1994–95 Major League Baseball strike

The 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike was the eighth work stoppage in baseball history, as well as the fourth in-season work stoppage in 22 years.[1] The strike began on Friday, August 12, 1994, and resulted in the remainder of that season being cancelled, including the postseason and, for the first time since 1904, the World Series. The strike was suspended on April 2, 1995, after 232 days, making it the longest such stoppage in MLB history and the longest work stoppage in major league professional sports at the time (breaking the record set by the 1981 strike); its length would be surpassed by the 2004–05 NHL lockout, which ran for 310 days and caused the cancellation of that league's entire 2004–05 season.[1] 948 games were cancelled in all, and MLB became the first major professional sports league to lose an entire postseason due to labor struggles. Due to the strike, both the 1994 and 1995 seasons were not played to a complete 162 games; the strike was called after most teams had played at least 113 games in 1994. Each team played 144 games in 1995.

Background

In response to a worsening financial situation in baseball, the owners of Major League Baseball teams collectively proposed a salary cap to their players.[2] Ownership claimed that small-market clubs would fall by the wayside unless teams agreed to share local broadcasting revenues (to increase equity amongst the teams) and enact a salary cap, a proposal that the players adamantly opposed. On January 18, 1994, the owners approved a new revenue-sharing plan keyed to a salary cap, which required the players' approval.[3][4] The following day, the owners amended the Major League agreement by giving complete power to the commissioner on labor negotiations.

The dispute was played out with a backdrop of years of hostility and mistrust between the two sides. What arguably stood in the way of a compromise settlement was the absence of an official commissioner ever since the owners forced Fay Vincent to resign in September 1992. Vincent said the owners had colluded in the signing of free agents, which led to "a $280 million theft" by Bud Selig and Jerry Reinsdorf, which "polluted labor relations in baseball" and left Donald Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, with "no trust in Selig."[5] On February 11, 1994, the owners greatly reduced the commissioner's power to act in "the best interests of baseball."[6]

Owner representative Richard Ravitch officially unveiled the ownership proposal on June 14, 1994.[7] The proposal would guarantee a record $1 billion in salary and benefits.[8] But the ownership proposal also would have forced clubs to fit their payrolls into a more evenly based structure. Salary arbitration would have been eliminated, free agency would begin after four years rather than six, and owners would have retained the right to keep a four- or five-year player by matching his best offer.[9] Owners claimed that their proposal would raise average salaries from $1.2 million in 1994 to $2.6 million by 2001.[8]

Fehr rejected the offer from the owners on July 18. He believed a salary cap was simply a way for owners to clean up their own disparity problems with no benefit to the players.

On July 13, 1994, Fehr said if serious negotiations between the players and the owners did not begin soon, the players could go out on strike in September of that year, threatening the postseason. On December 31, 1993, Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement ran out with no new agreement yet signed.[10]

Strike

June

As negotiations continued to heat up, the owners decided to withhold $7.8 million that they were required to pay per previous agreement into the players' pension and benefit plans. The final straw came on June 23 when the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to approve an antitrust legislation by a vote of 10–7. According to Fehr, the action left the players with little choice but to strike. "We felt in '94 we were pushed into it," he said. "I still think that's a justified conclusion."[11]

July–August

On July 28, the Players Association executive board set August 12, 1994, as a strike date.[12] When that day came, the players went ahead with their threat to walk off the job.[13] The last games of that baseball season were played on August 11, 1994.

On August 31, three-and-a-half hours of negotiations with federal mediators produced no progress in the strike, and no further talks were scheduled as the strike went into its 4th week. According to then-acting commissioner Bud Selig, September 9 was the tentative deadline for canceling the rest of the season if no agreement was reached between the owners and players. The MLBPA offered a counterproposal to ownership on September 8 calling for a two-percent tax on the 16 franchises with the highest payrolls to be divided among the other 12 clubs. Teams in both leagues would share 25% of all gate receipts under the MLBPA's plan. The owners responded by claiming that the measures wouldn't meet the cost.

The rest of the season, including the World Series, was called off by Bud Selig on September 14.[14] Selig acknowledged that the strike had torn an irreparable hole in the game's fabric.[14] The move to cancel the rest of the season meant the loss of $580 million in ownership revenue and $230 million in player salaries. In 1994, the average MLB salary was an estimated $1.2 million.

