The Losers Baseball Owners Say Play Ball

April 03, 1995|By Peter Schmuck

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius -- Management's principal law firm finds itself on the losing side again, raising an interesting question. When the client doesn't know what's good for him, do you take orders or take a hike? In this case, the law firm should have advised against ill-fated pension fund withholding and early implementation. If it did, and was ignored, it should have fired the client.

Bud Selig -- Acting commissioner will go down in history as the grinch who stole the World Series. He spent the last two years insisting that the long-term gain would be worth the short-term pain. Current tally: Short-term pain -- $900 million. Long-term gain -- fans may come back in 1999.

Baseball fans -- The game's golden goose was taken entirely for granted. The best offensive season in years was cut short by the players strike. The World Series was canceled. Spring training has been a joke. On the brighter side, replacement games were an average of 40 minutes shorter than major-league games.

The umpires -- They have been locked out and will be replaced by college and amateur baseball umpires until they drop their demand for a large pay increase over the next three years. Sorry, fellas, timing is everything.

William J. Usery -- Former labor secretary may be considered the top mediator in the United States, but he met his match this time. Union officials suspected that he was siding with the owners. Ownership officials accused him of filtering messages between the two parties. Thanks for the nice assignment, Mr. President.

President Clinton -- Put his administration in a vulnerable position when he jumped into a situation where he had no real authority. The mediator couldn't end the strike. Congress refused to help. The work stoppage may have been extended because of government interference. There's only one thing left to do: throw out the first ball and take credit on Opening Day.

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