WBC fails to reach deal with umpires union

Updated: February 24, 2006, 4:50 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Unable to work out a deal with unionized major league umpires, organizers of the World Baseball Classic announced crews Friday that leaned heavily on minor league umpires who regularly fill-in at the major league level.

Bob Davidson, Tom Hallion and Ed Hickox were the notable names among the 31 umpires hired for the tournament. The three were among the 22 umps who lost their jobs during a 1999 labor dispute, and in a December 2004 agreement the commissioner's office agreed to hire them back among the next five openings.

As a condition for working the tournament, the World Umpires Association umpires asked that the trio be restored to full major league salaries and health care, and that money be set aside for retired umpires and their families.

Umpires were picked from the nations of 11 of the 16 teams in the tournament.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press