Marvin Miller Newsbeat
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
We’ve obtained Miller’s FBI file through a Freedom of Information Act request. You can read the entire thing below, 82 pages of information gleaned from Miller’s co-workers and friends, from FBI informants, from the trash of someone Miller may or may not have even known. All of this was done with the goal of determining if Marvin Miller was working toward the overthrow of the American government. Spoiler alert: He was not.
Maybe they confused him with Arthur Miller?
Posted: May 14, 2013 at 12:56 PM | 37 comment(s)
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
do you think it would be realistic for a team to use a 4-man starting rotation…?
... Between 1975 and 1988, baseball went through two separate transitions, both intended to accomplish the same thing, which was the reduction of injuries/protection of arms. The first transition was from a four-man to a five-man rotation… The… idea… was that it would be OK for [a pitcher] to… face 35 or 40 batters per start, thus throwing 130 to 170 pitches per start (and sometimes more)... as [long as] he got an extra day between starts. That really didn’t work. There was no chance that it would work. If you damage a pitcher’s arm by asking him to do something marginally crazy, you can’t UN-damage it by giving him an extra day to recover.
But what COULD have been done, instead, was this. Many pitchers threw 280 to 300 innings in a season from 1965 to 1975, and many of them did so with no evidence of damage to their arms. At 17 pitches per inning, 16.5 pitches per inning, that’s 5,000 pitches in a season, more or less. Suppose that pitchers had been asked instead to pitch in a THREE-man rotation—but with strict limits of 90 pitches per start, and less than that for very young pitchers. That’s 54 starts a season, 90 pitches per start MAXIMUM. . ..you’re actually REDUCING the number of pitches thrown in a season from about 5,000 to about 4,600 (assuming that the pitcher NEVER throws 91 pitches in a season and occasionally exits after 70 or 80.)
More significant than that, you’re also reducing the stress per pitch, for an obvious reason. The most stressful pitches are those thrown when the pitcher is tired. I would postulate that the strain on a pitcher’s arm is probably proportional to the SQUARE of pitches thrown. . ..in other words, throwing 100 pitches in an outing is four times as stressful to a pitcher as throwing 50, and throwing 150 is nine times as stressful as throwing 50. .. .assuming simply that the stress increases as the pitcher becomes fatigued.
Using that assumption. . .that the stress is proportional to the SQUARE of pitches thrown….a pitcher who makes 37 starts in a season but throws 120, 130, 140, 150 or 160 pitches in each start has a total stress load of 724,000 “points” over the season. The pitcher who makes 54 starts but throws 85, 88, 89, 90 pitches every start has a total stress load of a 431,000 points. . . dramatically lower.
For this reason, I believe that if baseball had switched not from a four-man rotation to five, but from a four-man rotation to three, but with a strict 90-pitch limit, it would have worked better than what was actually done. That’s my opinion.
I also think that pitchers would have liked it. A pitcher making 54 starts for a good team would have had a fair chance to “win” 30 games, and a hell of a chance to win 20.
[The questioner is referring to electing Marvin Miller to the Hall of Fame over his stated objection - TDA]
Because the Hall of Fame is a museum and has a duty to history.
Words. That’s not an argument; that’s just a bumper sticker. A museum has a duty to history, a duty to its community, a duty to the economy, a duty to integrity, a duty to doody. . ..so what? That’s no more an argument in re Marvin Miller than it is in re Shoeless Joe, Spike Eckert or Lefty O’Doul.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
About two hours earlier, Jim Bouton injected some levity into the moving event. He told about the St. Louis Cardinals’ voting in spring training 1966 when players were asked to vote yes or no on [Marvin] Miller as the union’s executive director.
Just before the Cardinals voted, related Bouton, who was then with the Yankees, Augie Busch, the St. Louis owner, addressed the players.
According to the former pitcher, Busch said, “You men, you better get rid of this Marvin Miller. He’s a bad guy. He’s bad for baseball. It’s going to be bicycle chains and goons and baseball bats. This would be the worst thing that happened in the history of baseball.”
“At that moment,” Bouton said, “he stormed out of the clubhouse and a few moments later they took a vote and it was unanimous in favor of Marvin.”
Posted: January 26, 2013 at 01:27 PM | 12 comment(s)
Monday, December 03, 2012
The magazine’s sports blog argues that Marvin Miller personified labor unions’ flaws as well as their virtues.
Reduced competition among free agents is great for veterans. But it’s not great at all for young players, who are effectively still bound by the old reserve clause…The union’s rank and file would be far better off if Mr Miller had dedicated more of his bargaining chips to pursuing sharp increases in the league’s minimum salary, or to challenging the amateur draft…
An even bigger black mark on Mr Miller’s record is his callous disregard of minor-league players…By ignoring [their] plight, [he] was complicit in the construction of a system that has presumably forced the next Mike Piazza out of the game prematurely…
His pronouncements during the past decade on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) further sullied his reputation…
Sunday, December 02, 2012
[Marvin] Miller’s lifetime, which lasted 95 years and eight months, ended last Tuesday. If he is elected next year, when he will next be eligible, the election would be a meaningless gesture. There is, however, an idea to honor Miller that would not be meaningless. It comes from a former colleague at The New York Times.
“All teams should wear a black ‘MM’ on uniform sleeves next season,” Ray Corio wrote in an e-mail “in memory of and appreciation for the guy whose impact on the game was as great as Babe or Jackie.” ...
If election had come in a timely manner, I think Miller would have felt honored. I also think he stopped caring about it after his wife, Terry, died three years ago.
Who was this man who arrived at the union in 1966 from the United Steelworkers Union, where he was the chief economist under the noted labor leader David McDonald, and turned the M.L.B.P.A. into a formidable example for all other sports unions to follow and make non-sports unions envious?