Reaction

The Montreal Expos' best season in their history was stopped by the strike. They had the best record in baseball, 74–40, and were six games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East despite having the second-lowest payroll in MLB.[15] Most baseball writers considered the Expos to be World Series contenders. Coincidentally, the only time that the Expos actually made it to the postseason was in 1981, the last time that there was a significant players' strike in Major League Baseball.[16]

Chicago White Sox star Frank Thomas, who wound up winning the American League's Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award for the second year in a row in 1994,[17] said "I've had a career year, but I'm not going to finish it."[18] Tony Gwynn had a chance to be the first to finish a season over .400 since Ted Williams, as he was batting .394 at the time of the strike. The strike also cost Matt Williams of the San Francisco Giants a chance to beat Roger Maris' single season home run record. When the strike forced the cancellation of the remaining 47 games of the season, Williams had already hit 43 home runs, on pace to match Maris' single season record of 61 home runs.[19] Cleveland Indians second baseman Carlos Baerga was unable to extend his record two-year streak of 20 home runs, 200 hits, and 100 RBI by a second baseman because of the strike. Seattle Mariners star Ken Griffey, Jr., who led the American League with 40 home runs at the time of the strike, summed it up best by saying, "We picked a bad season to have a good year."[20] Kevin Mitchell of the Cincinnati Reds, Julio Franco of the Chicago White Sox, and Shane Mack of the Minnesota Twins, all .325 hitters in 1994, opted during the strike to play in Japan in 1995.

By the third day of the strike, Cleveland Indians owner Richard Jacobs directed that all souvenirs being sold at the Indians' gift shop carrying the words "inaugural season at Jacobs Field" be sold at half price.[21]

The Colorado Rockies were completing their last season at Mile High Stadium with an attendance of 3,281,511 through 57 home games for an average of 57,570 per game. At that pace, the team would have had a good chance of drawing over 4.6 million fans in their 81 home games if the season had continued. This would have eclipsed the major league season attendance record of 4,483,350 fans set by the Rockies only the season before.

One of the few positive notes was that fans were spared from witnessing one of the worst division races in history. The Texas Rangers were leading the newly reformed AL West despite being 10 games under .500. The last-place California Angels were only ​5 12 games out despite having the second-worst record in the majors at 21 games under .500—on pace for 96 losses. In fact, the two last place teams in the other American League divisions (namely, the Detroit Tigers of the AL East and Milwaukee Brewers of the AL Central) had better records than the Rangers.[22]

The National League's MVP award was given to Jeff Bagwell. His hand was broken by a pitch on August 10,[23][24] just before the players' strike began; had the season continued, he would likely have missed the remainder of the year and might not have won the MVP. But because of the timing of his "lucky break", Bagwell became just the fourth player in National League history to win the award unanimously.

The strike also led to an absurdity: Minnesota Twins traded Dave Winfield to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later before the season was officially canceled, so no player was named. To settle the deal, the executives of the teams went to dinner, and Cleveland picked up the tab, meaning Winfield had been dealt for dinner (though official sources list the transaction as Winfield having been sold by the Twins to the Indians).[25]

Arguably, the biggest storyline of the strike was the New York Yankees.[26][27] In having the best record in the American League, which was also the second-best record in baseball, 70–43, and a ​6 12 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East, the largest division lead of any division leader,[26] the strike cost their captain, Don Mattingly, his best chance at his postseason debut in his 13-year career.[28][29] The Yankees had not been in the postseason since 1981.[30] Because the Yankees' prior postseason chances had also been cut short by a strike, news media reported on the parallels between the two Yankee teams (1981 and 1994), both of which had division leads taken away by strike actions.[31][32]

December

On December 5, it was announced Richard Ravitch would step down as negotiator for the owners on December 31, 1994. Ravitch instead resigned on December 6, 1994. On December 14, labor talks headed by federal mediator Bill Usery broke down. The next day, the owners approved a salary cap plan by a vote of 25–3, but agreed to delay implementing it so that another round of talks with the players could be held. On December 23, with negotiations at a standstill, the owners unilaterally implemented a salary cap.

January 1995

On January 4, 1995, five bills aimed at ending the baseball strike were introduced into Congress.[33][34] The next day, Fehr declared all 895 unsigned Major League players to be free agents in response to unilateral contract changes made by the owners.[35] On January 10, arbitrator Thomas Roberts awarded 11 players a total of almost $10 million as a result of collusion charges brought against the owners. On January 26, both players and owners were ordered by President Bill Clinton to resume bargaining and reach an agreement by February 6. Unfortunately, President Clinton's deadline came and went with no resolution of the strike. Just five days earlier, the owners agreed to revoke the salary cap and return to the old agreement.

Replacement players

After the deadline passed with no compromises, the use of replacement players for spring training and regular season games was approved by baseball's executive council on January 13. Replacement players were reportedly guaranteed US$5,000 for reporting to spring training and another $5,000 if they made the Opening Day roster. Selig declared that, "We are committed to playing the 1995 season and will do so with the best players willing to play."

