BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 159: THE REPLACEMENT PLAN
MLB's Executive Council has approved the recommendation of
the Operating Committee on the guidelines for the use of
replacement players. The directive asks the clubs to prepare for
opening spring training and the season "on time," including
playing the World Series with replacements, if necessary. Acting
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig: "We are committed to playing the
1995 season and will do so with the best players willing to play"
(MLB). Red Sox CEO John Harrington said a replacement plan was
drawn up because "the No. 1 priority is maintaining the framework
of a business that, once the player strike is over, must return
to normal" (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/15).
ANGELOS STANDS PAT: Orioles Owner Peter Angelos continues
to refuse to field a replacement team, and club sources also
indicated that the Orioles will likely refuse to participate in
spring training games (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/15).
Sources say that the only possibility that might cause Angelos to
field a team is if MLB can "lift the franchise" from the Angelos
ownership group (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 1/14). The
Orioles have hired a polling firm to determine whether fans are
opposed to replacements (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/17).
CHAOS: In his Sunday column, Peter Gammons examines the
chaos facing MLB's front offices -- from hiring replacements to
fitting teams under the new cap. As for the use of replacements,
Gammons notes that no current agent will or can represent a
"scab." Greg Clifton, CEO of Bob Woolf Associates: "One cannot
represent a [MLB] player and someone who is trying to take that
player's job or bust his union." Gammons closes by noting that
teams may spend less even without a cap since revenues for the
next couple of years are certain to be lower (BOSTON GLOBE,
UNION NEWS: MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr continued his
players tour with a stop in Dallas last Friday. In attendance
was the Astros' Greg Swindell who apologized" to his fellow
players for comments made last month that he would consider
crossing the picket line (Sullivan & Lonnquist, FT. WORTH STAR-
TELEGRAM, 1/14). Dennis Gilbert, Barry Bonds' agent, denies the
rumor that Bonds may cross the line (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/15).
In New York, Tom Keegan notes the dispute that local unions are
having with Frank Thomas because Thomas is using non-union labor
to help build his mansion. Keegan also wonders whether Thomas
would possibly cross the picket line (N.Y. POST, 1/17).
NEXT? Special Mediator Bill Usery plans on meeting with
both sides this week in the hopes of setting up joint bargaining
sessions (Mult., 1/16).