Even the union appears to be unsure of what power it would hold in a potential contraction showdown. "We're taking it seriously, but we're not sure if we'll have a say in it," says Brewers shortstop Mark Loretta, a member of the players' association labor negotiating committee. "The owners haven't proposed it to us, and it has not come up [in union discussions]."
The one certainty is that any move toward eliminating teams would result in a tidal wave of lawsuits. Baseball's traditional exemption from antitrust laws has been weakened in recent years, so owners of teams on the brink could threaten Selig with antitrust lawsuits to stave off elimination or raise the price it would take to buy out their franchises. Lawsuits from a union eager to save players' jobs would be inevitable, and baseball might also be open to litigation from cities and stadium authorities that lose teams.
"Owners, players, cities, hot dog vendors, parking companies that depend on games for their livelihood—they all could sue Major League Baseball," says a union source. "The possibilities are pretty large."
May 19, Giants at Braves Over his 15-year career, San Francisco catcher Benito Santiago (a .262 hitter with 179 home runs) has been known as much for his work behind the plate as for Iris work at it. But in the eyes of Atlanta's four-time Cy Young winner, Greg Maddux, Santiago must loom as dangerous digging in as Mike Piazza does. In 70 at bats against Maddux, who's scheduled to start against the Giants on Saturday, Santiago has six homers, more than he has hit against any other pitcher. No other active righthanded batter has gone deep as often against Maddux.