Camden Courier-Post - April 3, 1980

Phils expected to stay and continue training


By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post


CLEARWATER, Fla. – No play. No pay.


In essence, that's the bottom line in the latest tremor to shake Mt. Baseball during the past few days. All concerned should consider themselves lucky.


Labor relations between the owners and the Players Association may yet blow the lid off the 1980 season. But for now, spring training will not be evacuated.


At least, not in the Phillies' camp, where owner Ruly Carpenter was expected to meet with the team at 10 o'clock this morning and offer the hospitality of the house.


Regular facilities would all be made available. All Phillies' personnel would be conducting the normal conditioning programs. No one was going to hide the key to the batter's box from any volunteer athlete who wanted to continue on as usual.


Well, there is a tiny change in the itinerary. Since the players were refusing to play anymore exhibition games, the Phillies (as with other clubs) would no longer finance the players' stay in Florida.


That may not hurt some of the big money jocks. But, you should have seen the pained expression on one young pitcher when he walked out of the club's hotel headquarters last night and said, "They took away my special room rate. Now, I've got to pay the full rate."


Alas, the screw tightens a little more. Better a slight sprain of the wallet, however, than a compound fracture of the spirit of togetherness that Manager Dallas Green has been trying to forge down here.


The first thing Green did when he arrived in camp was to install in the clubhouse a large red and white sign that said, "WE, NOT I."


From the look on his face as he stepped off the bus yesterday following the team's three-hour ride from Cocoa Beach to Clearwater, you would have thought Green just caught someone autographing his sign.


"No, I'm not happy," he grumbled. "I'm very disappointed, not only for myself and my staff, but for my players as well.


"This is going to be a test of character... the kind of character we've been trying to build down here. But, most of all, I’m very concerned about the future of baseball."


Just the thought that spring training might come to a complete halt had Green shaking his head in dismay. He was convinced such things hurt the Phillies more than other teams.


Too many players were coming off injuries. Too many were question marks. And then there was the matter of the team's newly-formed attitude.


"It hurts because we're a fourth-place team that has aspirations of winning the division again," he said. "Physically, we're not where we should be."


Yet, as the players filtered into the clubhouse, there was talk of guys taking off and working out in their own distant ports.


"Everyone is on their own," explained Larry Bowa. "Some guys can afford to stay in Clearwater. and work on their own. Others can't."


But, didn't the players already have next week's meal money in their pockets? True, acknowledged Bowa. That money would surely be deducted from the first paycheck, he quickly added.


"But, money isn't the issue," the shortstop added. "It's the free agent thing. Look, we want to play baseball. By starting the season we're acting in the best interests of baseball. We'll be ready."


A meeting last night among Carpenter, Bowa and Boone was designed to iron out the details of the modified spring training at Jack Russell Stadium.


The Phillies' brass would comply with the directive from the owners' group, Carpenter emphasized. Everything was voluntary. If a player stayed until next Wednesday, he would fly free with the rest of the team to Philly. If, however, he left early, he was financially on his own.


"I'm pleased that the players will start the season on time," said Carpenter. "And, I'm hoping all the players will remain here and take part in the supervised program."


Boone indicated that the general feeling among the players was that taking part in the camp down here was a good idea. It'll be interesting to see who will volunteer sweat today.


All those wishing to stay off Dallas Green's shoot-list, please take one step forward and go to work.

Players practice despite strike


By the Associated Press


It's back to Square One for most of the striking members of the Major League Baseball Players' Association – taking batting and fielding practice and possibly playing some intrasquad games just like the pre-exhibition days of spring training.


And it's on to Round Two for negotiators Marvin Miller, executive director of the Players' Association, and Ray Grebey, chief bargainer for the clubowners, who were scheduled to hold their second session with federal mediator Kenneth E. Moffett today in New York.


Having decided to cancel the last week of exhibition games but open the season as scheduled next Wednesday and give the two sides until the Memorial Day weekend to reach a settlement, the players branched out from coast to coast, with those not involved in official or informal workouts promising to stay in shape on their own.


Only two teams – the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres – did not hold some sort of practice yesterday. The Expos refused to work out under their coaches' supervision while the Padres voted to return to San Diego.


Some players were combining workouts with a chance for a rare April vacation.


After taking batting practice and doing his running, Boston star Carl Yastrzemski said he would work out today and tomorrow and then spend the Easter weekend at his Florida home.


"I'll be back Monday and be ready to accompany the team to Milwaukee for the season opener," he said.


For others, like Jack Brohamer of the Red Sox, a week without exhibitions won't make much difference.


"I'm going to sit on the bench, as usual," quipped the reserve infielder. "That's how I stay in shape during the season."


With millions of dollars at stake in the ongoing negotiations, some petty differences crept into the picture, with the owners refusing to pay room and board – a contract requires a player to participate in exhibition games – which brought gripes from some players, who will have to shell out several hundred dollars to stay in camp.


"Because we're going to work out, I think we should be reimbursed, but we won't be," said Baltimore's Mark Belanger.


And Minnesota's Mike Marshall, the Twins' player representative, said he would return home "if my expenses aren't paid."


In addition, the April 1 deadline for the players' modified proposals has passed and they are no longer on the bargaining table. That means, for example, the time period of five years before a player can claim free agency reverts back to the initial proposal of four years and the minimum salary demand goes from a reduced $37,500 back up to $40,000.


Miller and Grebey also were at odds over the latest developments after the Players' Association's executive board decided on Tuesday to call off the remaining 92 exhibition games and set a strike deadline of May 22.


Grebey criticized the Players' Association for not officially notifying the owners of the exhibition strike. "In all my years in this business, that's never happened before," he said.


Miller, meanwhile, rapped the owners' refusal to pay the players' expenses during the mini-strike.


"First, those expenses will be a part of any settlement," he said. "Second, I'm perpetually astonished that businessmen can be so small. For a couple of hundred dollars they're taking the risk of alienating the players and making any settlement that much more difficult. It's lunacy... unless they're trying to provoke a strike. In that case, it's very smart. They'll succeed."