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March 19, 1990 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Who knew that baseball, my favorite sport, could
eyer make me ill to my stomach?
Opening Day looms only two weeks away, and
every year I look forward to that day with great
anxiety and expectation. Just hearing the words
"Opening Day" causes me to convulse in an almost
l?avlovian reaction.
See, I just got my typewriter all wet. Twice.
So, why do I reach for the Pepto every time I hear
my favorite sport mentioned on television or in the
newspaper?
Because Pepto's the only one that coats and
┬žoothes?
Possibly, but I think there's another reason in here
somewhere. You see, the baseball lockout is a month
oldI and I'm sick of it. The media has been numbering
the days of the lockout, treating it like some hostage
┬žituation. The Iran hostage, er, the baseball lockout,
ljow in its 32nd day...
So, while George Steinbrenner and Co. hold
baseball hostage, fans are forced to sit around like
nervous relatives, wondering when their loved ones
will finally come home. And as the fan sits
stagnantly, like a couch potato, waiting for baseball
to return, who comes to the rescue? No one.
And it finally becomes apparent: no one gives two
you-know-whats about the plight of the baseball fan!
Baseball has become the latest organized American
sport to unabashedly take its fans for granted. Players
and owners know that no matter when they play ball,
fans will flock by the thousands to see it. Thus, fans
become impotent as they cannot hold the players and
owners accountable for their actions.
Like the nervous relatives, we watch the television
and read the papers for updates on the hostage
situation in commissioner Fay Vincent's office in
New York. And what do we get? Degrading
dqubletalkc.
"Last night, I said I was cautiously pessimistic,"
union lawyer Eugene Orza said. "Now, I am more
confidently pessimistic."
What a load. You just want to snake these people
and scream "Play Ball already, you..." and then the
rest of this sentence becomes a Mad-Lib in which you
place your favorite four-letter aojectives into the
blanks.
Orza said this quote Saturday, after two days of
supposed optimism. We don't know if this optimism
was cautious or confident in nature, but we do know
the talks were supposed to be optimistic. At this time
of the season, we should be picking rotisserie rosters,
not wondering if union chief Donald Fehr and owners'
representative Chuck O'Connor had lunch together.
Unfortunately, the only recourse fans have taken
in this crisis situation is to protect themselves with
their memories. Maybe if they talk about how they
remember when baseball was a simpler game, with
no collective bargaining agreements to cause strikes
every five years, they can forget about the lockout.
Pathetic. They can talk till they're blue in the
face,. and no one will help them.
, So, let's face it. Baseball is a business, looking to
make a profit any way it can. And in a world where

-Baseball lockout
requires Pepto
sports have grown more complicated, have become
more unionized and organized, where dollars have
grown geometrically to the stratosphere, where's the
voice of the fan?
The owner makes money from the fans and then
pays the players with that money. Simple enough.
The players have a say and so do the owners. Alas,
where's the fan's say?
Nowhere. That's almost like taxation without
representation, isn't it? And I remember that
Schoolhouse Rock once told me, in melody form of
course, that taxation without representation is good
reason for revolt!
So, what are we waiting for? One baseball if by
land, two if by sea! The lockout is coming, the
lockout is coming! Instead of Lexington and
Concord, it'll be Shea and the Astrodome. We can
wage a fight in the Battle of Fenway Hill.
Can't you see it? Yankee fans beside Met fans
fighting for the same cause! Cub fans embracing
White Sox fans! I hear the bells ringing out! I hear
the cannons roar!
Something must be done; let's start an organized
fan movement. Let's show the owners and players
that we're not just Pavlovian dogs, waiting to drool
at the ceremonial first pitch. Wouldn't it be terrific if,
when the lockout finally does end, all the fans
boycott baseball?
Steinbrenner wouldn't know which way is up, the
players would be playing to the sound of crickets. I'm
getting excited thinking about it. Hey, Fehr! Hey,
O'Connor! You're done bickering, ready to play ball?
Well, we're not just ready to watch it yet! When will
we be ready, Don and Chuck, well, I don't know. I'm
cautiously pessimistic about it.
Unfortunately, this can never happen. owners and
players know they've got the fans over the barrel.
Then they insult our intelligence when they say they
want the lockout over soon, because they're only
hurting the fans.
I once worked as a cashier in a dingy, local
supermarket when I was in high school. One of the
first things I was taught by Joe, my manager, was
always ring up rutabagas as produce and the customer
is always right. That last part was a cardinal rule, I
was told, in every place of business.
The customer is always right. I tried my darndest
to remember that when a fat woman told me she
didn't want the 15 dollars of meat I had just rung up.
I wanted to take her head off, but she's the customer
and she's always right. Can't be rude to the customer.
Get the drift? If baseball is a business, that makes
fans the customer. And how many businesses do you
know of that treats the customers in this fashion? If
we're always right, then how come we're getting the
shaft?
Unfortunately, in the business of baseball, there
isn't any department manager to whom we can
complain. There's only a lost and found. The fans are
lost as the players and owners find their bank
accounts pleasantly filled.

