Major league baseball has fired George Nicolau, the arbitrator who ruled on key drug and collusion cases against the owners.
The Player Relations Committee has notified Nicolau that it was exercising its rights under the collective bargaining agreement to unilaterally fire him.
The committee and the Players Association have 30 days to agree on a new impartial arbitrator. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, they will receive a list of seven candidates from the American Arbitration Assn., and eliminate names from the list until one remains.
During his nine-year term, Nicolau ruled in two collusion grievances that owners had violated the labor agreement by acting in concert against free agents. The ruling resulted in a $280-million settlement against the owners.
Nicolau also overturned a drug suspension given to New York Yankee pitcher Steve Howe and reduced another to LaMarr Hoyt.
Philadelphia Phillie left fielder Tom Marsh was in fair condition at a Houston hospital because of a concussion and a neck strain. Marsh’s head hit a knee of Astro shortstop Orlando Miller on a play at second base Tuesday night. . . . San Francisco Giant third baseman Matt Williams will continue his rehabilitation from a broken foot when he joins triple-A Phoenix on Friday. Williams, who has gone one for nine playing for Class A San Jose, is expected to join the Pacific Coast League team at Tacoma. He has been sidelined since breaking a bone in his right foot on a foul tip June 3.
Mickey Mantle’s family will spearhead the distribution of one million organ donor cards at major league games and through a toll-free request line starting Labor Day weekend. Mantle died Sunday from cancer that rapidly spread through his body following a June 8 liver transplant.