On March 14, the players' union announced that it would not settle the strike if replacement players were used in regular season games, and if results were not voided. Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson was put on an involuntary leave of absence as he refused to manage replacement players.

Replacement players created major issues for two American League teams. The Toronto Blue Jays would be unable to play games with replacement players or umpires in Ontario, due to labour code amendments passed by the Ontario NDP that prohibited replacement workers. This would be confirmed in a March 28, 1994 Ontario Labour Board hearing. Manager Cito Gaston and his coaching staff were sent to work with minor league players, and the team would announce that games featuring replacement workers would be played at their Spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida. The Baltimore Orioles, owned by prominent union lawyer Peter Angelos, announced they would also not be using replacement players. On March 20, Angelos's Orioles canceled the remainder of their spring training games. The next day, the Maryland House of Delegates approved legislation to bar teams playing at Camden Yards from using replacement players.

On March 26, the MLB announced that the 1995 season would be reduced from 162 games per team to 144 games per team as a result of the use of replacement players.

Television deal collapses

Following the end of the 1993 season, CBS Sports lost the rights to broadcast baseball games on television. Production of nationally televised games was taken over by MLB itself, which sold the games as brokered programming to ABC and NBC as part of a joint venture that was referred to as The Baseball Network.[36] Originally, the idea was for ABC and NBC to share a slate of games aired in prime time during the week, with the two networks alternating coverage of the All-Star Game and World Series and splitting the Division and League Championship Series between them. The agreement was to run for six seasons and end in 1999, with ABC and NBC airing the World Series and All-Star Game three times each.

The strike, however, resulted in ABC losing out on two weeks of coverage and the World Series and NBC losing out on all of its allotted regular season games. MLB and the local NBC and ABC stations lost a combined $595 million in advertising revenue, and both networks announced that they would be opting out of the deal after the shortened 1995 season.

Strike ends

On Tuesday, March 28, 1995, the players voted to return to work if a U.S. District Court judge supported the National Labor Relations Board's unfair labor practices complaint against the owners (which was filed on March 27). By a vote of 27–3, owners supported the use of replacement players. The strike ended when Sonia Sotomayor, then a Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, issued a preliminary injunction against the owners on March 31.[37] On Sunday, April 2, 1995, the day before the season was scheduled to start with the replacement players, the strike came to an official end at 232 days. Judge Sotomayor's decision received support from a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which denied the owners' request to stay the ruling.

As part of the terms of the injunction, the players and owners were to be bound to the terms of the expired collective bargaining agreement until a new one could be reached and the start of the season would be postponed three weeks, with teams playing an abbreviated 144-game season instead of a 162-game season.

Post-strike

1995 season

During the first days of the 1995 season, some fans remained irate at both players and owners.[38] Attendance at the games plummeted, as did television ratings, as was the case (to a lesser extent) during the last significant players strike in 1981.[39]

While a total of 50,010,016 fans had attended the 1,600 MLB regular season games played in 1994, averaging 31,256 per game,[40] a total of 50,416,880 fans attended the 2,016 games of the 1995 MLB regular season, for an average attendance of just 25,008 per game.[41] This represented a decline in average attendance of 20% from 1994 to 1995.[42]

A few of the fans who showed up demonstrated their frustration,[43] and booed the players;[43] the strike was seen as the worst work stoppage in sports history, leaving the game in crisis and some fans shaken and angry.[39]

Among the major examples of fan protests:

  • Three men wearing T-shirts emblazoned with "Greed" leaped onto the field at Shea Stadium to a standing ovation, and tossed $160 in $1 bills at the player's feet before being restrained by security, who were loudly booed as the men were escorted from the field.[44]
  • In Cincinnati, one fan paid for a plane to fly over Riverfront Stadium that carried a banner reading "Owners & Players: To hell with all of you!"[45]
  • Fans in Pittsburgh disrupted the Opening Day game between the Montreal Expos and the Pittsburgh Pirates by throwing various objects on the field, causing a 17-minute delay before being warned that the game would be declared a forfeit to the Expos; however, they continued to boo afterwards.[46]
  • In Detroit, fans booed and hurled beer bottles, cans, baseballs, cigarette lighters, and a hubcap onto the field, causing a 12-minute delay, while holding up signs saying "Field of Dreams Greed" and "Strike, Owner$ Win, Player$ Win, Fans Lose".[47]
  • While 50,425 fans showed up for the New York Yankees' home opener against the Texas Rangers, it was the smallest opening day crowd at Yankee Stadium since 1990.[38] MLBPA President Donald Fehr attended the game, angering many fans who blamed him for ruining their team's postseason chances and what would have been Don Mattingly's postseason debut.[48] Fans booed Fehr and yelled "You ruined the game!"[48] in response to him having attended the last game played at Yankee Stadium before the strike, and also booed him as he left the stadium;[49][50] one fan also held up a sign saying "$HAME ON YOU!",[51] to which Fehr responded by flipping off the fan.

