BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 153: SECRET AGENTS?
MLBPA officials met with about 75 agents yesterday in New
York and according to the union's General Counsel, Gene Orza, the
agents "overwhelmingly supported" the union's decision to
discipline any agents who represent replacement players. Orza
said union sanctions would be decided on a case-by-case basis by
the union's executive board and could include decertification.
But, Orza added: "No discipline will be necessary, because no
agents are going to represent replacement players." MLB General
Counsel Chuck O'Connor said the owners believe that the union's
stance is improper and perhaps illegal: "It's a players right to
choose to cross the picket line or not cross the picket line. We
think decertifying an agent interferes with a player's right to
make a free choice" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/11).
RECRUITING CALL: The Rockies have established a hotline for
recruiting replacements. Candidates can make their "best sales
pitch to a voicemail system if they call the team's downtown
headquarters" (AP/FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/11). Dodgers GM
Fred Claire and his staff have phoned several agents in an
attempt to identify players who might be willing to cross the
picket line (Bob Nightengale, L.A. TIMES, 1/11). AAA player
Orlando Palmeiro on being offered a chance to become a
replacement players: "It's like that Indecent Proposal movie"
(Vancouver PROVINCE, 1/11).
NEWS & NOTES: American League spokesperson Phyllis Merhige
said AL President Gene Budig will have the authority to decide
whether Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive game streak will be halted
if replacements are used (USA TODAY, 1/11). ....The Braves are
considering pushing back their date to renew season tickets from
January 20 to February 3 giving the team time to formulate a
policy in case replacements are used (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
1/11)....The Cubs said 88% of season ticket holders have put down
deposits to renew (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/11)....All Blue Jays front
office personnel -- from secretaries to CEO Paul Beeston --
accepted across-the-board pay cuts. The club refused to reveal
the percentage of the cut (TORONTO STAR, 1/11).