The decision by Orioles manager Davey Johnson to designate fine money to a charitable foundation employing his wife has sparked controversy, but it apparently did not violate league rules.
Internal disciplinary policies are set by the individual clubs, so Johnson was not required to check with league officials before levying the disputed $10,500 fine on second baseman Roberto Alomar for missing an exhibition game and a club function. Nor is Johnson specifically precluded from steering the money to a favorite charity. The fine created turmoil within the Orioles' organization because Johnson apparently levied the fine without the knowledge of owner Peter Angelos.
"It is not unusual to designate a fine to a specific charity," said American League spokeswoman Phyllis Merhige. "When the league levies fines, we often designate the money to BAT [the Baseball Assistance Team], which is our pet charity."
Generally, however, that is done by mutual agreement between the league or team and the player being fined. Alomar did not consent to pay the fine to the Carson Scholars Fund Inc., and the matter may eventually become the subject of a grievance by the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Pub Date: 10/30/97