SARASOTA, Fla. -- All is not quiet on baseball's labor front, where only a year ago player and management officials expressed hope for better relations in the future.
Major League Players Association director Donald Fehr said yesterday that the union already has begun amassing a strike fund for the next round of negotiations.
"We're setting aside one-third of the licensing money to get ready," he told reporters after a meeting with Baltimore Orioles players yesterday.
He added, however, that cooperation between the union and Major League Baseball has improved in some areas. They have come togeth
er to run a rookie transition program and also are teaming with the National Education Association on a project to promote education.
Nevertheless, the union will put aside about $18 million each year until the next Basic Agreement is signed. The MLPA had a similar fund in place for last year's negotiations. The money was released to the players after an agreement was reached.
He updated them on union business and explained the claims procedure for the distribution of the $280 million collusion damage settlement.
Fehr said the logistical aspects of the claims process should be in place in a couple of months, but the evaluation of individual claims could take years.
Orioles pitcher Joe Price was probably listening carefully. He was one of the affected players in each of the three major collusion grievances filed by the union.