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Jerry_Manuel
11-09-2001, 11:23 PM
From the AP:
NEW YORK -- Lawyers will meet again Monday to discuss the legal fight by baseball players against eliminating teams, and a top union official called the owners' stance "preposterous."


In Chicago, a management labor lawyer told general managers that contraction would take place by Dec. 15, according to a high-ranking team official who spoke on the condition he not be identified.


The lawyer, Frank Coonelly, said clubs would draft players from the eliminated franchises in the reverse order of their 2001 won-lost records and that management did not intend to honor no-trade clauses, the team official said.


"To the extent that anything like that is out there, that would be a contemplated proposal," said Rob Manfred, the owners' top labor lawyer.


Owners voted Tuesday -- exactly 100 days before the start of spring training -- to eliminate two teams before next season. While no teams were chosen, Montreal and Minnesota are the leading candidates, with Florida, Oakland and Tampa Bay also possibilities.


If the Expos and Twins are eliminated, Montreal outfielder Vladimir Guerrero would be the likely first pick, going either to Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay, which both went 62-100. Twins shortstop Cristian Guzman and pitchers Eric Milton and Brad Radke would be other top picks, along with Montreal pitcher Javier Vazquez.


Gene Orza, the union's No. 2 official, said Friday that management negotiators previously informed the players' association that it was too late in the year to eliminate teams.


"What we were told in late September was that it was not possible to do it 2002," Orza said. "Our basic argument is that the basic agreement and its related agreements read as a whole cannot possibly be read to mean that on Nov. 7 you can announce that two teams aren't going to be playing anymore on Feb. 15. That's an inherently preposterous proposition."


Manfred declined to comment on Orza's remarks.

Additionally, union head Don Fehr said he was given a personal assurance in late September, by a senior official in the Commissioner's office, that it would be virtually impossible to consider contraction in the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington.

Fehr told ESPN's Bob Ley that a month later -- on Halloween Night at the World Series -- commissioner Bud Selig told him that owners might consider contraction, and that before Game 7 last Sunday Fehr was told a vote would take place at their owners meetings. The entire interview with Fehr will be seen on ESPN on Sunday morning, on Outside the Lines.


The union filed a grievance Wednesday arguing the move violated its labor contract, and it appears likely arbitrator Shyam Das will have to decide. Owners claim they have the unilateral right to fold franchises, but admit they must bargain over the aftereffects, such as dispersing players.


"We're going to meet on Monday to discuss the processing of the grievance," Orza said. "Hopefully, we can get this on the fast track."


The sides met Thursday, a day after the expiration of the labor contract signed in March 1997, and management lawyers outlined their ideas without going into specifics.


"We have to get a proposal on the effects," Orza said. "Our effects bargaining is going to go on simultaneously with the processing of the grievance."


Baseball commissioner Bud Selig says he intends to pick the two candidates for contraction by the end of this month. It's still unclear how long negotiations will take.


"You can't negotiate the number of hours in a day," Orza said.


In Washington, Rep. John Conyers Jr. again criticized baseball owners. Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Paul Wellstone, a Minnesota Democrat, intend introduce legislation next week to strip baseball of its antitrust exemption.


"I was shocked and amazed to learn that less than 48 hours after one of the greatest World Series in history, the owners decided to cut the heart out of the baseball fans of America by agreeing to the first franchise elimination in more than 100 years," Conyers said. "I expect that our legislation will enjoy widespread support. Congress is not going to sit on their hands while a bunch of billionaires conspire with each other to cut jobs and threaten our cities and states."


Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, introduced legislation Thursday aimed at giving communities more of a say if owners try to eliminate or relocate teams. The "Give Fans a Chance" bill would require teams wanting to leave or fold to give at least 180 days notice prior to the start of the next season.


Citizens would have time to weigh in with public comment. The league would have to respond if a local group came up with an offer to buy the team.

Soxheads
11-09-2001, 11:28 PM
i'm a little pissed because the SOX will never get the chance to play the Expos. Instead we get the Bucs again.

danman31
11-09-2001, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel
Owners voted Tuesday to eliminate two teams before next season. While no teams were chosen, Montreal and Minnesota are the leading candidates, with Florida, Oakland and Tampa Bay also possibilities.

Imagine Oakland in a dispersal draft. WOW! I'm not saying that will happen because it won't, but still that's imazing to think about.

Soxheads
11-09-2001, 11:51 PM
The Flubs will win the WS before they contract Oakland.

danman31
11-09-2001, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by Soxheads
The Flubs willwin the WS before they contract Oakland.

