know
things are bad when Tommy Lasorda is thinner than any other guy
on the team" ("Tonight," NBC, 2/17).  Leno, last night:  "You can
tell these replacements don't have the hang of professional
baseball.  I was watching the news today and one of them signed
an autograph for free. ... Last year when everyone laughed when
Michael Jordan said he would be the greatest professional
baseball player?  Well, now he is" ("Tonight," 2/20).  Last
night's Letterman Top Ten was "Signs You Are Not Watching A Real
Baseball Game":  10) You recognize batter as the kid who sold you
a hot dog a couple minutes earlier;  9)  Everytime a player
slides into second, he busts his hip;  8) They keep shouting "Do
Over!";
7) When umpire yells, "Strike 3!", batter looks at him as though
the dude's speakin' French;  6) Try as they might, they just
can't scratch themselves like professionals;
5) First Base: Siskel, Second Base: Ebert;  4) Game stops when
some lady in a house near the stadium shouts "Dinner Time";  3)
Players constantly adjusting each others's cups;
2) You overhear the coach yelling, "Run, Forrest, Run!";
1) They play like the Mets ("Late Night," CBS, 2/20)
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