SAN FRANCISCO — Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent's decision to resume the World Series next Tuesday at Candlestick Park drew the support of the Major League Baseball Players Assn., which is noteworthy in that no World Series can be played without players.
"It certainly seems like the thing to do," said Donald Fehr, executive director of the players association. "Nobody wants to pull (the World Series) down unless it's absolutely necessary. Once the appropriate research was done and the appropriate evaluations made, this is the most logical course to take."
Fehr sat in on Vincent's final meeting before Wednesday's announcement was made, discussing options with officials from the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and both leagues.
Fehr apparently did little more in the meeting than nod in approval of the commissioner's ruling.
"This is not a situation where people are going to have a lot of different opinions," Fehr said. "The lead was going to taken by the commissioner's office. We didn't play a role, if that's your choice of words.
"It's appropriate, at this stage, to make every effort to cooperate with the commissioner. . . . Given the circumstances, I think this result absolutely compels itself."
At no time during the meeting was the subject of moving the World Series out of the Bay Area broached, according to Fehr.
"Those are circumstances you don't want to consider unless there are no other alternatives," he said. "We're far from there yet.
"After listening to a series of reporters, it appears we'll be able to finish it here--hopefully, beginning on Tuesday."
But should it be finished here? The damage and loss of life caused by Tuesday's earthquake has been staggering, but Fehr said he believes the World Series deserves to go on, saying baseball can serve as a salve to the stricken Bay Area community.
"I think everybody wants to see how fast we can recover," he said.
Of course, with winning player shares expected to exceed $90,000 a man should a complete best-of-seven series be played, there are more considerations here.
Fehr said he had only "indirect" contact with the Oakland and San Francisco player representatives, Carney Lansford of the A's and Brett Butler of the Giants, partly because of the limited phone access within the Bay Area.
"It was harder to talk to people locally than it usually is by long distance," Fehr said. "(But) my office was in contact with both player representatives."
And their input?
"They essentially had the same questions we all had," Fehr said. "They wanted to make sure it would be safe and appropriate to play again by next Tuesday."
Fehr also said the players' association, in accordance with the A's and Giants and ABC television, is planning to make a donation to aid in the relief of the Bay Area, although he declined to mention a specific figure.
The A's and Giants are both expected to resume workouts today, preparing for a third World Series game that will be held nine days after the second.
Fehr was asked about the interest level in such a game--for both players and fans--considering the events that have transpired in the interim. "I would think it will be high," he replied. "People here want to return to normalcy as soon as we can."