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Umpires, Owners to Plead Cases

November 13, 2001

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Lawyers for baseball umpires and owners will argue their cases in federal court Nov. 27 in the dispute over 22 umps who haven’t worked a game since September 1999.

U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III is hearing appeals of the May 11 decision by arbitrator Alan Symonette, who ordered owners to rehire nine of the umpires involved in the failed mass resignation.

Symonette ordered the commissioner’s office to rehire Drew Coble, Gary Darling, Bill Hohn, Greg Kosc, Larry Poncino, Larry Vanover and Joe West. The arbitrator also told baseball to take back two umpires who said they intended to retire: Frank Pulli and Terry Tata.

Symonette said the nine should be given back pay for the time they have missed. He decided not to order baseball to rehire Bob Davidson, Bruce Dreckman, Jim Evans, Dale Ford, Rich Garcia, Eric Gregg, Tom Hallion, Ed Hickox, Sam Holbrook, Mark Johnson, Ken Kaiser, Larry McCoy and Paul Nauert.

Both sides sued in early June to overturn Symonette. Arbitrators’ decisions are difficult to overturn, with courts ruling a side must show bias or misapplication of the law.

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