August 30, 2002


It looks like a strike has been averted, as the players and owners have reached a new collective bargaining agreement.

I was one of the people who thought there would be a strike of at least a few days, but I am glad I was wrong.

I am not completely informed about all the facts of the new agreement yet, but I think I know some basic points...

The agreement lasts through 2006.

This sounds pretty good to me at this point, but I wish the agreements could be longer than 4 years (2003-2006).

But as long as they have an agreement and the games go on, I am happy - at least until September of 2006.

The owners agreed not to eliminate any teams until at least 2007.

This is like a bonus to me, as I didn't even know this was a possibility.

And, of course, my beloved Twins (and the Expos) are the main beneficiaries of this.

Hmmm....Your 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 Central Division champion Minnesota Twins!

Has a nice ring to it, huh?

And who is gonna stop us? Detroit?! Kansas City?! Cleveland?! Chicago?! HA! Detroit and KC have been "rebuilding" since I was a fetus, Cleveland is aiming to be competitive in like 2035 and Chicago, well, I guess Chicago might be our biggest challenger.

The minimum salary will be raised from 200,000 this season to 300,000 next season.

I don't know if there are other raises in place for 2004, 2005 or 2006 or what, but I have to say that I like this part of the deal.

I believe that if the union needed to fight for players wages, it should have been for the players making the minimum and more importantly, players in the minor leagues.

I don't think anything having to do with minor league pay raises is in the agreement, but it should be.

The 8-year minor league veteran playing some small midwestern town, making 15,000 a year, is a guy whose pay is worth fighting for, but I guess you can't have everything.

The players accepted a random testing policy for steroids.

This is obviously a good thing, although I will remain cautiously optimistic on how well it will work.

Both sides agreed to a world-wide draft.

Like the steroid testing, I will believe this is a good thing, but I will be cautiously optimistic about it's effectiveness.

The amount of rounds have not been disclosed as of yet.

Now they just need to start televising the draft and baseball nerds like myself can have some real fun.

As far as the two most important issues, revenue sharing and luxury taxing, I haven't heard anything yet about the exact figures that were agreed upon.

All I know is, I just sent in my request for Twins playoff tickets and I will be watching baseball games tonight.

And that sounds pretty good to me.

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