It could be a fireworks-filled opening weekend for the Biscuits.
If you haven't heard, minor-league umpires and Minor League Baseball have been trying to negotiate a labor agreement. So far, they've been unsuccessful and the umpires say they're going on strike. Next week, if no agreement has been reached, Minor League Baseball will use fill-in umpires, apparently from each team's area, from the college or high school ranks. Fill-ins are already working spring training games.
This could get interesting.
I've already seen more sniping at the umpires this spring than the two previous years. Spring minor-league games are quite relaxed and a borderline call -- in the past -- rarely drew more than a glance.
I don't challenge the fill-ins qualifications, but the players and coaches do. They'll question them in full force when the season starts. I will say that the speed of a professional game is significantly faster than the amateur level (and the language is much bluer and tolerated). Calling a prep game one day and the Biscuits the next isn't a tasty recipe.
If the situation isn't settled, expect a highly charged atmosphere -- and plentiful dugout-to-umpire diatribes -- at the stadium.