Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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

Article excerpt

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

"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 that the owners would vote Sunday to lock out the players. "They've already been slammed through the court system," he said, referring to an injunction against the owners Friday that restores 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," Pagnozzi said.

Projected starter Mike Hinkle, asked if he thought he would throw the first pitch at 1:15 Monday afternoon 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.

"At least I'll remember who all was here," he said. "It could be the last game for a lot of us. 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 will drill here Sunday afternoon, not knowing if it will be meaningful.

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

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