Jack Armstrong and Joe Oliver of the Cincinnati Reds and Texas pitchers Kevin Brown and Kenny Rogers want more mon Spring
trainingey. And to show their unhappiness, they left spring training.Today's the mandatory reporting date, so if they don't come back, they could be in trouble.
Even though the exhibition season opens Thursday, players are still battling to fatten their checkbooks. The four who walked Tuesday all were renewed at salaries of their team's choosing.
"I don't want to start playing for the money," said Armstrong, who got a $215,000 contract. "It's the principle. I feel that's a burden I have to bear for the players who will follow me."
Armstrong, the National League's All-Star Game starter last July, wants approximately $100,000 more. Oliver, renewed for $185,000, wants approximately $90,000 more.
"I'm not happy with the treatment I've gotten," Oliver said. "I just wanted to make a statement."
Armstrong and Oliver have the same agent, Scott Boras. He said not to expect them back today.
Beginning today, the players can be fined for not being in camp.
"The players have reflected to me that they are staying tomorrow as well," Boras said Tuesday. "Their statements to me is that they are waiting for the Reds to properly negotiate."
Brown had his contract renewed by Texas for $327,500. Rogers was renewed at $287,500.
"This is not the way to build a relationship for the future," Brown said. "I'm not demanding all the money in the world. I don't think that way. I just wanted a chance for the market to show what a fair number would be."
Out in Scottsdale, Ariz., players on the Oakland Athletics are taking up a collection for American League MVP Rickey Henderson, who thinks he's underpaid at $12 million for four years and wants to renegotiate.
A collection bottle was placed near the entrance to the trainer's room and it was full of greenbacks of varying denominations by the end of Tuesday's workout.
On the bottle was a handwritten message: "Rickey Appreciation Fund. Not Tax Deductible."