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The New York Yankees, saying pitcher Doyle Alexander has...

By
LOGAN HOBSON, UPI Sports Writer

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees, saying pitcher Doyle Alexander has withdrawn his offer to forfeit a month's pay over his self-inflicted knuckle injury, announced Thursday they are fining the 31-year-old right-hander.

Earlier this week, Alexander had asked the Yankees to withhold a month's pay because he suffered a broken knuckle punching a wall in Seattle in a fit of anger and will be sidelined at least a month.

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Marvin Miller, head of the players' union, raised objections, calling Alexander's offer a breach of contract, after which Alexander withdrew his offer.

Bill Bergesch, Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Yankees, said Alexander would be fined half the amount he offered.

'Doyle is a high-class individual who displayed that class with his offer,' said Bergesch. 'Now, because of union interference and pressure, he has been forced to reverse his position and withdraw his offer.

'It is regrettable that the situation has to be resolved by the Yankees fining Doyle, especially since he displayed his class in voluntarily offering to have his pay withheld as a sign of sincerity.

'Instead, we are forced to fine him. He wanted to forfeit four weeks pay, but because of union interference, he is unable to do so.

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'The Yankees will lose Alexander's services for at least 4-6 weeks because of the injury. We have no other recourse but to fine Doyle. The Yankees do not announce the amount of fines -- but in this case, it will be less than half of what Doyle offered to have withheld.

'This is a very simple case of a player accepting his responsibility. Now the union comes in and makes a shambles of the entire affair.'

Alexander, who injured his hand in Seattle as Gaylord Perry won his 300th career game last Thursday against the Yankees, said at the time he made his offer he did not realize it was a violation of the Basic Agreement between the players and major league owners.

'I found out it was illegal to do that,' said Doyle from his home in Arlington, Texas. 'It's a direct violation of the basic agreement.

'My original intent was that it would not affect anyone now or in the future. After talking to Marvin I found out it was impossible to do like I originally intended to do. Should I have went ahead it would have set a precedent that would potentially affect a lot of players.

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'My intent was just for myself. I never intended and I still don't want to take away any rights that the Players Association has won through collective bargaining.'

Miller, cautioning that the Yankees had taken no official steps yet to fine Alexander, said it was up to Alexander now.

'As I understand it, they have decided to comply with the contract,' said Miller. 'If a club decided that discipline is appropriate and imposes that discipline then it could go before an arbitator. In disciplinary matters it is strictly up to the player.

'What they attempted to do before was withhold on a player's salary who was on the disabled list. They have taken no official action yet. Official action is to impose the discipline with written notice to player and Players' Association.

'They call it a 'shambles,'' Miller added. 'This has become their definition for securing compliance of a contract. When you want them to live up to a contract or when a player uses his contractual rights, that's treason. If a player vetoes a trade, that's awful. They say that's putting everything into a shambles.'

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