TalksV
NEW YORK (AP)- Players and
owners met Sunday to see if they
could come up with a formula to
settle the salary arbitration elig-
ibility issue and end the 32-day
lockout.
Negotiators met for 90 minutes
Sunday morning and after a lunch
break, resumed in the afternoon at
Commissioner Fay Vincent's Park
Avenue office.
Players union head Donald Fehr
and Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud
Selig appeared on ABC's "This
Week With David Brinkley," but did
not indicate if an agreement was
close.
The players want the top half of
all two-year players to be eligible for
arbitration, while owners have ref-
used to reduce the three years
currently required to file.
But owners negotiator Chuck
O'Connor said there might be room
for movement on arbitration by
addressing the problem of players
who are deliberately deprived of
service time in order to keep them
out of arbitration.
O'Connor said the union's claim
on this "was a legitimate argument."
That might lead to a proposal to

progress slowly

The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 19, 1990 - Page 3
ARBITRATION STILL THE ISSUE

redefine what qualities as a full year
of service.
With all the other issues settled,
the two sides spent the day trying to
find a solution on the eligibility
question.
The sides have been looking for
common ground on the arbitration
issue and O'Connor said he hoped
the issue of what the union claims
are players deliberately deprived of
service time might be "a narrow
piece of turf" on which the sides
could agree.
Currently, players sent to the
minor leagues on option for up to.
20 days in a season get credit for a
full year, but players sent down for a
full year, but players sent down for
21 days do not.
If the sides agreed to let players
get a full year of service despite a
greater number of days in the
minors, additional players would be
able to have their salaries decided by
an arbitrator.
Owners won back the year of
arbitration eligibility in 1985 when
they claimed the game was losing
money.
There was no formal
announcement that opening day

would be postponed from April 2.A
On Saturday, Vincent said preserving
the original starting date was be
coming a "pipe dream."
O'Connor said he believed that a
full 162-game schedule could be.
played by each team if an agreement
were reached quickly, even if games
would not start on April 2.
On Sunday, Oakland manager
Tony LaRussa said te feared there
would be injuries if players had less.
than three weeks of spring training.
"But if they said we had to get it
done, we would have to," LaRussa
said.
The union's executive board met
for nearly five hours Saturday and
turned down the owners' newest
proposal.
That plan calls for $100,000
minimum, $5,000 less than the
union wants, and a $55 million
yearly contribution to the pension
plan, which players say is basically
acceptable. But it made no
movement on arbitration.
The union's executive board
voted unanimously Saturday to
support its negotiating committee
and instructed them to "make the
best effort to reach an agreement."
Ru eEAD
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Michigan football
legend is dead at 70

FROM STAFF REPORTS
Former Michigan football great
Tom Harmon died Thursday,
apparently of a heart attack. He was
70.
Harmon, considered one of the
greatest all-around players in gridiron
history, was the Wolverines only
Heisman Trophy winner. His
winning performance in 1940
consisted of 1358 yards of total
offense. He was the team's leading
passer and rusher, and he also kicked
and played on defense. The 117
points he scored that year still
represent a Mchigan single-season
record.
A two-time All-America
halfback, Harmon compiled 3,438
yards of total offense, threw 17
touchdowns, and scored 33
touchdowns anda237 points in his
three year career. His number 98 -

"old 98" - has been retired by the
University.
Harmon was made the number
one overall pick in the 1940 NFL
draft, but he spurned the Chicago
Bears and signed with the New York
Americans from another league.
Harmon is a member of the
National Football Hall of Fame, the
Michigan's Sports Hall of Fame,
and the University's Hall of Honor.
After playing eighteen holes,
Harmon went to a travel agency,
where he began to feel ill. He soon
passed out and from there was taken
to the University of California, Los
Angeles, Medical Center, where he
was pronounced dead at 6:40 PM
(PST) of cardiac arrest.
Harmon is survived by his son,
television and motion picture actor,
Mark, who said that funeral
arrangements are pending.

"It's the perfect car
for students
about to enter
the real world"
It's no wonder that Dana Fullendorf is going
forward in a new Jetta GL. Her relationship with
Volkswagen goes way back.
"It must have started at birth, when I was
:. brought home in a 1963 Beetle."
As soon as Dana was old enough to drive, a
succession of Volkswagens followed. A 1969
Beetle convertible. A 1973 Super Beetle. And
Dana's first new car -a 1984 Rabbit Diesel-
a car she was reluctant to part with, until her
sister purchased a new Jetta GLI.
"I really didn't need a new car. My Rabbit
was in great shape and gave me no problems
whatsoever. But I said to myself, if my sister
can get a new Jetta then so can I.
"This car fits my image to a "T' I'm a student
on the brink of becoming a professional. And I
need a car that'll fit into both of my worlds."
The Jetta GL. Performance and practicality at
a Volkswagen price.
We get the idea that when Dana Fullendorf
graduates, she's going to go a long, long way.
The VCI College Graduate Finance Plan makes owning or
leasing a Volkswagen easier than ever before. And you
j .Ij .fp may not need a credit history to qualify. Visit your
authorized Volkswagen dealer for complete details.

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