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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: NEWS FROM 11 MARKETS
Published February 28, 1995
BOSTON: The Red Sox told their minor leaguers Monday they can "go home" if they don't play in the team's exhibition games. The Sox will offer those who decide to play in the games major league pay -- $53.50 per day, plus $188/week in meal money (Nick Cafardo, BOSTON GLOBE, 2/27). BALTIMORE: MLB's operations committee recommended to teams that they "refuse to play" the Orioles this spring. Orioles officials hope to know today which opponents they will actually play this spring (WASHINGTON POST, 2/28). CHICAGO: Cubs GM Ed Lynch made his pitch yesterday to minor-leaguers, urging them to play in spring games "for the good of their careers," throwing in an extra $75 a day if they do. Of the 107 players in camp, 32 to 34 are "committed as temporary replacements" -- enough to open the regular season (Joseph Reaves, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/28). CINCINNATI: The Reds announced yesterday that 48-year- old Pedro Borbon will be a replacement player, if he passes the team physical. Borbon last pitched in 1980. Reds GM Jim Bowden: "Maybe we'll have a little fun with it for a few weeks" (Chris Haft, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/28). In New York, Bill Madden writes, "Until now, no one in baseball's officialdom wanted to come out and declare replacement players a joke" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/28). CLEVELAND: The Indians praised a court ruling denying a request for a temporary restraining order by three season ticket holders who claimed that they should be able retain their season ticket priority even if they don't purchase season tickets for replacement games (Indians). HOUSTON: The Astros are in a budget-cutting mode as the strike wears on. Scouting and development and minor league operations will lose manpower, with the elimination of two full- time scouts and four minor-league instructors. In addition, the team will cut the budgets of its academy in Venezuela and Dominican and Australian scouts. The Astros have also cut their PR department from five full-time employees and an intern to two, and reduced their marketing and sales staffs (Neil Hohlfeld, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/27). LOS ANGELES: Dodgers' Dir of Minor-League Ops Charlie Blaney "confirmed" that he and Exec VP Fred Claire have talked to players about renegotiating contracts for those minor-leaguers who choose to stay in camp, but he added "no decisions have been made" (L.A. TIMES, 2/28). MILWAUKEE: One-hundred and eight of the Brewers' 131 minor- leaguers agreed on a survey yesterday to play in exhibition games if asked (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 2/28). NEW YORK: The Mets announced yesterday that they will offer refunds to season ticket holders "on a homestand to homestand basis" for games played with replacement players (Anthony Gargano, N.Y. POST, 2/28). PHILADELPHIA: Frank Fitzpatrick of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER described yesterday's six-inning intrasquad scrimmage as doing "little but lift the spirits of the striking players association" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/28). ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals' front office learned yesterday that the team "has enough players" to start the exhibition season. The team reportedly has 55 players that have agreed to be either replacement players or play in exhibitions (Rick Hummel, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 2/28).