NEW YORK (AP) -- While baseball umpires have a new collective bargaining agreement, the 22 umps let go a year ago are still wondering about their futures.
The deal, which runs through 2004 and calls for raises averaging about 15 percent, was concluded late Thursday night and must be ratified by the parties. It does not contain any provisions for rehiring the 22 umpires left without jobs last Sept. 2 after a failed mass resignation by the umpires.
In recent days, owners offered to rehire 13 of the 22, adding Richie Garcia, Drew Coble and Larry Poncino to the 10 it previously offered to take back, according to three sources involved in the talks who spoke on the condition they not be identified.
But that offer was rejected by the old union, Richie Phillips' Major League Umpires Association, which still represents the 22.
Baseball withdrew its offer Friday, leaving the fate of the 22 with arbitrator Alan Symonette, who will decide sometime after Nov. 15 if they were let go illegally.
"We're confident we'll win," MLUA lawyer Pat Campbell said Friday.
Under the old agreement, which covered 1995-99, umpires had base salaries of $75,000 to $225,000, depending on seniority, and each ump was guaranteed an annual $20,000 bonus if the postseason was played. Umpires could earn an additional $37,500 in bonuses for becoming crew chiefs and working special events, such as the playoffs and World Series.
While the sides didn't announce the details, the new scale starts at $86,000 to $88,000 and tops out at $270,000, one source in the talks said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
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