BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 186: WHO WILL REPORT?
Many reports over the weekend focused on the coming spring
training report dates. Pitchers and catchers for the Yankees,
Mariners, Cardinals and Giants report this Thursday, while the
rest follow throughout the weekend. Most clubs will not reveal
who their replacement players are and which of them are minor
league prospects. Reds GM Jim Bowden: "If it gets into middle to
late March, then we'll make the announcement of who the
substitute players are. At the end of March, we'll have them
play more, so they'll get a chance to play together" (CINCINNATI
CACTUS LEAGUE PREPARES: While MLB and Cactus League sites
make security preparations, Giants GM Bob Rose said that problems
surrounding the strike and the use of replacement players are not
expected. Rose: "Our club and Major League Baseball, in the
interest of acting responsibly in a possible strike situation,
are making preparations for any possible scenario, as remote as
it may seem." MLB Security Dir Kevin Hallinan acknowledged that
plans are in place for FL and AZ. He called it a routine
process, although the plan is a "few pages longer this year"
(Mark Shaffer, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/11). Friday afternoon's
PHOENIX GAZETTE led with two stories on the economic impact of
the strike to Cactus League cities. The GAZETTE's Glen Creno
cites winter weather in the East and a stronger economy, and
writes, "The good news is that no matter how fouled up baseball
is, it probably won't be an economic disaster for local tourism."
The Cactus League's eight teams generate an estimated $265M for
the state. Jeff Metcalfe reports that the Cubs joined the A's in
cutting their spring ticket prices (PHOENIX GAZETTE, 2/10). A
piece in the REPUBLIC notes that two Japanese baseball teams are
using Phoenix as a spring training site -- the Chiba Lotte
Marines and the Chunichi Dragons (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/11).