An extraordinary baseball season, already shut down by a monthlong strike, was canceled Wednesday along with the World Series, a management source said.
Twenty-six of the 28 clubs agreed to shut down the season in a vote, the source said. And Montreal Expos president Claude Brochu said in Quebec that the season had been canceled.And the owners themselves are already looking ahead to next spring and the possibility of replacement players.
"It will be a difficult thing to do, but at last resort I think you'd have to consider it," Boston Red Sox chief executive officer John Harrington said on Tuesday. "You wouldn't call it major league baseball, but you'd call it professional baseball."
Acting commissioner Bud Selig scheduled a late afternoon news conference to officially call off the season and World Series. The owners held a telephone conference call Wednesday with the Selig.
Selig called union head Donald Fehr on Tuesday to talk about a termination date. "He wanted me to sanction and agree with him that it was OK to pull down the season," Fehr said. "I told him if he wanted to pull down the World Series, that was Bud Selig's responsibility, not mine."
No one should look to President Clinton for help, either.
"We will follow it (the talks), but I don't think at this point there are any plans for action," White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers said Wednesday.
Around the country, baseball officials braced for the first season without a World Series since 1904.
After its inception in 1903, the World Series was not played in 1904 out of spite.
The famed manager of the New York Giants, John McGraw, would not meet the champions of the upstart American League, the Boston Pilgrims, because of a grudge. Money was lost, but it was a subway token compared to estimated losses of $580 million, including about $140 million in advertising revenue from the postseason, that owners will incur from this season's strike.
And with the threat of a continued strike or lockout in 1995, repercussions in the form of dim-inished merchandise sales and season ticket sales over the winter are likely.
The players stand to lose an estimated $230 million in salary, and like the owners, face an offseason of uncertainty.
"It's uncharted territory," Fehr said. "I don't think anyone knows what happens next. A lot of litigation I would guess. And a lot of posturing."