SBD/5/Leagues Governing Bodies

REPLACEMENT UMPS READY TO DUST OFF THE PLATE OPENING DAY?

     MLB umpires were "rebuffed" by owners in their contract
demands leaving the real possibility that ownership's lockout
will continue through exhibition games.  MLBUA Exec Dir Richie
Phillips:  "I thought that now that they've resolved their
differences with the players, baseball would want to put its best
face on and try to reach an agreement, but I guess not"
(AP/Baltimore SUN, 4/5).  The umpires want a 53% increase over
their present wages of $60,000-175,000, double post-season wages
and $500,000 in retirement benefits.  NL President Len Coleman:
"I don't understand where Richie thinks the money is coming from.
Their request in light of everything this year is unbelievable."
AL Pres. Gene Budig:  "[The union] refuses to acknowledge the
financial state of baseball" (Hal Bodley, USA TODAY, 4/5).
     RECENT HISTORY:  ESPN's Dave Campbell:  "I talked to a
couple of National League umpires tonight and they told me there
have been 24 meetings since October, and only one time did the
league presidents, Leonard Coleman or Gene Budig, show up, and
that was three days before Christmas when they told them they
weren't going to get paid anymore."  The umpires say since Bart
Giamatti died and Fay Vincent left baseball, "they have had no
one to talk to."  The also say that they would go to spring
training without a contract if they were paid per-game ("Baseball
Tonight," ESPN, 4/4).
     THE OTHER UNION'S POSITION:  MLBPA General Counsel Gene Orza
said the players' union opposes the use of replacement umpires,
but he "stopped short of saying the union will consider refusing
to play if replacement umpires are used" (Hal Bodley, USA TODAY,
4/5).  In Toronto, Bill Lankhof notes Ontario's labor laws could
forbid use of replacement umpires, although the case is not as
clear-cut as the ban on Blue Jays replacements (TORONTO SUN,
4/5).
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