Page 10-Wednesddy, July 22, 1981-The Michigan Daily
'U'PR OF DEFENDS SYSTEM
Arbitration-batsmen's give, take
By BARB BARKER
Daily sports writer
A Daily Sports Analysis
Meet Joe Average.
Joe has been working at the same job, for the same
employer, for three years. As the fourth year rolls
around, Joe is being considered for a possible
promotion. His employer makes an offer, but Joe
feels he is warth more than his boss wants to pay
him-perhaps much more.
LOGICALLY, Joe has two and odlly two choices: he
can either accept the wages his employer has offered,
or he can quit his job and hope to find better em-
ployment elsewhere. Either accept or quit; Mr.
Average has no other choice.
But if Joe.Happens to be a major league baseball
player, there is one other open avenue-arbitration.
Since its introduction in the early seventies, more
and more players and clubs have been looking towar-
ds arbitration as'a means of settling salary disputes.
THE PROCEDURE is relatively simple. If a club'
and player, who has played for the team for at least'
three but not more than six seasons, are unable to
reach a salary agreement, they may take their case
before a major league arbitrator, providing
beforehand they agree to unconditionally accept the.
resulting decision. Each side presents a salary figure
and is allowed an hour and a half to argue their case.
After which the arbitrator has twenty-four hours to
pick either one figure or the other.
This might seem like a no-loss situation for the
player. Joe does not like what the boss offers. Joe
screams foul. Enter arbitration, The worst that can
happen is that Joe has his figure rejected, whereupon
he ends up no worse off than where he began.
But, this is not necessarily the case.
FIRST, BALLPLAYERS, unlike those in other
professions, do not have the option of quiting to join
with another club. Unless, of-course, they are free
agents in which case they cannot participate in ar-
bitration anyway. Second, baseball, pardon the pun,
is no "average" profession. In comparison to Joe
Average, Joe Major League's careers going to be a
relatively short one.
Still, many point to arbitration as one of the causes
contributing to the recent skyrocketing effect of
major league salaries. After all, Tiger"owner John
Fetzer was not the only displeased party in Detroit
when Steve Kemp's annual salary jumped upward
$390,000 after he had one good playing season and one
extremely good arbitration session.
University of Michigan Law Professor Theodore St.
Antoine, who has been a major league arbitrator for
the past several years, said he feels that arbitrators
have undeservingly received "a lot of flack."
"WE ARE NOT out to restructure the finances of
the major league clubs. We are only trying to deter-
mine what is the worth of the player to this club. Sure
I would agree that some players have been awardedl
through arbitration more than they are really worth.
They have also been awarded less. It must be
remembered that arbitrators are presented with two
figures-the club's and the player's. We must pick
one of those figures. No compromises can be made. If
an arbitrator feels that the player is worth only one
dollar more than the median, then the player will get
his salary figure," said St. Antoine.
PERHAPS THEN IT is the "no compromise" facet
of arbitration that has lead to unsatisfactory results.
Yet, can you imagine what the figures might look like
without the rule? Each side would respectively sub-
mit the most inflated or deflated figure possible in
order to swing the median in their favor.'
What factors does an arbitrator take into con-
sideration when he is determining "the worth" of a
player to a club?
According to St. Antoine, it is actually much easier
to put a monetary value on a player than it might
"MOST OF THE arguments we hear are very
statistically based," he said. "Baseball is a game full
of individual stats. It is very easy to compare the per-
formance of one right fielder to another. That is
mainly how we base our decisions: we make our
decision based upon those already in practice."
This leads one to wonder if the exact value of a
player to a team can be measured in num-
bers-averages. Don't some extenuating circumst-
naces occur in each case? After all, no two players or
clubs, for that matter, are exactly the same.
"Sure, some intangibles that cannot be solely
backed by statistics do come into play once in a
while," said St. Antoine. "For example, if the player
is a South-side Chicago boy who plays for the Sox,
he's probably worth a lot more to the club than plairf
averages might indicate."
BUT AS FAR as the individual financial situation of
the parties stand, St. Antoine said arbitrators are un-
"We are officially told not to- consider either the
financial position of the player or the club when we
'make our decision," he said.
It is this facet that exposes arbitration to the
danger of contributing'to the upward flow of salaries.
For the financial situation of all clubs is not the same.
