Spring training or strike?
Players and owners were battling over how much money should be contributed to the pension fund. Most of the player representatives had rejected the owners' latest offer, but several current or future high-profile players were reporting for workouts.
"I expect there will be some resentment that I'm going to work out, but I need the work," Nolan Ryan told United Press International. Ryan was coming off a 6-9 season with the Mets and weighed 210 pounds, compared with 195 at the end of the season.
"I suppose the other players will be clipping my remarks and putting them on the wall and throwing darts at them, but I am ready to go and I might have eight practice fields all to myself," said the Braves' Pat Jarvis.
George Scott of the Red Sox hadn't reported yet but would be in camp next week. "Some of the players can afford to go without a salary, but the majority can't and I'm one of them," he said. "I'm supporting my wife and my mother, two households, really."
The Angels' player representative, second baseman Bobby Knoop, tried to put the potential labor dispute in perspective. Knoop told The Times' Ross Newhan on Feb. 2: "Perhaps some of this seems insignificant to the public. But we are not talking about a job that lasts for 20 or 30 years. The average player goes from day to day. At 32 or 33, he's looking for something else."
-- Keith Thursby