A sunny day in downtown San Francisco held more promise for the men and women gathered
here. But the weather was irrelevant. Two sides were here to negotiate, a gap between them that
not even the majestic Golden Gate could span. The only encouraging sign in the room was that
they had a common goal, outwardly at least: to avert a Major League baseball strike. In the past
eleven years, three of them had crippled America’s national pastime and a fourth one, at this
point in time, would do nothing to enhance the game’s already tarnished image. The players, of
course, blamed the owners for that image. The owners, in typical owner fashion, blamed the
sport’s decline on the men who play it.
That’s why they were here on a Saturday afternoon instead of their respective ballparks. With
finances and livelihoods on the line, nobody particularly cared to strike out.
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