There will always be the George Steinbrenners who
are able and willing to reach deep in their wallet to
build a winning team at any .cost. As long as ar-
bitration decisions are based heaviest upon those
salaires already in practice, the upward flow of cash
will not be ebbed.
SPORTS OF THE DAILY:
Former 'M' great guides camp
By JOE CHAPELLE
r Cazzie Russell is back in town.
Russell, who helped lead the
Wolverine cagers to Big Ten champion-
ships in 1965 and 1966 and drew such
large crowds to Michigan basketball
games that Crisler Arena was
nicknamed "the house that Cazzie
built," is helping to rui a basketball
camp for area youngsters at Ann Ar-
bor's Pioneer High School.
The camp is co-sponsored by Sandy
Sanders, a former assistant director of
recreational sports at Michigan's
department, and is a two-week event
for youngsters ages eightto18.
According to camp representative
Jim , Piazza the camp stresses
basketball basics. "We look to develop
the kids' skills in fundamental areas
such as ball handling and shooting. We
are looking for a youngster with a great
desire to improve his fundamental
basketball skills," said Piazza.
Besides Russell, whose 13 years in the
NBA add to his teaching credentials,
several local basketball players and'
coaches also teach at the camp. Detroit
Murry Wright High School coach
Alphonso Roberts and Dave Eliot, a
former Pioneer High player and
current member of Western Michigan's
basketball team are on hand to advise
the youngsters on how to develop their
skills, according to Piazza.
The camp design is similar to most
camps in that the future basketball
stars move from station to station,
receiving instruction in the different
aspects of the game. However, Piazza
"EDITING for the
Co-sponsors: U-M Reading and Learning
U-M Human Resources Development
The Class is designed for staffpeople who check manuscripts
for grammar, punctuation, spelling and sentence structure
before placing such manuscripts into the wordprocessor.
PLEASE NOTE: The class does not cover the mechanics of
operating the wordprocessor.
CLASS BEGINS: July 23, 1981-10:30-12:00
COST: U-M Staff
Please note that U-M departments may
pay fees for individual staff members.
Ann Arbor Community Residents-$75.00
Ann Arbor Community Residents call U-M Reading & Learning Skills, Center
U-M Staff Members call Sally Johnson, Human Resources Development
points out that the camp also tends to
stress the mental growth of the young
"We feature some classroom work
with what we call 'affectiveness train-
ing'," said Piazza. The camp also tries
to develop the young players' outlook on
The highlight of the camp will be an
NBA All-Star game that will take place
Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at Pioneer High
School. The game will feature Russell
and Philadelphia 76ers star Darold
Dawkins. Admission to the game is
$3.00 for the general public.
The camp costs$70 per week and $150
for overnight facilities, and will con-
tinue through next week at Pioneer
Thunderbird leads race
MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich.
(AP)-After a two-day race that forced
competitors to deal with all kinds of
weather, the 35-foot yacht Thunderbird
owned by Richard Mashke of Chicago
led on the basis of corrected time in the
74th annual Chicago-to-Mackinac yacht
About half the 299-boat fleet still had
not crossed the finish line yesterday af-
Time for the Thunderbird, from the
Columiba Yacht Club, was 50 hours, 27
minutes, 28 seconds over the 333-mile
course after the boat's handicap was
"We had everything," Craig Smith,
helmsman aboard another entry, the
Panacea, said Tuesday.
SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) - All-
Pro tight end Russ Francis is
retiring from professional football
"for personal reasons" afterasix
years with the New England
Patriots, his attorney said yester-
' Kenneth R. Fishkin, the Boston at-
torney representing Francis, said
his client had reached the decision to
leave the game "very recently."
FISHKIN SAID Francis tried to
telephone the Patriots from the at-
torney's office on Monday, but could
not contact club officials. He said
Francis did not intend to discuss his
"He hasn't really, spoken to
anyone directly, any newspaper
people. He asked me to do it for him
- it was too difficult."
Fishkin would give no details on
Francis' reasons. "I can't really
elaborate other than to say personal
HE SAID THE 6-foot-6, 242-pound
receiver was at an undisclosed
Boston location. He said he expected
Francis to return to his home in
Patriots management said they
received news of Francis' decision
yesterday morning, three days
before Francis was to report to
training camp on the campus of
"He made his intentions known to
the Patriots management this mor-
ning," said Tom Hoffman,, a
spokesman for the team.