Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinals' Pagnozzi: Now, Leverage Is `Back to Our Side'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinals' Pagnozzi: Now, Leverage Is `Back to Our Side'

Article excerpt

Much has been made of whether the major-league players should pledge not to strike during the season. But Tom Pagnozzi, the Cardinals' alternate player representative, said the players shouldn't have to make that promise.

"I see it as no advantage to getting a deal by saying not to (strike)," he said here Saturday. "Somebody in negotiations always has to have more leverage. If both sides have equal leverage, it will never be done.

"At one point, they had the leverage. Now it has swung back to our side."

Pagnozzi said he did not believe the owners would lock out the players when the owners meet Sunday. "They've already been slammed through the court system," he said, referring to an injunction against the owners Friday that restored previous economic working conditions.

"They risk so much by locking out. If they end up locking out and they lose (in court), it's triple damages. I don't think they look forward to paying $6 million to a guy who makes $2 million."

Pagnozzi said one of the most significant happenings during the spring was something that didn't happen. Of the more than 1,000 players on 40-man rosters, nobody crossed the imaginary picket line to come into camp.

"You always heard that guys were going to cross and not one guy crossed," said Pagnozzi.

Projected starter Mike Hinkle, asked if he thought he would throw the first pitch at 1:15 Monday afternoon at Busch Stadium for the Cardinals' replacement team, said, "Gut feeling? No."

Outfielder Tony Diggs was wielding his video camera in the clubhouse as the Cardinals' replacements prepared to play perhaps their final game together.

"It could be the last game for a lot of us," he said. "But baseball can't be your life. It's a nice part of it. But everybody's going to get released one day."

Instead of working out at Busch Stadium on Sunday, the replacements are supposed to drill here Sunday afternoon.

"That's going to be ugly," said first baseman Doug Radziewicz.

Hinkle said that "if we don't take the field (Monday), it's a pretty good victory for the (regular) players. …

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