Eight-six striking baseball players met with union head Donald Fehr in Chicago on Friday and said replacement players will never succeed.
“No one wants to watch minor-league baseball in a major-league stadium,” American League MVP Frank Thomas said. “That’s not going to work. They know it’s not going to work.”
On the first stop of his seven-city update tour, Fehr talked with players for nearly 5 hours and said the boycott on signing contracts will remain in effect until at least the end of the tour on Jan. 16.
“We aren’t going to play under the system that was implemented and that’s been clearly documented,” New York Yankees pitcher Jack McDowell said.
Players said they didn’t sense any desire to end the strike and report to spring training, which starts Feb. 16.
“The majority of discussion centered on ‘Did we really do everything we could to get an agreement?’ I think there were 100 percent saying, ‘Yes,”’ Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Mike Huff said.
Management officials predict 20 percent of players on 40-man rosters will report by late March.
Boston Red Sox chief executive officer John Harrington, head of a committee formulating rules for use of strikebreakers, said in New York that the group hopes to present a complete plan to the ruling executive council by the end of next week.