The National Labor Relations Board this week is expected to validate an unfair labor practices complaint filed by the striking major league baseball players union. Players have said they would then seek a court injunction to reinstate last year's work rules. If that happens, TIME sportswriter Steve Wulf expects the owners to "lock out" the players. After strike talks broke down over the weekend, both sides were expecting replacement players to take the field on opening day, April 2. Even if the strike were to end soon, players would need extra time to negotiate contracts and practice. But Wulf does not think all hope is lost. He says although some "hard line" owners are waiting for players to cross the picket line once the season begins, "conciliatory" owners want to resolve the strike as soon as possible.