The opening games were played with replacement umpires, the first time since Opening Day 1991 that replacement umpires were used.[52]

On August 3, 1995, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a bill calling for the partial repeal of baseball's antitrust exemption to the full Senate. The vote was just 9–8. On August 9, George Nicolau, baseball's impartial arbitrator since 1986, was fired by Major League owners. On September 29, 1995, a three-judge panel in New York voted unanimously to uphold the injunction that brought the end to the strike in April 1995. The owners had appealed the injunction issued on March 31, but the panel said the Players Relations Committee had illegally attempted to eliminate free agency and salary arbitration.

Replacement players on World Series championship teams

In 1998–2002 and 2004, certain players who were part of the World Series-winning New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Anaheim Angels and Boston Red Sox were not permitted to have their names or likenesses on commemorative merchandise because they had been declared replacement players for having participated in the 1995 spring training. The players who were noted are Shane Spencer of the 1998, 1999 and 2000 New York Yankees, Damian Miller of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, Brendan Donnelly of the 2002 Anaheim Angels and Kevin Millar of the 2004 Boston Red Sox.

The names or likenesses of replacement players may also not be published in officially licensed video and tabletop games.

Long-term impact

Arguably the largest impact was to the Montreal Expos. The strike was considered to be start of the franchise's downfall in Montreal, eventually leading to them becoming the Washington Nationals.[53] Not only did their dream season (first in MLB, six games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East) end abruptly, they were forced to lower payroll and sell off their four highest paid stars (Marquis Grissom, Ken Hill, Larry Walker, and John Wetteland) in the span of less than a week in spring training.[54] With the strike negatively affecting its fan base, the Expos would never recover from the incident.[55] Despite respectable performances in 1996, 2002 and 2003, the team never came close to contending again;[56] the team was purchased by Major League Baseball after the 2001 season,[57][58] and would become the focus of contraction rumors until the team was moved to Washington, D.C., to become the Washington Nationals after the 2004 season.[59]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Labor Pains". CNNSI.com. August 8, 2002. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  2. ^ Johnson, Richard A.; Stout, Glenn; Johnson, Dick (2002). Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 386. ISBN 0-618-08527-0.
  3. ^ Maske, Mark (January 19, 1994). "Baseball To Share Revenue; Conditional Plan Adopted by Owners". The Washington Post. p. B01.
  4. ^ Bodley, Hal (January 19, 1994). "Finally, revenue sharing is voted in". USA Today. p. 3C.
  5. ^ "Fay Vincent interview". Business of Baseball. Archived from the original on January 3, 2006.
  6. ^ Moffi, Larry (2006). The Conscience of the Game: Baseball's Commissioners from Landis to Selig. University of Nebraska. p. 222.
  7. ^ Stark, Jayson (June 15, 1994). "Owners Serve Up Their Salary-Cap Package". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. D5.
  8. ^ a b Justice, Richard (June 15, 1994). "Baseball Proposes Salary Cap; Move Heats Up Talk of Strike". The Washington Post. p. D1.
  9. ^ Chass, Murray (June 15, 1994). "Owners Unveil Salary Cap Proposal To a Chilly Reception From Players". The New York Times. p. B13.
  10. ^ Corcoran, Cliff (August 12, 2014). "The Strike: Who was right, who was wrong and how it helped baseball". Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  11. ^ Lopresti, Mike (September 13, 2004). "Strike timeline". USA Today. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  12. ^ Bamberger, Michael (July 29, 1994). "Players Set Strike Date: Aug. 12; Meetings Set; Free Agency Pivotal". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. D1.
  13. ^ Chass, Murray (August 12, 1994). "No runs, no hits, no errors: Baseball goes on strike". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Chass, Murray (September 15, 1994). "BASEBALL: THE SEASON; Owners Terminate Season, Without the World Series". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  15. ^ Dodd, Mike; Antonen, Mel (August 11, 1994). "Team by Team Baseball Strike Information". USA Today. p. 5C.
  16. ^ Blair, Jeff (August 6, 1994). "Deja vu; Looming strike brings back memories of 1981 Expos". The Montreal Gazette. p. F1.
  17. ^ Antonen, Mel (October 27, 1994). "Thomas repeats as AL MVP, wins bonus". USA Today. p. 1C.
  18. ^ Bickley, Dan (August 11, 1994). "Thomas' Career Year Will Come Up Short". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 97.
