The Latest: MLB union head hints work stoppage possible
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on baseball's All-Star Game (all times local):
Players consider teams' reluctance to sign free agents last offseason "a direct attack" on their rights, according to union head Tony Clark. He hinted that the sport's quarter-century of labor peace could end if concerns are not addressed.
More than 100 free agents remained unsigned when spring training began. Many signed at a fraction of the price they thought they were worth and many received shorter deals than they expected.
Baseball had eight work stoppages from 1966-95 but has had labor peace since. The current labor contract runs through the 2021 season.
Asked whether he thought there could be a work stoppage at the end of the deal if players' concerns are not addressed, Clark says that, "to the extent there are challenges to those rights, historically I would suggest those have manifested themselves in a particular way."
The head of the baseball players' union favors expanding the wild-card playoff from one game to a series, but he says there are scheduling challenges.
Major League Baseball began winner-take-all, one-game playoffs in each league in 2012, when the postseason field was expanded from eight to 10.
In the AL East this year, the New York Yankees could wind up as a wild card with a record that currently projects to 106 wins.
Union head Tony Clark says "it would be great" if the wild-card playoff could expand to a multigame series but adds "there are some challenges there."
The schedule currently starts in the last week of March or the first week of April, and the World Series sometimes ends in November.
The head of the baseball players' union says conversations will take place with the commissioner's office over whether prohibitions against legalized gambling among his members' relatives may be needed.
Following a U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down a federal prohibition on sports gambling, New Jersey enacted a law allowing bets on games. Team employees including players are prohibited under baseball rules from betting on the sport, but there are no rules covering their families.
Union head Tony Clark said there will a wide discussion with management about legalized gambling that will include talk of "six degrees of separation" and where lines should be drawn. Clark also is concerned about player data in relation to gambling.