That's pretty much what I said, but the article had Oakland as a possibility. Just think about it-Giambi, Hudson, Mulder, Zito, Damon, and Dye. That would be a dispersal draft.

Soxheads
11-09-2001, 11:58 PM
I'd go for Zito.

danman31
11-10-2001, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by Soxheads
I'd go for Zito.

I'm not high on him, I was but he was brutal for my fantasy team so... I think he is a little overrated. He needs to pitch a good full year. I know he's young so that could and should very well happen, but I'm not so sure about him like I was.

Soxheads
11-10-2001, 12:38 AM
If not Zito, I would take Mulder.

Daver
11-10-2001, 09:47 AM
There will be no dispersal draft,that is a pipe dream of the owners.

dougs78
11-10-2001, 11:48 AM
There will be no dispersal draft,that is a pipe dream of the owners.

No dispersal draft? The dispersal draft is almost a concession by the owners as it is. What do you think they will do with all the players from these teams then, make them free agents??? If they did that it would completely flood the market. There would be 50 very solid players in addition to the 120 who are already free agents this year. You think that would not benefit the owners? There would be virtually no money left for some of those players. You think Chan Ho Park is going to get as big a payday when Javier Vazquez, Joe Mays, Brad Radke and Eric Milton are also on the market? I'd take any one of those guys before Park. Overall that would kill players salaries especially for the middle tier of free agents. I guess I just don't see how the dispersal draft is a pipe dream, it is the best way for the players to come out ok financially. (btw, I say "ok financially" as if 5 million were really ok, where 4 million wasn't)

Spiff
11-10-2001, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by dougs78


No dispersal draft? The dispersal draft is almost a concession by the owners as it is. What do you think they will do with all the players from these teams then, make them free agents??? If they did that it would completely flood the market. There would be 50 very solid players in addition to the 120 who are already free agents this year. You think that would not benefit the owners? There would be virtually no money left for some of those players. You think Chan Ho Park is going to get as big a payday when Javier Vazquez, Joe Mays, Brad Radke and Eric Milton are also on the market? I'd take any one of those guys before Park. Overall that would kill players salaries especially for the middle tier of free agents. I guess I just don't see how the dispersal draft is a pipe dream, it is the best way for the players to come out ok financially. (btw, I say "ok financially" as if 5 million were really ok, where 4 million wasn't)

I think daver doesn't think there will be contraction at all because there will be many lawsuits delaying it, among other things.

Soxheads
11-10-2001, 12:39 PM
I don't see why there wouldn't be a dispersal draft, as I believe there will be contraction, even if it takes someone besides Selig to figure out how to do it.

czalgosz
11-10-2001, 01:05 PM
As I've said before, I don't think that the Players' Union can stop contraction if the owners are bound and determined to do it. This is one time that the players won't win, if they want to stop contraction from happening. This bill being presented before congress is a joke - As much as I care about baseball, I think that Congress and the President have much more important things to worry about right now.

The only thing left to fight over is the details - what happens to the players on contracted teams. Any way you shake it, the players will get screwed on this thing. As Dougs said, Free Agency for all contracted players is almost a worse deal for them.

What this whole thing brings to light, and what is making the MLBPA panic so much, is the price of mediocrity. With the market flooded with young talent, I think that GM's won't be handing out $5 Mill salaries to the Brent Maynes of the world any more. Giambi, Bonds, Guerrero, yes, those guys will get their paydays. but what you'll start to see is situations where 2 or 3 guys get 10 to 20 mill, and the rest of the team is making $500,000 each.

To be honest, that's the way I'd run my team - I would never let any of my players reach arbitration. If they were outstanding, I would lock them into guaranteed long-term deals. Otherwise, I'd release 'em and replace 'em with a minor-leaguer who will get major-league minimum.

This scenario is what the MLBPA fears the most - a tiny minority of their membership making mind-blowing salaries, and the rest feeding off the scraps and roving from team to team. That's what a truly free market would dictate, and that's why they are trying to block this.

What the owners are doing is selfish and is going to cause a lot of heartache and could very easily blow up in their faces, but if they pull it off, and ensure a larger free-agent pool for themselves every offseason, the owners could actually win in the long run.

Soxheads
11-10-2001, 01:16 PM
Thanks for explaining this for me czalgosz. Now I kind of understand this mess.

Daver
11-10-2001, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by Wh1teSox00


I think daver doesn't think there will be contraction at all because there will be many lawsuits delaying it, among other things.

We'll be lucky to have baseball in 2003 by the time the owners recover from this stunning move of idiocy.