Here we go again, as baseball readies for its ninth work stoppage
in 30 years.
Fans shouldn't be surprised at the fact that the sport's players
have set a strike date of Aug. 30. In fact, they should be used to
Series, a strike should be seen as something that comes along every
And although fans might be upset and angry if the Major League
Baseball Players' Assn. and the owners can't work out their
differences, the sport's loyalists won't be the most adversely
affected by the strike.
[By the way, the two are at odds over a payroll tax -- a
salary-restraint tool that the owners deem essential to establish a
The individuals who will suffer the most from a work stoppage are
the minor-league players trying to make it to the "Big Show," and the
fringe pro players who don't make the big bucks or who are in the
twilight of their careers.
Two of those players are former Burbank High and Glendale
Community College star Freddy Sanchez and veteran Mike Magnante, a
Burroughs High grad.
An Aug. 30 strike would be brutal for both athletes, who are
hoping to be brought up when rosters are scheduled to be expanded
Sanchez -- who plays for triple-A Pawtucket in the Boston Red Sox
organization -- is just a step away from breaking into the majors.
After being invited to the Red Sox's spring-training camp and
being sent to the minors, Sanchez went back to double A Trenton and
flexed his offensive muscle.
His fine play earned him a call-up to triple A Pawtucket last
Since his arrivel, Sanchez is knocking the cover off the ball in
triple A, and there is a great chance that he will be brought up to
the Red Sox -- that is, if there isn't a strike.
In 31 games, Sanchez, 24 -- a shortstop -- is batting .285 (37 for
130) with 23 runs batted in, eight doubles and three home runs.
Tuesday, he hit a two-run home run in the 15th inning to power the
Sox past Rochester, 9-8.
A call-up would be a perfect opportunity for Sanchez to show the
Red Sox his talents, and hopefully bolster his stock.
For Magnante, a 37-year-old left-handed relief pitcher, he just
wants a chance to finish up the season after being released by the
Oakland Athletics in late July.
Friday, the 10-year veteran received good news when he was signed
to a minor-league contract by the Dodgers. He is at the teams' triple
A affiliate -- the Las Vegas 51s -- getting back into the groove and
waiting for a call-up, possibility when the rosters expand to 40
With Oakland, Magnante had an 0-2 record and a 5.97 earned-run
Unfortunately, players like Sanchez and Magnante will reap little
benefit from a baseball strike. In fact, it will likely do more to
hurt their careers than help them.
Lets just hope the players and owners can avoid a strike, but by
the look of it, that probably isn't going to happen.
* JEFF TULLY is the sports editor of the Burbank Leader. He can
be reached at 843-8700, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.