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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Butler Guarantees Unity by Players

Dodger players held an emotional, 40-minute meeting before Wednesday’s game to discuss the possibility of striking before the previously set Aug. 12 deadline.

The action was spawned by the baseball owner’s decision to withhold an $8 million pension payment due to the players on Aug. 1.

Brett Butler, the team’s player representative, would not divulge what was discussed, saying only that the players were upset with the union’s latest action.

“I think I can guarantee you the players will be unified in whatever the decision there is,” Butler said.

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Butler will report his team’s feeling to the players’ union this morning before the Dodgers’ 1:05 p.m. game against the Padres. Butler added there would be a conference call among team player representatives either today or Friday.

In an apparent show of solidarity, members of the Dodgers and Padres met in center field before Wednesday’s first pitch.

While there was heated discussion during the meeting, Butler said the team emerged with unanimous sentiments, although he wouldn’t specify.

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Mike Piazza, who had thrown out only 17 of 91 base runners entering Wednesday game, got back on the right track by throwing out Bip Roberts at second base in the third inning. . . . Last year, Dave Hansen set a franchise record for most pinch hits in one season with 18. But his game-winning, 11th-inning hit Tuesday night was only his seventh pinch hit of 1994. Hansen currently ranks fifth on the team in that category, trailing Jeff Treadway (13), Chris Gwynn (10), Tim Wallach and Mitch Webster, each of whom have eight.


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