It was an inescapable fact that over the last 20 years sports, law and chemistry had become permanently enmeshed in the sports pages. Players sued owners. Owners sued players. Dwight Gooden and others tested positive for cocaine use in the 80s, then there was the steroids scandal in the mid-2000’s. A decade ago Ferris himself was involved in a class action suit against the owners for collusion. Twenty-six owners collectively said "No thank you" to players seeking to sign contracts as free agents. The players union won that battle, and management has been trying to restore its credibility ever since. That’s one thing Ferris saw in his favor – the public tended to side with the players. But the public wasn’t allowed in the negotiating room.
Many of the owners, thought Ferris, had the mistaken belief that the game revolved around them. Not just in baseball, but in all sports. They had the attitude that players were just tools who did the dirty work, while raking in the money for the owners. And as a result of that thinking a strike might be forced. Sooner or later, he hoped, the owners would learn that’s not the case. They will learn that the players are the game. The game belonged to them. Until the owners recognized that, en masse, strikes would continue to occur. And the fans would continue to lose out. The thought aggravated him. He turned to the comics, without any knowledge that as he did so, the owners were already hammering out a contingency plan.
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