Wilmington Morning News - April 3, 1980
Phils will keep working, just without pay or play
By Hal Bodley, Sports Editor
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Strike or no strike, spring training, minus exhibition games, is expected to continue here through next Tuesday for the Phillies.
Owner Ruly Carpenter will meet with his striking players today at 10 a.m. and tell them that Jack Russell Stadium will remain open and that they are free to work out on a voluntary basis.
"All I am doing is following the guidelines set by the Player Relations Committee," said Carpenter late yesterday. "I will read them the text of the telex I received from Ray Grebey."
On Tuesday, the Major League Players Association executive board, meeting in Dallas, voted to cancel the remaining spring-training games, but agreed to open the 1980 season on time, delaying full-dressed strike action until May 22.
If a new basic agreement is not reached between the players union and owners by midnight May 22, a strike will begin May 23.
"The workouts will be under the supervision of our manager and coaches," added Carpenter. "I will tell the players that I hope they are professional enough to remain. If they do, their transportation to Philadelphia next Wednesday will be paid by the Phillies. There will be a workout at Veterans Stadium on Thursday and the season (against Montreal) will open on Friday night."
There was some discussion after the team arrived from Cocoa yesterday afternoon that the players would remain here for a day or two, then go to Philadelphia and hold workouts at the Vet.
"No way," said Carpenter. "If they do not work out here, they will be on their own. The Vet will not be open to them."
Effective midnight Tuesday, the players no longer will receive their spring-training expenses amounting to $53.75 per day or $376.25 per week. Although the players technically do not receive a salary during the spring, they do get meal money of $25.50 a day, lodging at $12.75 and incidental expenses at $15.50 or the $53.75 total.
"We give the players their envelopes each Tuesday morning, but this week because of the trip to the East Coast, I paid them on Monday," said Traveling Secretary Eddie Ferenz. "So, really, they have been given their expenses through next Monday."
"That is true," said Larry Bowa, the Phillies' player representative. "I have been told this money will be deducted from our next checks."
Most of the players, still bitter over having been kept in Cocoa Tuesday night, arrived at Jack Russell Stadium wondering what they would be doing.
"I really don't know what to say," said Bake McBride. "If they open the park and we have workouts, I am going to stay. If not, I'm going home."
Rookie pitching standout Scott Munninghoff said, "I'm in an awkward situation. I am trying to make this club and need all the work I can get. This kinda puts a damper on things. I will have to wait until our meeting on Thursday to see what will happen."
When the players walked into the clubhouse, they found their bats and other club-owned equipment missing.
“Everything has been locked up. Orders from Ruly Carpenter," said Equipment Manager Kenny Bush.
The Phillies were en route by bus from Pompano Beach to Cocoa when they learned of the action taken by the board in Dallas. Instead of returning to Clearwater, they were ordered to continue to Cocoa where they had been scheduled to play Houston yesterday.
This turned out to be a tactical move by Carpenter and Manager Dallas Green to keep the players together until all the facts were gathered. Yesterday morning, Green met with the team before it left the motel in Cocoa. It had been briefed at 1 a.m. by Bob Boone, the National League player representative, and Bowa.
"All we did was bring them up to date on what had happened at the meeting," said Boone. "We entered it with a lot of different ways to go. In the end we did what we felt is best for ourselves and what is best for baseball. We put ourselves in the best position possible and making it definite that we want to play, we don't want to strike. We have got to get the owners' attention; we want them to know we are not kidding, but at the same time we want everyone to know we want to save the season.
"Obviously, the reason we are not playing now is because we are not getting paid and we do not want to add to the revenue the owners can use against us. What we are saying is, give us a proposal. To me, the sad thing about the whole thing is that we went to that board meeting on April 1 and they just fueled our fires because we haven't had anything new to discuss since March 18."
Carpenter was "very glad the season is going to open on time, but if the compensation issue cannot be agreed upon, I think something very serious might happen. I don't think the players realize what they have done to the fans; they are very, very upset. We didn't sell one ticket yesterday at the Vet.
"It bothered me when some of the players came out and said they wanted to hurt the owners financially. Why? The owners have given the players just about everything they want. They have great salaries, great benefits and yet they want to hurt the owners financially. What is the need for this vendetta?"