  19. ^ "Strike Would Affect Record Chase". The San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. August 12, 1994. p. E3.
  20. ^ Gildea, William (August 7, 1994). "'We Picked a Bad Year to Have a Good Year'; Walkout May Halt Players' March On History Books". The Washington Post. p. D1.
  21. ^ McCoy, Hal (August 14, 1994). "Total Free Agency May be Game's Next Step". Dayton Daily News. p. 2D.
  22. ^ "MLB Season History – 1994". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
  23. ^ "Bagwell breaks hand". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. August 11, 1994. p. 70.
  24. ^ Hohlfeld, Neil (August 11, 1994). "Jeff Bagwell hit by pitch, hand broken". The Houston Chronicle. p. A1.
  25. ^ Keegan, Tom (September 11, 1994). "Owners try on global thinking cap". The Baltimore Sun. p. 2C.
  26. ^ a b Jacobson, Steve (September 11, 1994). "Sympathy For Season Of Promise". Newsday. p. 17.
  27. ^ Felser, Larry (August 21, 1994). "Yankee Fans Seeking Consolation". The Buffalo News. p. C2.
  28. ^ Heyman, Jon (July 14, 1994). "Mr. October? Don has best chance yet to end drought". Newsday. p. 78.
  29. ^ Heyman, Jon (September 16, 1994). "Mattingly: It Just Wasn't Meant to Be". Newsday. p. A110.
  30. ^ Curry, Jack (September 15, 1994). "All the Magic Is Gone From the Yankees' Numbers". The New York Times. p. B11. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  31. ^ Curry, Jack (August 7, 1994). "Flashback to '81: Another Lead, Another Strike". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  32. ^ Kawakami, Tim (August 10, 1994). "'81, '94 Yankees Both Winners but Worlds Apart in Personality". The Los Angeles Times. p. C2.
  33. ^ Dodd, Mike (January 5, 1995). "Congress introduces antitrust-repeal bills". USA Today. p. 1C.
  34. ^ Newhan, Ross (January 5, 1995). "Teams Prepare for Replacements Baseball: Committee discusses contingencies for playing in '95". The Los Angeles Times. p. C2.
  35. ^ Chass, Murray (January 6, 1995). "Unsigned Players Called Free Agents". The New York Times. p. B12.
  36. ^ Nelson, John (May 9, 1993). "MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STRIKES UNIQUE DEAL WITH NBC, ABC". Deseret News.
  37. ^ "Sotomayor helped in '95 baseball strike". ESPN.com. May 26, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  38. ^ a b Maske, Mark (April 30, 1995). "After the Strike, Baseball's Disgusted Fans Decide to Strike Back". The Washington Post. p. A1.
  39. ^ a b Kornheiser, Tony (April 29, 1995). "Baseball Is Suffering A Silent Spring". The Washington Post. p. H1.
  40. ^ "1994 Major League Baseball Attendance & Miscellaneous". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  41. ^ "1995 Major League Baseball Attendance & Miscellaneous". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  42. ^ "1994 strike was a low point for baseball". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 10, 2004. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  43. ^ a b "Smaller but Angrier Crowds See Openers Baseball". The Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. April 27, 1995. p. C8.
  44. ^ "Mets Give Fans Their Money's Worth". The Buffalo News. Associated Press. April 29, 1995. p. C9.
  45. ^ Weir, Tom (April 27, 1995). "Reds fans still love the game, hate losing". USA Today. p. 3C.
  46. ^ Smizik, Bob (April 27, 1995). "Pirates give fans chance to spill venom". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. D1.
  47. ^ Baseball's Darkest Days
  48. ^ a b Chass, Murray (April 27, 1995). "BASEBALL; Ceremony, Circus Act And Even Some Fans Greet Game's Return". The New York Times. p. B11. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  49. ^ Justice, Richard (August 12, 1994). "With Baseball's Last Out, a Strike". The Washington Post. p. A1.
  50. ^ Stark, Jayson (August 12, 1994). "Major League Baseball Goes on Strike". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. A1.
  51. ^ Boswell, Thomas (April 27, 1995). "Fans Allow Yankees Leeway on Strike Zone". The Washington Post. p. B1.
  52. ^ Sullivan, Paul (April 27, 1995). "This Time, Fans Make Statement". The Chicago Tribune. p. Sports.3.
  53. ^ MacDonald, L. (September 30, 2004). "The Expos' demise was a decade in the making". The National Post. p. A17.
  54. ^ Johnson, Chuck (September 13, 2004). "'94 Expos wonder what could have been". USA Today. p. 2C. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  55. ^ Lapointe, Joe (September 30, 2004). "To Fans, Expos' Goodbye Is More Bitter Than Sweet". The New York Times. p. D6.
  56. ^ Sheinin, Dave (September 30, 2004). "For Fans, It's Time To Say Goodbye". The Washington Post. p. D15.
  57. ^ Mnookin, Seth (2006). Feeding the Monster. How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-8681-2.
  58. ^ Boeck, Scott (September 30, 2004). "Expos relocation timeline". USA Today. p. 2C.
  59. ^ Montgomery, Lori; Heath, Thomas (September 30, 2004). "Baseball's Coming Back to Washington". The Washington Post. p. A01.

