View Full Version : Strike 3 for Richie Phillips

02-24-00, 06:09 PM
It's time for Richie to find another line of work. He won't be back in baseball anytime soon. Neither will the 22 umpires he talked into resigning. Atta boy Richie!

Phillips' final appeal rejected by NLRB
Feb. 24, 2000
SportsLine wire reports

NEW YORK -- Richie Phillips and the Major League Umpires Association struck out in their final legal appeal Thursday, clearing the way for the new union to start negotiations with owners.

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The National Labor Relations Board certified the results of a November election that kicked out the MLUA and replaced it with a new union, to be called the World Umpires Association.

The new union intends to take a less confrontational approach than Phillips, whose failed resignation strategy last summer cost 22 umpires their jobs.

"We're looking forward to moving ahead with baseball and starting a new relationship, and trying to get all umpires to come together," said AL umpire John Hirschbeck, a leader of the new union.

About 50 of the 71 major league umpires have joined the new union, according to its lawyer, Joel Smith. The new union will meet Sunday in Phoenix to elect officers and a negotiating committee.

Hirschbeck and Smith, who is expected to head negotiations, will have to deal with the plight of the 22 umps who lost their jobs, a group that includes many of Phillips' staunchest supporters and some of baseball's best-known umps, such as Richie Garcia and Terry Tata. The new union wants to get as many as possible re-hired.

"We've attempted to talk with the 22, just as recently as two weeks ago," Hirschbeck said. "Some were responsive to talking with us, many were not."

The labor board's ruling came as the MLUA's grievance to regain the jobs of the 22 resumed in Philadelphia before arbitrator Alan Symonette. Under federal labor law, the old union will remain in charge of the grievance.

It's unclear when negotiations will start to replace the labor contract that expired Dec. 31.

Owners want to merge the umpires from both leagues into one staff and make other changes as part of the elimination of American and National league presidents and offices.

"I think that there's a lot for both sides to look at," Smith said. "What is important here is that the relationship be discussed thoroughly and worked through. If that takes time, it takes time."

Phillips was backed by many NL umpires, and the insurgents had the support of most AL umps. When he became the MLUA head in 1978, rookie umps made $17,500 and the most senior veterans got $40,000. Last season, they made $95,000 to $282,500.

"I think that over his 21 years, he did a lot of good for umpires," Hirschbeck said, "but there's a large group of us that thinks it's time to move in a new direction with baseball."

Concerned that Sandy Alderson, the new executive director of baseball operations in the commissioner's office, would push for change during the negotiations, Phillips called for a mass resignation plan last July, hoping to force an early start to labor talks.

Most AL umps either quickly withdrew their resignations or failed to resign, causing the strategy to collapse. By then, owners had hired 25 new umps from the minor leagues and got rid of the 22.

Insurgent umps voted 57-35 in November for the new union, but the MLUA contested the results, claiming owners illegally helped the new union win the election and the insurgents illegally influenced their peers during the voting.

After listening to three days of testimony, NLRB hearing officer David E. Leach III rejected the objections on Jan. 21. The five-man NLRB in Washington adopted Leach's report Thursday in a three-paragraph decision signed by chairman John C. Truesdale and board members Sarah M. Fox and Peter J. Hurtgen.

"We're pleased the board found that we did nothing improper in the election and we're prepared to meet with the chosen bargaining representatives," said Rob Manfred, the executive director of labor relations in the commissioner's office.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2000, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
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02-25-00, 07:41 AM
It couldn't happen to a better, more arrogant person.


"The way a team plays as a whole determines it's success. You may have the greatest bunch of stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the team won't be worth a dime." George Herman ("Babe") Ruth

02-26-00, 10:07 AM
What a bonehead! He gets what he deserves.

President and founder of the Ansky39 fan club
I Haven't Lost My Mind, It's Backed Up On Disk Somewhere

Bluesexy's daddy
02-29-00, 01:45 PM
I have to agree. ithought he was choosing a rather painfull method of mass suicide when he lead the umpires to strike. He showed NO SKILL in dealing with MLB, the press, or the fans.

He should have started EVERY paragraph with "we really want to do our best to improve the quality of umpiring". Instead he chose to back MLB into a corner while alienating nearly all the fans. I say "nearly all the fans" because I assume that his family still likes him.

MLB needs to be more carefull how they deal with the umpire situation. 1) demand the best possible performance from umpires. Umpires that put their own ego ahead of integrity need a permanent vacation. 2) While showing the fans and the players union a solid improvement in umpiring quality control MLB must demand that the players and managers show respect for the umpires.

No more Roberto Alomar or Albert Belle type nonsense. Each of them should have received a longer suspension for their embareesing antics.

As much as I love Paul O'Neill he and all the players in both leagues need to be given a very clear set of rules concerning the umpires. This can only be done if the umpires are taking orders from MLB instead of inventing a new strike zone every night. They will never be perfect, but there is vast room for improvement concerning the consitancy of the strike zone.

If you don't like the YANKEES go to another sight.