Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Players Ready to Send out the Pickets

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Players Ready to Send out the Pickets

Article excerpt

The striking major-leaguers plan to post pickets at spring training facilities beginning next week. But none of them will be players.

Tom Pagnozzi, the Cardinals' alternate player representative, explained, "We've never toed the picket line in any of our strikes.

"In spring training, it's a little different. It might not be a bad idea to do it. But there are some places in the National League where I wouldn't want to be out there."

After a trip to Disney World, Pagnozzi will be in the St. Petersburg area this weekend and may engage in some informal workouts. The Cardinals have said their facility is open to striking players but not until the minor leaguers are done for the day.

"It was nice gesture," Pagnozzi said. "But with no settlement, I think that's going to come to an end. Anyway, this body isn't close to being in shape."

Former Cardinals lefthander Greg Mathews, who has agreed to be a replacement for Kansas City, has yet to show up at Royals camp. Mathews has a waiver until March 3 because he has a term to complete at Webster University.

Mathews admitted he had heard from the players association about his decision to consider replacement status.

"I don't want to get into that," he said. "I said my piece at the time. I fully intend to fulfill my obligation to the Royals."

His late arrival, he said, "has nothing to do with the altercations I've faced. They will not prevent me from going to spring training camp."

"Altercation" probably was the wrong word, Mathews conceded.

"It was just conversation," he said. "I gave them my reasons and that was it. Really nothing further. I don't want to start making statements."

Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty is taking a less strident stance than some of his peers about players who recant on playing in exhibition games this spring. Jocketty hasn't threatened to send any of them home, but he does expect a measure of loyalty.

"I wanted to make it very clear to the kids that we're going to support them and back them," he said. "But they also have to remember they have to support us and back us.

"The guys we brought in here primarily as replacement players . …

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