Baseball’s plan to use replacement players showed signs of cracking Friday when Sparky Anderson, one of the game’s most esteemed managers, said he will not work with replacement players, and the Baltimore Orioles said they wouldn’t play spring training games against strikebreakers.
Oriole owner Peter Angelos has already said he will not play regular-season games with strikebreakers. Baltimore did not invite any replacement players to its training camp, only members of the Orioles’ minor league system.
Anderson, 60, second only to the Dodgers’ Tom Lasorda in managerial seniority, abruptly took an involuntary leave of absence after balking at replacement ball. Detroit, where he has managed since early 1979, wouldn’t guarantee that he will get his job back when the strike ends.
“There ain’t no place in our game for replacement players,” Anderson said.
“The one thing I have that will never leave me is integrity,” said Anderson, who was to be paid $1 million this season.
Tom Runnells, manager of Detroit’s Toledo farm team, was appointed Tiger interim manager.
City officials in San Francisco are looking at local ordinances and their stadium contract with the Giants for ways to block strikebreakers, and local unions are planning a mass demonstration for the home opener April 11 and a permanent picket line around Candlestick Park. . . . Ken Oberkfell has backed out of his replacement contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Pitcher Chuck Rainey has done the same with the Texas Rangers.
Despite what acting baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told a Congressional hearing on Wednesday, at least two clubs, the Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners, have ticket policies that call for season ticket-holders to lose seat locations if they ask for refunds. . . . The Boston Red Sox reportedly are close to naming Jim Rice as the team’s new hitting instructor.
Amid the backlash of a reported crackdown on forcing Little League teams to buy only licensed goods with big league nicknames, baseball officials insisted nothing had changed in their policy, adding that they don’t profit from that revenue. The commissioner’s office was besieged with calls after a story in Florida Today. Saying they give back money earned from Little Leaguers, Don Gibson, a vice president and general counsel, said: “It’s not a money issue. It’s a matter of trademark use.”