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Don Fehr visits camp

The A’s were late taking the field this morning as MLB Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr was on site to discuss union-related matters with the team. Fehr travels from camp to camp throughout spring training meeting with teams. Afterward, Fehr chatted briefly with reporters. Can’t say he shed much light on things, but I thought I’d share some of what he touched on. It provides a break from those tedious injury updates, right??

*Fehr was asked about the slow-moving free agent market this past winter. On suspicions that owners may have colluded in not signing players and keeping free agent salaries down: “If and when we conclude there was a violation of the (collective bargainin agreement), everyone will know about it. All I can say is we’re looking.”

*On the speculation that the A’s could be considered for contraction, along with the Florida Marlins: “I haven’t heard that contraction has been discussed. If it ever gets serious, I’ll know about it. It’s not at that stage.”

*How does he think the legacy of players associated with steroids (such as the A’s Jason Giambi) might be tainted as the years go by?: “I get asked a lot about (this topic). I have opinions, and they’ve changed a lot. (What I’ve learned) is that how things are viewed after an event is not how they’re going to be viewed 10 or 15 years down the road. What I think about legacies doesn’t matter. That’s up to you guys.”

*Fehr said the union would have to wait until after the World Baseball Classic ends to consider whether or not any major changes to the WBC should be discussed. But he doesn’t see a better time on the calendar to hold the event than March. “This is the least worst time to have it.” Interesting way of putting it. …

On to more A’s-related discussion …

–Justin Duchscherer headed out to a back diamond at Phoenix Muni to play catch this morning. Bob Geren said there wasn’t any set agenda for the throwing session, other than to see how Duchscherer’s elbow is feeling. Tough to even speculate when he might get back on the mound …

–Outfielder Ben Copeland, the Rule 5 pick from the Giants that the A’s snagged in December, suffered a sternum injury when he slammed into the center field wall yesterday making a catch. Copeland visited a doctor yesterday and Geren said he’d be out a few days …

–Eric Chavez threw Saturday, Sunday and Monday without complications with his right shoulder. I’m not sure yet what he was scheduled for today. Still not solidified when Chavez might try hitting (which is the real key for his shoulder), but it won’t be Wednesday, when the A’s are off, Geren said …

–Dana Eveland and Santiago Casilla will both throw Wednesday in a minor league game.

**Today’s lineup against the visiting Diamondbacks. Matt Holliday is back w/the team after being sick, but he’s not starting:

Garciaparra 3B
Cabrera SS
Sweeney CF
Cust RF
Ellis DH
Suzuki C
Cunningham LF
Hannahan 1B
Petit 2B

Gallagher on the hill …