This was Marvin Miller: “In the beginning,” said Richard Moss, the union’s general counsel, “Marvin thought it was important to gain credibility, and that’s why we ended up on the top of the Seagram Building.”
This was Marvin Miller: “My first week there, in August 1977,” recalled Donald Fehr, Moss’s successor, “we went to lunch and Marvin said, ‘You know, you have a nice title, general counsel. I have a nice title, executive director. None of that means anything. We’re just staff. The owners care only about the players.”
As the union’s lawyers, Moss and Fehr were Miller’s closest colleagues during his 17 years as executive director. Moss, who worked with Miller in Pittsburgh as a USW lawyer, joined him in New York after Miller rejected the idea of Richard Nixon, then the former vice president, as his general counsel.
While Miller provided the labor expertise, Moss contributed the legal strategy that produced union victories in the Catfish Hunter breach-of-contract and the Messersmith-McNally free-agency grievances.
Fehr, a Kansas City lawyer, met Miller and Moss when they hired him to serve as local counsel in the owners’ futile appeal in Federal District Court of the Peter Seitz decision in Messersmith-McNally. When Moss decided in 1977 to leave the union and become a player agent, Miller hired Fehr to replace him. ...
Moss Klein, a retired baseball writer with the Newark Star-Ledger, commented on Miller’s speaking ability in an e-mail, writing, “I admired the way he could explain the most complicated things so simply, making them so understandable, while Ray Grebey (and others) made the simplest things so complicated and incomprehensible”
As true as these views are, I have to admit that the first time I encountered Miller I had no idea what he was saying.
I was a young reporter with the Associated Press in Pittsburgh in 1962, and I was assigned to cover a news conference at which the steelworkers union would explain terms of the deal that settled its strike against United States Steel.
The chief explainer was a union economist named Miller. After too many questions whose answers from Miller I didn’t really understand and I had no idea how I was going to write my story, I asked a question. I don’t remember what the question was, but Miller answered it in English, not economics-eze, and I and, as it turned out, other reporters were saved.
Time and experience obviously made a difference in Miller’s delivery.
The trait I probably admired most in Miller was his honesty. “Marvin never lied to anyone, especially reporters,” Moss said.
Added Fehr: “It was the way you conducted yourself. There was never a suggestion that you shouldn’t be honest.”
To this day, I am not aware of ever having been lied to by a union official. I can’t say the same for all of management representatives of the past 50 years or so.
Posted: December 02, 2012 at 03:03 PM | 10 comment(s)
Thursday, November 29, 2012
I think I did do this in Strat-O-Matic and .850 is about what happened.
To look at the question of how All-star teams would perform I used Teams-on-Paper estimates for the starting lineups in the 1980-84 all-star games. (using the first four starting pitchers who appeared and the last reliever for the staff). League average scores are around 200 with the best teams ever at slightly over 300. The all-star teams scores ranged from 271 to 357 and the predicted won-lost based on these scores were 96-66 to 122-40. The average number of projected wins was 110.5 (standard deviation 7.62) , a .682 W-L percentage.
Thanks. I think you’re getting close to the reasons for my skepticism about teams playing .850 baseball.
It may be that you could make Strat-o-Matic cards after the season, pick the best card at each position, and THAT team would play .850 baseball. But this is because the season is not long enough to grind all of the randomness out of the statistics; therefore, some players in each season appear to be better than they are. There are a handful of players in the league who are legitimate .310 hitters; one of those hits .340, one of them hits .330. If you pick and choose after the fact, you can make an .850 team—but choosing real players before the fact, the best players would not play at that level.
Hey, Bill, I’m reading “Popular Crime” and I was comparing/contrasting the proposition of the economic class strife of the early 20th Century as it would have applied to baseball at the time. I suppose that same economic stress would have contributed to the Black Sox scandal during the 1919 World Series and would be a major reason gambling on baseball was such a concern during that time?
Absolutely, yes. The Betting Scandals of that era are very directly connected to the tension between rich and poor that was dividing the country in that time. The only reason I didn’t make that point in the book was that I chose to write that book with no reference to baseball—even to the point of repeatedly scouring the manuscript for phrases like “out in left field” or “made a big hit” that might be taken as baseball references.
Bill, Sad news today with the announcement of Marvin Miller`s death. In your opinion, where`s his place in MLB history ? It certainly is a shame that he doesn`t yet have a spot at Cooperstown…
And has told his friends in no uncertain terms that if the Hall of Fame tries to elect him postumously, they are to be told “No, thanks.” Some people are bigger than their awards. Babe Ruth doesn’t need to be in the Hall of Fame; the Hall of Fame needs to honor Babe Ruth to make the Hall of Fame look bigger. To me, Marvin’s on that level. He is too big for it to be relevant whether the Hall of Fame likes him or not…
I knew Marvin fairly well, knew his late wife as well. We have close friends in common, and when I got to New York I would often have lunch or dinner with Marvin and Allen Barra.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
It really was a shame that Marvin Miller didn’t get a chance to enjoy being a Hall of Famer when he was alive. The same thing, of course, happened to Ron Santo. But there was never some terrible conspiracy to keep Santo out of Cooperstown, nor has there been one to keep Marvin Miller out. It just happened. Well-intentioned people make decisions for what seem like good reasons to them, and even to us, but even well-intentioned and -reasoned decisions can lead to imperfect outcomes. In fact, they almost always do.
But Ron Santo is now in the Hall of Fame. And the long arc of history is bending toward justice for Marvin Miller, too.
Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:12 PM | 74 comment(s)
hall of fame
Reflections from the former Major League pitcher on time spent with the legendary Players’ Union leader as well as Miller’s impact on the game of Baseball.
Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
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