BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: MINOR LEAGUERS IN A PICKLE
ATLANTA -- CLUBHOUSE STEAM: Braves GM John Schuerholz
reacted angrily to the MLBPA's position that any minor-leaguer
that plays in a spring training game will be considered a
"strikebreaker": "I'll be damned if I'm going to have a mean-
spirited union use young players in our organization as a tool in
a derailment of baseball, and at the same time have it be ruinous
to a young man's career" (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
BALTIMORE -- NO PRESSURE: The Orioles said they will permit
their minor-leaguers to sit out exhibition games if they so
choose. But, owner Peter Angelos said all players "will be
strongly encouraged by the Orioles to play" (Peter Schmuck,
Baltimore SUN, 2/22).
CHICAGO -- NO PRESSURE, II: White Sox GM Ron Schueler "said
there would be no repercussions against those who decline to
play" in spring games. Schueler: "Our policy is to keep
everything intact" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/22).
CLEVELAND -- TRIBE TIX SALES DOWN: Indians spring training
ticket sales are down about 40% from last spring, according to
Indians Spring Training Manager Jerry Crabb (Paul Hoynes,
Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 2/21).
FLORIDA -- CROSS THAT LINE: The Marlins are expecting some
of their major league players to cross the line in mid-March.
Marlins GM Dave Dombrowski: "Sometimes you have to ask yourself,
even though you're being represented (by the union), are they
representing you in your best interest? I think there is more
than one player out there who has asked himself that question."
Marlins Player Rep Bryan Harvey said the team was just trying to
"get somebody to cross and break the union" (Amy Niedkielka,
MIAMI HERALD, 2/22).
NEW YORK -- OFFER THEY CAN'T REFUSE: While Mets GM Joe
McIlvane said there would be no fines or punishment for minor-
leaguers who don't play in exhibition games, to which Mets Asst
GM Gerry Hunsicker agreed. But Hunsicker added: "The players
have to understand not playing may not be in their best interest"
(John Giannone, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/22).
SAN DIEGO -- SEEN IT, DONE IT: Columnist Nick Canepa
writes, "I might be willing to give the replacement player idea a
try -- if I hadn't already seen it. The Padres (unofficially)
tried it here last year and the year before and it didn't work"
(SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 2/22).
SAN FRANCISCO -- SOLIDARITY WATCH: Giants pitcher Dave
Burba, asked if the players can hold on until licensing checks
arrive in mid-April: "Personally, I wouldn't cross the line, but
there are some guys thinking about it" (Mark Gonzales, SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 2/22).
SEATTLE -- BEAN-BILLS: Two bills are before the WA
Legislature aimed at pressuring owners: one to prevent teams of
non-MLB players from playing in the Kingdome or other publicly
funded facilities; the other to prohibit Mariner management from
advertising a replacement team as "Major League" (Jonathan
Martin, Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 2/21).
TORONTO -- DUNEDIN CHECKS OUT: AL consultant Dick Wagner,
AL umpiring chief Marty Springstead and AL Dir of Finance Derek
Irwin toured 6,200-seat Dunedin Stadium and said they found it
adequate for MLB games. Writes Larry Millson, "All at once it
was pathetic, stupid, sad and funny" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,