Here is the article that started all the speculation about no baseball in
1995. BTW, I am a friend of the woman who wrote it, and she is a very
non-sensationalistic writer -- one who would rather err of the side of
caution than print something big and splashy that may not be 100%
accurate. So, although Reinsdorf is making noises about being misquoted
or having his words taken out of context, I believe the article....
BASEBALL DOWN TILL '96?
Reinsdorf Warns of Lengthy Strike
By Toni Ginnetti, Staff Writer
Chicago Sun-Times, July 4, 1994, page 96.
A strike by major league players could shut down baseball until 1996,
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf warned Sunday.
Though his vested interest is with the owners, Reinsdorf insisted the
threat of a yearlong work stoppage is real, adding owners have polled
themselves on their financial ability to survive a year without play.
"Please don't say I think there will be a strike," said Reinsdorf, one of
the game's most influential owners. "But I think the worst-case scenario
is a strike could go to May of 1996. I don't think it could go beyond that
because someone [owners or players] will break.
"The players are competitors. That's why they're major leaguers and
they'll follow their union. But I'm determined that our guys [owners] are
willing to fight it out.
"If there is a strike, there's no reason to think it will be resolved this
year, and I think it has the potential to go into 1996."
The owners have proposed a new basic agreement calling for revenue
sharing; a salary cap freezing current salary levels and ostensibly
guaranteeing no lowering of 1994 salary levels; elimination of arbitration
and a reduction in the six-year wait time for free agency.
The players association, which has rebuffed suggestions of a salary cap,
is to present its counter-proposal this week.
Setting of a strike date, expected to have taken place at a players'
meeting at next week's All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, has been put off by
union executive director Donald Fehr to give owners time to review the
impending union counter offer.
But a strike date could come at any time after that if the two sides
remain far apart.
Reinsdorf said the likelihood of a strike depends on what the players
present to the owners this week.
"If they [the players] make a proposal that's responsive [to the owners],
then you'll have some parameters set," Reinsdorf said. "But if they don't,
I'll be reasonably pessimistic.
"Reasonable to me would be they accept the concept [of a salary cap and
revenue sharing] and only want to change the numbers. If they reject the
concept, we're in trouble. We're no place. Then it's crisis negotiations."
Reinsdorf labeled himself "a dove" for now on contract talks, but said a
strike would turn him into "a hawk."
"I could live under the current system because of what we're [the Sox]
making. The best thing for us would be to stay in the current system. I
would vote for almost any reasonable settlement.
"But I can't live with a half-strike. By that I mean a strike of a month
and then come back for the postseason. We'd lose $10 million."
"Life's essential joys -- receiving love, returning it and reading
baseball box scores." -- George Will