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Friday, May 03, 2019

‘Lords of the Realm,’ the Book That Foreshadowed the Last MLB Strike

“There was something about the national pastime that made the people in it behave badly. They were, perhaps, blinded by the light of what it represented—a glowing distillate of America. Men fought to control it as if they could own it. They wallowed in dubious battle, locked in ugly trench warfare for dominion over the green fields. The money poured into the game and men gorged and gouged over it—made damned fools of themselves over it. And the fans, ever forgiving, were still there.” —John Helyar, Lords of the Realm: The Real History of Baseball


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Contract Extension Fever Isn’t Just About Economics | FanGraphs Baseball

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. The MLBPA needs to greatly raise minimum salaries. They should also push for added money for players based on playing time.

The table is sortable, so you can play around with it as you would like, but I’ll admit that I find it difficult to draw any general conclusions by examining each deal in its particulars. It does seem to be true, broadly speaking, that the deals involving several free agent seasons have been signed mostly by established players (Trout, Arenado,  Hicks, Bogaerts, and Goldschmidt) while those deals locking in cost certainty for years already under team control are mostly the province of younger, less-experienced players (Bote, Jiménez, Acuña, Albies, etc.). The young stars who already got paid during the draft, meanwhile (think Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa) are nowhere to be found. They don’t need what’s being sold right now.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2019 at 08:17 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, mlbpa

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Kevin McGuiness quits MLBPA, replaced by Xavier James

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin McGuiness has resigned after five years as chief operations officer of the Major League Baseball Players Association and been replaced by Xavier D. James, who had been his deputy.

James, 51, was hired by the union last year after working as lawyer for gospel singer DeLeon Richards Sheffield, the wife of former All-Star outfielder Gary Sheffield. James will oversee organizational infrastructure, human resources, staffing, and budgeting.

A graduate of the University of California at Irvine and George Washington Law School, McGuiness taught Renaissance history and English literature in Florence, Italy. He had been president of the McGuiness Group, a lobbying firm that represented the MLBPA, before joining the union at the start of 2014. The players’ union said Monday he will return to private practice, and he will represent the union in that role.

And, with these descriptions, one can better see why the owners have been drinking the MLBPA’s milkshake.

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2019 at 04:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa

Friday, March 15, 2019

MLB players are focused on what impact the new rule changes won’t have

Baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until December 2021, but the league’s long-reigning labor peace is at risk as tensions rise over free agency stagnation and disagreements about what has caused a recent downturn in the sport’s popularity. And so, with players speaking up about their frustration more than ever and some even openly dropping the S-word, the two sides came to the table this offseason to see what changes could be agreed upon now — before a work stoppage becomes a real threat.

Now, after weeks of negotiations, Major League Baseball and the players’ association have reached a consensus Thursday on a number of rule changes as well as the creation of a joint committee to discuss ongoing modifications to the game. The result represents a vastly reduced version of what the league office proposed in January and what the union counter-proposed in early February.

What’s left is what both sides can live with. And while fans and media will want to talk about what impact these changes are going to have, the players are more focused on what impact they won’t have.

Alternatively, it is a reminder of the old saw about how committees agree collectively to policies that no member would ever support individually….

 

QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa, rule changes

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A preview of the new procedural changes coming to MLB in 2020

We’re already discussing the changes to the trade deadline- some other changes that will be coming:

The players’ union and MLB are expected to announce they have agreed, in 2020, to:

Roster expansion by one to 26, including a maximum 13 pitchers, in the regular and postseasons. After Aug. 31, rosters may grow to as many as 28, with a maximum of 14 pitchers. Previously, September rosters were allowed 40 players. The larger roster creates 30 major league jobs.

Increasing the injured list and option-recall duration for pitchers from 10 to 15 days.

The shortening of between-inning breaks at Major League Baseball’s discretion.

Extra innings of the All-Star Game would begin with a runner at second base.

Three-batter rule has been rejected, and confirmation that the pitch clock won’t be coming in 2019 or 2020.

It seems to me that most of these decisions, either of rules to change or rules not changed, are terrible- what say you?


Monday, March 11, 2019

For the MLB Players’ Association, a more unified front isn’t just for show – Orange County Register

Solidarity to do what?

On the tone of players’ questions in their group meetings with union leaders: “The engagement of solidarity among the group is something we haven’t seen in a long time. Whether you’re a young player, young guys are asking questions. Whether you’re in the middle, whether you’re a senior player – everybody is paying attention to what’s going on. … It’s something that we’re encouraged by and that we can appreciate as we’ve gone through Arizona and I would suspect that Florida would be similar.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2019 at 12:11 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa

Friday, March 01, 2019

MLBPA keeping an eye on Blue Jays possibly manipulating Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.’s service time

On Tuesday, Blue Jays GM said on MLB Network Radio about super-prospect and third baseman Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., “I just don’t see him as a major league player.” It was seen as a precursor for Guerrero — son of the Hall of Famer who played for the Expos — to begin the season in the minors for the first two weeks or so of the regular season, a common theme with baseball’s top prospects. MLB Pipeline deems Guerrero the No. 1 prospect in baseball ahead of Fernando Tatis, Jr. and Eloy Jiménez.

