November 6, 2001
“Today’s announcement by the commissioner — that the clubs will attempt to immediately eliminate two as yet unnamed major league clubs — is most imprudent and unfortunate. This decision has been made unilaterally, without any attempt to negotiate with the players, apparently without any consideration of other options, including relocation, and seemingly with little concern for the interests of the fans. We consider this action to be inconsistent with the law, our contract, and perhaps most important, the long term welfare of the sport.
“Over this last season, and, especially, over the last several weeks, we have been reminded, vividly, of the special place baseball holds in America. This makes it all the more unfortunate that the clubs would choose this moment to dash the hopes of so many of its fans.
“And, of course, this the worst manner in which to begin the process of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. We had hoped that we were in a new era, one that would see a much better relationship between players and owners. Today’s announcement is a severe blow to such hopes.”