Carpenter said the statement by Marvin Miller, executive director of the players association, that the owners were still pouring money in a strike fund for insurance was ridiculous.
"I couldn't believe that," said Carpenter. "The strike insurance we have was purchased last year to protect us in case there was not a season this year. What insurance company in the world would sell insurance right now knowing the current facts? That would be insanity."
Green said the camp will be run as normal as possible. There will be squad games and he will continue to prepare for the season opener.
"Everything will be the same except for the lack of exhibition games," he said. "I will continue to evaluate our people and make the squad cuts the same as I had planned to do. According to the guidelines, each player must be in condition to open the season on time.
"I hope they have enough professional pride to remain here and get ready for the season. I am going to stress to them that I am sure their opponents, the Pirates and Cardinals and Expos will be doing that."
Oriole tempers flare as promises ‘broken’
Compiled from dispatches
The first salvo of the baseball players work stoppage was fired yesterday in Miami at the Baltimore Orioles spring training complex. General Manager Hank Peters was accused of reneging on several promises he had made to striking members of the American League team.
Shortstop Mark Belanger, the team's representative to the Major League Baseball Players Association, claimed Peters had agreed Tuesday night that the club would pay for the players' hotel rooms through yesterday.
"But when I met with him this morning," Belanger said, "Mr. Peters said he had to renege on what he told me because of a directive he had received from the owners' Player Relations Committee."
With the exception of that outburst all was pretty calm yesterday at the baseball training camps. The Montreal Expos appear to be the only team that won't engage in supervised training camp workouts at their own expense.
But while the participants continued to round into shape for the opening of the regular seson next Wednesday, the two sides negotiating a new basic agreement were moving farther apart.
The April 1 deadline for the Players' Association's 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 opt for free agency reverts Back to the initial proposal of four years and the minimum salary demand moves from $37,500 to $40,000.
The Expos were the only one of 26 major league clubs that reported no workouts yesterday. In Daytona Beach, Fla., the Expos had their coaches ready to supervise a workout. But Steve Rogers, the team's player representative, met with his teammates and about half of them decided to go home and work out on their own.
He said the remaining players said they would work out only if the coaches left the field. The coaches did not leave and there was no workout.
"The coaches will be there again tomorrow (Thursday) and the players are welcome to work out," an Expos spokesman said.
The Orioles situation hadn't boiled over into angry charges and counter-charges. Belanger did feel Peters could have been more liberal in his interpretation of the directive to the clubs.
"I told him other clubs were not following the directive to a tee, but he assured me he would. I'm not ripping the man - I understand where it came from," Belanger said.
Other Orioles players, however, expressed resentment when they learned that Peters also had backed down on providing a truck to transport the players' personal belongings from training camp back to Baltimore. As a result, the players will have to rent their own truck.
Stanky calls strike move ‘degrading’
By Garry Mitchell, Associated Press Writer
MOBILE, Ala. – More than 20 years ago, Eddie Stanky saw a baseball strike coming, but he said yesterday "I think it's degrading."
In an interview as manager of the Chicago White Sox in the mid-1960s, Stanky said, "People say that I talk too much about the 'new breed' of ballplayer, but the 'new breed' ballplayer is here to stay. He is intelligent enough to be planning an estate for his family, and he's much better off than players were when I was playing."
Stanky said yesterday, "I am for the ballplayers getting all they can get in the right manner. But I do not like a strike at all."
He sides with both players and the owners.
"I agree with the owners on free agents. Owners should get something in return."
He said, however, that television has "saved the ball clubs by providing increased revenues and the players are entitled to it as long as they give 100 percent on the ballfield."
Stanky, recovering from recent open-heart surgery, is head baseball coach at the University of South Alabama where he vows never to retire.
Stanky traced the player-owners troubles back to his Brooklyn Dodger days when the Mexican League started pulling players away from the States with offers of cash. "That's when the pension plan started," he said.
"I think the fans are most of the time in the ballplayers' comer. Most baseball fans do not like strikes. They're looking forward to the season opening April 9."
Stanky conceded that strikes are the "American way of living now. You see strikes in the newspaper all the time."
Said Stanky: "I would just like to see it all settled."