It's only right that the Orioles will offer refunds to season-ticket holders if they use replacement players. But the point is moot, because owner Peter Angelos would never field such a team.
Indeed, yesterday's announcement of a refund policy should not be interpreted as a sign that Angelos plans to join his union-busting brethren and put scabs in Orioles uniforms.
Rather, it was an attempt to placate angry season-ticket holders who were given less than two weeks to reserve their 1995 seats.
Angelos would sooner rehire Johnny Oates.
Philosophically, he understands the importance of collective bargaining after years of representing union members
suffering from asbestos-related diseases.
And, practically, he knows the replacement games would be a financial disaster and cause baseball irreparable harm.
Yet, here's a man who never shies from a fight, never lacks an opinion and never shuts his mouth, and suddenly you don't hear a peep out of him.
Angelos has gone straight.
Turned into a political animal.
The man is not stupid. He knows the owners will never take him seriously if he goes ballistic over Scab Ball. Heck, they don't take him seriously now.
They've discredited and isolated him, keeping him off committees, keeping him off conference calls, keeping him out of their private little club.
And now the issue is turning even more sensitive, because the union's latest counter-proposal includes some of Angelos' ideas.
You know, the ones that sound so radical to the owners, and so logical to the rest of us.
Of course, Angelos doesn't want to talk about that, either.
It certainly won't help if the owners think he's behind the counter-proposal, which, as we all know, they're probably going to reject, anyway.
Think about it: If Angelos helps broker a settlement, he'll emerge as a major player in the industry. Then, the world really would be upside down.
What's baffling about all this is that just as Angelos is starting to demonstrate political savvy with the owners, he's continuing to stumble with the fans.
Maybe he's distracted by his NFL quest.
Or maybe he needs better advisers.
Offering refunds is the least the Orioles could do. Other clubs are trying to win back customers with gimmicky promotions. The Orioles' only response to strike-weary fans was to raise ticket prices.
To think, their marketing was cutting-edge under the previous regime, from "Moonlight Madness" to All-Star Week, the final weekend at Memorial Stadium to the opening of Camden Yards.
Now, the Orioles lag behind.
The Chicago Cubs sent their top customers $10 worth of Cubs dollars good at Wrigley Field concession stands. Detroit offered tickets to "Hello Dolly" or a Boz Scaggs concert. Kansas City distributed pieces of its old AstroTurf field.
Oakland included $20 worth of merchandise and an autographed baseball from manager Tony La Russa. San Francisco used broadcasters and club officials to make personal appeals to longtime season ticket-holders. Toronto isn't even selling tickets yet -- the best idea of all.