External links

1972 Major League Baseball strike

The 1972 Major League Baseball strike was the first players' strike in Major League Baseball history. The strike occurred from April 1 to 13, 1972.

1985 Major League Baseball strike

The 1985 Major League Baseball strike was the fifth work stoppage in Major League Baseball since the 1972 Major League Baseball strike. The strike ran only two days, August 6 and 7. 23 of the 25 games which were scheduled for those days were made up later in the season.

1994 Atlanta Braves season

The 1994 Atlanta Braves season was the Braves' 124th in existence and their 29th in Atlanta. After trading the two-sport athlete Deion Sanders, experts predicted that the Atlanta Braves were going to have their worst season since 1935. The Braves' records reflect just how successful that year was, although it was curtailed due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike. The Braves played a total of 114 games; they won 68 and lost 46. The Braves finished their 1994 season with a winning percentage .596, ranking the Braves 2nd overall in the MLB, although they were six games behind the Montreal Expos in the NL East.

1994 Boston Red Sox season

The 1994 Boston Red Sox season was the 94th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The season was cut short by the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike, and there was no postseason. When the strike started on August 12, the Red Sox were in fourth place in the American League East with a record of 54 wins and 61 losses, 17 games behind the New York Yankees.

1994 Chicago White Sox season

The 1994 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 94th season in the major leagues, and their 95th season overall. They led the American League Central, 1 game ahead of the 2nd place Cleveland Indians with a record of 67-46, when the season was cut short by the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike.

1994 Major League Baseball season

The 1994 Major League Baseball season ended on August 11, 1994, with the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike. It was the first season played under the current three-division format in each league. It was also the first with an Opening Night game involving two National League teams, which did not become permanent until 1996.

1995 Boston Red Sox season

The 1995 Boston Red Sox season was the 95th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 86 wins and 58 losses, as teams played 144 games (instead of the normal 162) due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike. The Red Sox then lost to the American League Central champion Cleveland Indians in the ALDS.

1995 Major League Baseball season

The 1995 Major League Baseball season was the first season to be played under the expanded postseason format, as the League Division Series (LDS) was played in both the American and National leagues for the first time. However, due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike which carried into the 1995 season, a shortened 144-game schedule commenced on April 25, when the Florida Marlins played host to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Atlanta Braves became the first franchise to win World Series championships for three different cities. Along with their 1995 title, the Braves won in 1914 as the Boston Braves, and in 1957 as the Milwaukee Braves.

1995 Minnesota Twins season

Although the 1995 Minnesota Twins were separated from a world championship by only four years, it seemed like eons. Because of the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike, the season got off to a late start. However, it did not end soon enough, as the team finished with a 56-88 record and in last place in its division. The team found it impossible to compete against the runaway Cleveland Indians who won 100 games despite the short season and finished 44 games ahead of the Twins. By July, the team was trading away its veterans in a fire sale. Manager Tom Kelly might have preferred that the strike had continued.

Baseball strike

A strike in baseball results when a batter swings at and misses a pitch, does not swing at a pitch in the strike zone or hits a foul ball that is not caught.

Baseball strike may also refer to:

1972 Major League Baseball strike

1973 Major League Baseball lockout

1976 Major League Baseball lockout

1980 Major League Baseball strike

1981 Major League Baseball strike

1985 Major League Baseball strike

1990 Major League Baseball lockout

1994–95 Major League Baseball strike

2004 Nippon Professional Baseball strike

Brian Givens

Brian Alan Givens (born November 6, 1965 in Lompoc, California) is a former major league baseball pitcher who played for over twenty years and played for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Givens was known most for being a replacement player who crossed picket lines during spring training in 1995 while the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike was still going on. He also was notable for having endured six arm surgeries—including Tommy John surgery before making his major-league debut.

