NEW YORK, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- With the possibility of a third player strike looming, frustrated fans who went to the ballpark Thursday made their anger clear in stadiums across the country.
At Anaheim's Edison Field, agitated fans constantly threw foul balls back onto the field, and over 100 spectators were ejected.
On Wednesday, fans in the right field seats at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City mocked the players by throwing dollar bills on the field, causing a delay in the game between the Royals and Oakland Athletics.
Some players tried to ignore the situation in New York, where union and management negotiators continued talks aimed at preventing a walkout. One of them was Minnesota Twins shortstop Denny Hocking.
"I played today and I didn't take my cell phone on the field, so I don't really know where things are at up to the minute," Hocking said after the Twins' 2-0 loss to Seattle in Minneapolis. "I understand fans are upset. They've got a right to voice their opinion. When they chanted 'no strike,' I looked at the umpire and said, 'Are they talking to you or me?'"
A work stoppage would especially disappointing to the Twins.
After surviving Major League Baseball's attempt at contraction, the Twins are a virtual lock to win the American League Central and reach the postseason for the first time since the 1991, when they won the second of their two World Series titles.
Minnesota has a 16-game lead over the Chicago White Sox, and fans have begun counting down their magic number for clinching the division title, which stood at 13 after Thursday's contest.
"I don't think (Thursday) is the last time we'll play here," said Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski. "At least I hope not."
"It hasn't happened yet and I'm going to stay positive," said Astros Manager Jimy Williams after his team beat San Diego, 5-0, to pull to within 2 1/2 games of St. Louis in the National League Central. "Hopefully, an agreement can be made tonight. That is what we are all hoping for. All I can do is focus on the next game and not worry about what a strike might do. I never answer questions about what if. This did not feel like a last game. I'm staying positive."
"I'm just going to concentrate on what we need to do (as a team) and, hopefully, something gets done tonight," said Astros second baseman Craig Biggio. "There's no use sitting here and trying to figure out what we're going to do if we lose a few days, a couple of weeks, whatever. Shoulda, woulda, coulda, let's just concentrate on getting something done tonight."
"Hopefully, we can get to a deal because there is some exciting baseball coming," said San Francisco Manager Dusty Baker. "Fans are starting to get a little hostile. You can hear it."
The Giants beat the Colorado Rockies, 10-6, at Coors Field, and the teams got both an earful and eyeful.
Several fans displayed signs, including one that said, "Field of Green," symbolic of the possible strike and the impasse between management and the players union over money issues. The game attracted just 26,300 -- the smallest crowd in Coors Field history.
Baker said security had to be summoned to the area around the Giants' dugout in the fourth inning.
"There was security down by our dugout, so something must have happened," he said. "Each strike or lockout seems to get uglier and uglier, especially with the state of our country. I hope everything gets resolved."
"It (labor situation) will be on my mind, without a doubt," Colorado pitcher Mike Hampton said. "I think everybody wants to get something done, but hopefully it won't come to a strike. We don't want that."
"If we get close (to an agreement) then we'll see about an extension," said Atlanta pitcher Tom Glavine, who is the Braves' player representative. "I don't know if that's been discussed or not. I think that might be less detrimental. If we're close and we go on strike, that would be far more detrimental to the process."
There were expectations that the two sides would continue meeting until a settlement was reached or they ran out of time.
If the sides are unable to reach an agreement, the strike will start with Friday's scheduled contest in Chicago between the Cubs and St. Louis at Wrigley Field.
Commissioner Bud Selig is in New York to listen to the negotiations, but as of Thursday afternoon, he offered little optimism.
"The same issues are unresolved," he said. "It's been very constructive and both sides are reaching out, but I can't tell you we're any closer."