The way service time works, teams are incentivized to hold their best players in the minor leagues for the first 10 games or so. In doing so, the player is unable to accrue a full year of service time, which means the team gets to control that player for an extra year, delaying his eligbility for free agency. Typically, a player’s first three years in the majors are known as “pre-arbitration years,” which results in being paid the league minimum or slightly above. Then a player has three years of arbitration eligibility which typically sees the player make a significant jump in salary. After six years, a player finally becomes eligible for free agency.

Technically speaking, teams are not allowed to fudge with their players’ service time, as they would be acting in bad faith. However, intent is notoriously difficult to prove, so teams skirt around the issue by making up nebulous reasoning to keep a star prospect in the minors. Usually, the representative says the player needs to work on his defense. That’s what the Cubs said about Kris Bryant in 2015 when they had him start the year at Triple-A despite torching minor league pitching in 2014 and follow up with an even more bonkers spring training showing. Bryant said he saw three ground balls in games before he was called up to the majors after the cut-off that granted the Cubs another year of control over him.

True, but tempting to view in the manner of Boss Tweed via Thomas Nast:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4w_eFtk3KJU/TtWePACuQPI/AAAAAAAAAwg/zejWLTrhyBM/s1600/Tweed+++Nast++Under+The+Thumb+-+twas+him+-+smaller.jpg

http://gallery.oldprintshop.com/public/uploads/jpg/92289.jpg

 

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mlbpa, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The new MLBPA chief negotiator that’s preparing for a possible battle with MLB

PHOENIX — “Jelly bean?” Bruce Meyer mouthed.

He was on a phone call, pacing the lobby of a Phoenix hotel, occasionally slipping his hand into a brown paper bag wedged under his elbow. He stopped, held out the bag and raised his eyebrows.

The new chief negotiator for the Major League Baseball Players Association just may have a jelly bean problem.

Worse still, he’s in a position where he reports to Tony Clark.

QLE Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bruce meyer, jelly beans, labor relations, mlbpa, negotiations

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

MLBPA’s Tony Clark calls Rob Manfred’s comments on payroll ‘unconstructive and misleading at best’ - CBSSports.com

Of course, building through the farm is the right way. Free agent spending should be a last resort, especially at the top of the market. It’s a way to finish off your team. It’s not a great way to build.

There are multiple ways to build a good roster, but spending on veteran talent remains the most villainized approach. Teams instead sell their fans on building the “right way,” which just so happens to double as the most cost-efficient way. Budget space is not, within itself, inherently valuable—not unless there’s an intent to use it. Otherwise, it benefits only ownership. An unwillingness to spend is part of why baseball is where it is—perhaps on the verge of its first labor stoppage in decades. League-wide profits have increased 16 years running while the median salary has grown stagnant. Through billion-dollar television deals and publicly financed stadiums, teams have become less reliant upon gate revenue—their bottom lines are now less dependent on fielding competitive clubs that draw fans.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:54 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa

Friday, January 25, 2019

MLBPA hires former ESPN writer Jerry Crasnick as senior advisor for player, agent, and media relations

Back in October, long-time ESPN baseball writer Jerry Crasnick announced it was his final day at ESPN after 15 years. He’s now found a new role at the Major League Baseball Players Association. The union announced Friday that they’d promoted veteran staffer Chris Dahl (who’s been working with the MLBPA in a variety of roles for 22 years, most recently as the interim director of communications) to director of communications and hired Crasnick as senior advisor for player, agent and media relations:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2019 at 05:48 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa

MLB PLAYERS UNION HEAD TONY CLARK BLASTS SLOW FREE AGENCY

For the second consecutive year, prominent free agents remain unsigned with very little time remaining before spring training. And MLBPA head Tony Clark is not happy about it.

Clark ripped the slow process, comparing it to the pace of play arguments that have permeated through baseball in recent years.

When asked if his incompetence had helped to create this situation, Clark said “Look over there!” and ran out a side door.

 

QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 03:58 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, mlbpa, tony clark

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Former Reliever Tells Story of MLB Players Union Refusing to Help Pay for Life-Saving Treatment

​Former reliever Micah Bowie spent parts of six seasons at the major league level, including two seasons with the ​Washington Nationals in 2006 and 2007. After just 10 appearances with the Colorado Rockies in 2008, he was released and his career was over.

After clawing his way to stay in the big leagues, Bowie is now fighting and clawing just to stay alive.

​​After undergoing back surgery that led to complications in 2016, Bowie has been dealing with life-threatening health issues, including severe damage to his lungs that doesn’t allow him to breath very well.

QLE Posted: January 20, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: health, micah bowie, mlbpa

AZSnakepit Jim McLennan: No, baseball’s economy is not broken , Changing? Sure.

No-one has yet been able to tell me why owners are obligated to pay more to players, simply because revenue has increased. MLB is no anarcho-syndicalist commune where players and owners take it in turns to act as sort of executive officer for the week. It is a business, with players among the most well-remunerated employees of any company in the world - contracts guaranteed regardless of performance, health or federal investigation

Jack Sommers Posted: January 20, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agents, mlbpa

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Average baseball salary down for first time since 2004

And somehow Tony Clark is still in charge.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2018 at 08:46 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, mlbpa

 

 

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