Hardball (1994 TV series)

Hardball is an American baseball sitcom that aired Sunday nights at 8:30 pm on Fox from September 4, 1994 to October 23, 1994. The series premiered in the middle of the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike and was canceled around the time that the year's World Series would have been played.

List of Major League Baseball replacement players

The following Major League Baseball players appeared as strikebreakers during spring training in 1995, crossing picket lines during the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike. Some had not yet been placed on a 40-man roster, and as such were not eligible to join the MLBPA at the time of the strike, while others were former MLB players who had retired before the strike. The list does not include replacement players who never appeared in regular-season MLB games.

In 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004, certain players who were part of World Series-winning teams were not permitted to have their names or likenesses on commemorative merchandise because they had been declared replacement players for having participated in the 1995 spring training. The players were Shane Spencer of the 1998, 1999 and 2000 New York Yankees, Damian Miller of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, Brendan Donnelly of the 2002 Anaheim Angels, and Kevin Millar of the 2004 Boston Red Sox.

The names or likenesses of replacement players, since they are not permitted to join the MLBPA, are also in some cases not included in merchandise which derives its license from the MLBPA, such as video and tabletop games. Many games nevertheless include them, with blank or fictional names and different appearances.

Lou Merloni

Louis William "Lou" Merloni (born April 6, 1971) is an American radio personality and a former Major League Baseball player. Merloni was scouted by hall of fame scout 'Buzz' Bowers, and played for his hometown Boston Red Sox from 1998-2002 and again for part of 2003. Merloni is well-known locally for his frequent trips between the Red Sox and their Triple-A affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox, which has become known as the "Merloni Shuttle"

. He also played for the San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Merloni was nicknamed "Sweet Lou" by Boston fans since he was born in Framingham, Massachusetts. He graduated from Providence College in 1993 and still holds several single-season and career records for the now-defunct Friars baseball team.

Merloni was a replacement player during the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike and is therefore barred from membership in the Major League Baseball Players Association.Merloni is known for hitting a home run in his first major-league at bat in Fenway Park, a 3-run home run off of José Rosado on May 15, 1998.

After beginning the 2006 season in Triple-A, Merloni was called up to the Cleveland Indians on May 17, 2006. Merloni signed a contract with the Oakland Athletics for the 2007 season. He played the season for the A's Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats. Merloni was chosen as the Most Valuable Player in the 2007 Bricktown Showdown, leading the River Cats over the Richmond Braves by a final score of 7-1. He was also voted Best Defensive Player and Best Teammate for the 2007 season. Merloni contributed a home run and 4 RBI in the game. Before the game, Merloni was chosen as the River Cats' team captain.Beginning in March 2008, Merloni began appearing on WEEI-AM's Big Show as a co-host. On May 27, 2008, Merloni joined the New England Sports Network (NESN) as a commentator on the Red Sox pre-game and post-game shows. After the 2008 season Merloni decided not to remain with NESN. Merloni was hired by Comcast SportsNet New England during the 2009 season as an analyst and reporter.In the offseasons of 1996 and 1997, Merloni served as a substitute gym teacher at Framingham High School, where he attended high school.

On June 6, 2010, it was announced Merloni would be inducted into the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame as part of their 2010 Class on November 20. He played for the Bourne Braves in 1991 and the Cotuit Kettleers in 1992.On February 28, 2011, Merloni started co-hosting WEEI's Mut and Merloni with Mike Mutnansky. On May 27, 2014, Lou was joined by former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria and Tim Benz, a former beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Steelers and radio show host in Pittsburgh, to form "Midday's with MFB" after Mike Mutnansky was forced out of the show due to poor ratings.In 2013, Merloni began serving as a part-time color analyst on Red Sox radio, teaming with play-by-play announcers Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien for select games. In October of that year he joined Castiglione and O'Brien for WEEI's broadcasts of the ALCS and World Series.

MLB lockout

The MLB lockout may refer to the lockouts or strikes of Major League Baseball:

The 1972 Major League Baseball strike, which canceled 86 games

The 1973 Major League Baseball lockout, which cancelled no games

The 1976 Major League Baseball lockout, which cancelled no games

The 1980 Major League Baseball strike

The 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which cancelled 713 games

The 1985 Major League Baseball strike, which cancelled no games

The 1990 Major League Baseball lockout, which cancelled no games

The 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike, which cancelled the entire 1994 post-season, including the MLB World Series

Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award

In Major League Baseball, the Manager of the Year Award is an honor given annually since 1983 to the best managers in the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The winner is voted on by 30 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Each places a vote for first, second, and third place among the managers of each league. The manager with the highest score in each league wins the award.Several managers have won the award in a season when they led their team to 100 or more wins. Lou Piniella won 116 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, the most by a winning manager, and Joe Torre won 114 with the New York Yankees in 1998. Sparky Anderson and Tony La Russa finished with identical 104–58 records in 1984 and 1988, respectively. Three National League managers, including Dusty Baker, Whitey Herzog, and Larry Dierker, have exceeded the century mark as well. Baker's San Francisco Giants won 103 games in 1993; Dierker's 1998 Houston Astros won 102 and Herzog led the Cardinals to 101 wins in the award's third season.In 1991, Bobby Cox became the first manager to win the award in both leagues, winning with the Atlanta Braves and having previously won with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985. La Russa, Piniella, Jim Leyland, Bob Melvin, Davey Johnson, and Joe Maddon have since won the award in both leagues. Cox and La Russa have won the most awards, with four. Baker, Leyland, Piniella, Showalter and Maddon have won three times. In 2005, Cox became the first manager to win the award in consecutive years. Bob Melvin and Brian Snitker are the most recent winners.

Because of the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike cut the season short and cancelled the post-season, the BBWAA writers effectively created a de facto mythical national championship (similar to college football) by naming managers of the unofficial league champions (lead the leagues in winning percentage) (Buck Showalter and Felipe Alou) as Managers of the Year. Two franchises, the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers, have not had a manager win the award.

Only six managers have won the award while leading a team that finished outside the top two spots in its division. Ted Williams was the first, after leading the "expansion" Washington Senators to a third-place finish (and, at 86-76, their only winning season) in the American League East, in 1969. Buck Rodgers won the award in 1987 with the third-place Expos. Tony Peña and Showalter won the award with third-place teams in back-to-back years: Peña with the Royals in 2003, and Showalter with the Rangers in 2004. Joe Girardi is the only manager to win the award with a fourth-place team (2006 Florida Marlins); he is also the only manager to win the award after fielding a team with a losing record.

National League East

The National League East is one of Major League Baseball's six divisions. The Atlanta Braves have the most National League East titles (13). Most of Atlanta's NL East titles came during a record stretch of reaching MLB playoffs 14 consecutive times (there were no playoffs in 1994 and the first three titles of that streak came when the Braves were in the National League West.)

The division was created when the National League (along with the American League) added two expansion teams and divided into two divisions, East and West effective for the 1969 season. The National League's geographical alignment was rather peculiar as its partitioning was really more north and south instead of east and west. Two teams in the Eastern Time Zone, the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds, were in the same division as teams on the Pacific coast. This was due to the demands of the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, who refused to support expansion unless they were promised they would be kept together in the newly created East division.

During the two-division era, from 1969 to 1993, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates together owned more than half of the division titles, having won a combined 15 of 25 championships during that span. They were also the only teams in the division to have won consecutive titles during that span.When the National League realigned into three divisions in 1994, the Pittsburgh Pirates were originally supposed to stay in the East while the Braves were to be moved to the newly created National League Central. However, the Braves, wanting to form a natural rivalry with the expansion Florida Marlins, elected to be placed in the East. Despite the Marlins offering to go to the Central, the Pirates instead gave up their spot in the East to the Braves. Since then, the Pirates have tried several times unsuccessfully to be placed back in the East.

The Chaperone (Seinfeld)

"The Chaperone" is the 87th episode of NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the first episode for the sixth season. It aired on September 22, 1994. This is the first episode to be directed by Andy Ackerman.

Timeline of Major League Baseball

The following is a timeline of franchise evolution in Major League Baseball. The histories of franchises in the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP), National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA), Union Association (UA), and American Association (AA) before they joined the National League are also included. In 1900 the minor league Western League renamed itself the American League (AL). All of the 1899 Western League teams were a part of the transformation with the Saint Paul Apostles moving to Chicago and to play as the White Stockings. In 1901 the AL declared itself a Major League. For its inaugural major league season the AL dropped its teams in Indianapolis, Buffalo and Minneapolis and replaced them with franchises in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore and the Kansas City Blues moved to Washington to play as the Senators.

The first line is the formation of the National League in 1876, and the second is the transformation of the American League to a major league in 1901. The third line is the beginning of the expansion era in 1961.

World Series Championships are shown with a "*", National League Pennants before the World Series are shown with a "^", and American League Pennants before the World Series "#". No World Series was played in 1904, so the pennant winners for each league are indicated. Due to the 1994-95 Major League Baseball strike, there were no pennant winners or World Series in 1994, so this year is left blank.

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