BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: NEWS FROM 11 MARKETS
BOSTON: The Red Sox told their minor leaguers Monday they
can "go home" if they don't play in the team's exhibition games.
The Sox will offer those who decide to play in the games major
league pay -- $53.50 per day, plus $188/week in meal money (Nick
Cafardo, BOSTON GLOBE, 2/27). BALTIMORE: MLB's operations
committee recommended to teams that they "refuse to play" the
Orioles this spring. Orioles officials hope to know today which
opponents they will actually play this spring (WASHINGTON POST,
CHICAGO: Cubs GM Ed Lynch made his pitch yesterday to
minor-leaguers, urging them to play in spring games "for the good
of their careers," throwing in an extra $75 a day if they do. Of
the 107 players in camp, 32 to 34 are "committed as temporary
replacements" -- enough to open the regular season (Joseph
Reaves, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/28).
CINCINNATI: The Reds announced yesterday that 48-year- old
Pedro Borbon will be a replacement player, if he passes the team
physical. Borbon last pitched in 1980. Reds GM Jim Bowden:
"Maybe we'll have a little fun with it for a few weeks" (Chris
Haft, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/28). In New York, Bill Madden
writes, "Until now, no one in baseball's officialdom wanted to
come out and declare replacement players a joke" (N.Y. DAILY
CLEVELAND: The Indians praised a court ruling denying a
request for a temporary restraining order by three season ticket
holders who claimed that they should be able retain their season
ticket priority even if they don't purchase season tickets for
replacement games (Indians).
HOUSTON: The Astros are in a budget-cutting mode as the
strike wears on. Scouting and development and minor league
operations will lose manpower, with the elimination of two full-
time scouts and four minor-league instructors. In addition, the
team will cut the budgets of its academy in Venezuela and
Dominican and Australian scouts. The Astros have also cut their
PR department from five full-time employees and an intern to two,
and reduced their marketing and sales staffs (Neil Hohlfeld,
HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/27).
LOS ANGELES: Dodgers' Dir of Minor-League Ops Charlie
Blaney "confirmed" that he and Exec VP Fred Claire have talked to
players about renegotiating contracts for those minor-leaguers
who choose to stay in camp, but he added "no decisions have been
made" (L.A. TIMES, 2/28).
MILWAUKEE: One-hundred and eight of the Brewers' 131 minor-
leaguers agreed on a survey yesterday to play in exhibition games
if asked (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 2/28).
NEW YORK: The Mets announced yesterday that they will offer
refunds to season ticket holders "on a homestand to homestand
basis" for games played with replacement players (Anthony
Gargano, N.Y. POST, 2/28).
PHILADELPHIA: Frank Fitzpatrick of the PHILADELPHIA
INQUIRER described yesterday's six-inning intrasquad scrimmage as
doing "little but lift the spirits of the striking players
association" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/28).
ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals' front office learned yesterday
that the team "has enough players" to start the exhibition
season. The team reportedly has 55 players that have agreed to
be either replacement players or play in exhibitions (Rick
Hummel, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 2/28).