Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Minority Presence Stays Unchanged in Front Offices

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Minority Presence Stays Unchanged in Front Offices

Article excerpt

The percentage of minority employment in the front offices of the 28 major-league teams remained unchanged in the last year, baseball owners said Thursday as they concluded their quarterly meetings.

Owners also announced they will continue exploring the possibility of expansion, with 1998 the probable year new teams would start play if owners decide to expand. Boston Red Sox owner John Harrington, the expansion committee's chairman, said a decision wasn't expected in the next three months and also said he would speak with cities in the United States, Canada and - for the first time - Mexico.

But overshadowing everything was the possibility that players will go on strike this season. Owners will propose a salary cap to the Major League Baseball Players Association on Tuesday, and the union executive board is expected to set a strike date at its meeting on July 11 in order to force an agreement.

"I think for the union to strike is to take out an unnecessary burden on the fans," management negotiator Richard Ravitch said Thursday. "I hope they don't do it. We don't want them to do it."

But they wouldn't be surprised.

"We're ready if they do," he said. "If they think they're going to scare the owners into giving up the necessity of changing the economic system in baseball, they're going to find themselves very wrong. I hope fans don't pay a price for their misjudgment."

Union head Donald Fehr, who worries that owners unilaterally will carry out a salary cap after the season, said he wasn't surprised by Ravitch's remarks.

"I have no comment other than the traditional PR war has begin," Fehr said in New York. "If they don't want a strike, they shouldn't create circumstances that may lead to one."

The minority report, based on figures compiled in late April, showed little overall change from the previous report, released in December 1992. …

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