BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- PART II: LOCKOUT LOSING STEAM?
According to a "high-ranking" management official, and union
official and an outside labor lawyer with knowledge of the
proceedings, Robert Ballow, a key legal adviser to the owners,
"has recommended that the owners not lock out the players if they
offer to end their seven-and-a-half-month strike and return to
work." The management source: "I understand he suggests there
should not be a lockout because it's too dangerous" (Murray
Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 3/29). USA TODAY's Hal Bodley writes acting
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is likely to recommend against a
lockout, and lists ten teams (Red Sox, Indians, Rockies, Dodgers,
Mets, Yankees, Padres, Blue Jays, and possibly the Rangers) that
are opposed (USA TODAY, 3/29). Rangers President Tom Schieffer
said his club is still undecided on the lockout issue: "This is
not a simple, fill-in-the-blanks order that a judge would issue"
(Simon Gonzalez, FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/29). Indians Owner
Dick Jacobs told the PLAIN DEALER on Tuesday that he would
"probably" vote for a lockout (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 3/28). In
Atlanta, I.J. Rosenberg reports the Braves are among several
clubs making "contingency" plans for an extended spring training
(ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/29). But ESPN's Gammons predicts "if
the players get the injunction and try and come back, the owners
are going to lock them out. ... I'm told it's very solid at 23-5.
They can throw Cleveland and Florida around and Detroit as
possible teams that would vote against it -- no way in any one of
those three cases" ("SportsCenter," 3/28).