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Friday, April 11, 2014

Seduction of ‘donut contracts’ has MLB players leaving millions on table

Baseball players are underpaid.

In a vacuum, the issue gets a big, fat #richpeopleproblems hashtag. If the MLBPA’s biggest problems revolve around a guy not getting enough millions, whooptie damn do. At the same time, that ignores an important principle, and one the union is stressing as long-term deals swing more and more in favor of teams: Baseball is a $9 billion industry, and every dollar that doesn’t go to the players who make the game what it is funnels straight into the suit pockets of owners who are getting even more stinking rich with every successful long-term deal.

eddieot Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, mlbpa, salaries

Friday, February 07, 2014

A-Rod voluntarily dismisses lawsuit against MLB, MLBPA and Bud Selig

In an odd twist, Alex Rodriguez and his legal team have voluntarily dismissed their lawsuits against Major League Baseball and the player’s union. [...] A-Rod’s camp filed the lawsuit against MLB and MLBPA seeking an injuction that could potentially overturn his record 162-game suspension. The “witch hunt” lawsuit was filed last year and is a separate matter and would not affect the suspension.

Rodriguez can still refile his suit and continue seeking an injunction, or he could simply stop the legal battle and accept the suspension.

Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: February 07, 2014 at 06:15 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, mlbpa, selig

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Robothal: A-Rod case a window into future labor strife for MLB

You gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the fillies.

While serious [Collective Bargaining Agreement] talks are likely more than two years away, sources say that the union already is preparing for management to pursue an aggressive, ambitious strategy… The players, to be sure, are more vulnerable than in the past — and both sides know it.

The union is under new, less experienced leadership. It seems willing to relent further on drug testing. It also is facing a management team that has set caps on domestic amateurs, international amateurs and the posting fees for Japanese players, gaining control over labor costs in virtually every area but the final frontier — major-league salaries… Now more than ever, they need to fight for due process and protect their rights…

The “injustice” of his suspension, [Alex] Rodriguez said, was “MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.’‘

Rodriguez’s concerns are extreme. The clubs might seek to convert guaranteed language to non-guaranteed in the contracts of players who are caught using PEDs, but they will never get away with abolishing guaranteed contracts. They also might seek harsher penalties than the current 50-100-lifetime formula for positive tests, but will never get away with lifetime bans for first-time offenders… The point is, there are battles ahead…

The union lost one of its greatest minds when its executive director, Michael Weiner, died of brain cancer on Nov. 21. Weiner’s replacement, Tony Clark, is the first former player to hold the position — a position once occupied by Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr.

Clark could prove a worthy successor — he is extremely intelligent, a natural leader. Kevin McGuiness, newly appointed as the union’s chief operating officer, is a 30-year veteran of the Washington D.C. lobbying scene, a “serious piece of manpower,” according to one player advocate. But few would dispute that the union, without Weiner, will be weaker initially.

Of course, the owners also will be under different leadership by the next round of labor negotiations — Commissioner Bud Selig has said he will retire when his contract expires in January 2015. The promotion of chief operating officer Rob Manfred, the owners’ longtime labor negotiator, might be the best hope for continuing the peace. A commissioner without Manfred’s background might be more inclined to flex his muscles, and what better way to do it than by taking on the union?

A storm is brewing, all right. And while it will have nothing to do with Rodriguez, it will center around two issues with which he is quite familiar.

Drugs. And money.

The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, ken rosenthal, labor, mlbpa, ped

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Davidoff: Deeply missed Michael Weiner is baseball’s Person of the Year

I gave Weiner this title, along with Forde, last year because of the way he conducted himself upon learning of his diagnosis in August 2012, and he just kept going in his final calendar year of life. The A-Rod/Biogenesis mess kept Weiner plenty busy and in the spotlight, and he worked for the players until he had nothing left to give.

It became evident Weiner didn’t believe that A-Rod was fully innocent, just as he worked with the other 13 Biogenesis players to find punishments that worked. But when MLB slapped A-Rod with that record-long suspension, Weiner turned his vigor toward his more natural adversary: the league. Weiner understood protecting both the player and the precedent is critical, and he wouldn’t let the smaller picture get in the way of that.

eddieot Posted: December 18, 2013 at 03:23 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: a-rod, michael weiner, mlbpa

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Dave Winfield joins MLBPA staff

First union exec in the Hall Of Fame.

Winfield spent 15 of his 22 big league seasons as a player representative. He also served as a founding member of the advisory board of the Major League Baseball Players Trust, which was founded in 1996.

“As a former union leader, I’m thrilled to be joining the ranks of the most accomplished and respected sports union in the country to help provide a generational link and historical perspective to today’s players,” said Winfield in a statement Thursday.

eddieot Posted: December 05, 2013 at 04:47 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dave winfield, hof, michael weiner, mlbpa, padres, tony clark, yankees

Friday, November 29, 2013

Chass: A DIFFERENT LABOR CHIEF

The children “adored” Michael Weiner, the retired rabbi related. That would be Mr. Weiner the Sunday school teacher. He was also the fellow who headed the baseball players’ union until his death from brain cancer Nov. 21, but it’s highly unlikely that many of his union members knew him as the teacher of fourth and fifth graders at the Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey in Washington, N.J.michael-weiner-225

Rabbi Ellen Lewis, who recently retired after 19 years at the temple, told me about one of Weiner’s students.

“There is a young boy coming up for bar mitzvah this year,” she wrote in an e-mail from Japan, “who considered moving his date earlier so Mr. Weiner could be there. Since each child chooses a mitzvah project during the 7th grade year, this boy chose Voices against Brain Cancer because he wanted to help Mr. Weiner.”

Voices actually became a school-wide project a year ago for its annual 5K run-walk when the organization honored Weiner. The temple had one of the largest teams, if not the largest, in this year’s event, which was held just four days before Weiner died.

eddieot Posted: November 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: michael weiner, mlbpa

Monday, November 25, 2013

Alex Rodriguez and Bud Selig attend memorial service for Michael Weiner

Hundreds of mourners, including commissioner Bud Selig and embattled Yankee Alex Rodriguez, journeyed to Paramus, N.J., on a bitterly cold Sunday and packed Robert Schoem’s Menorah Chapel for the memorial service of Michael Weiner, the late executive director of baseball’s Players’ Association.

Weiner, who died Thursday at 51 from brain cancer — he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in August 2012 — was eulogized by his wife, Diane Margolin, and Rabbi Mary Zamore in a 40-minute service that included proinent names from all corners of baseball. They included Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, super agent Scott Boras, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, former Mets GM Omar Minaya, Mets PR chief Jay Horwitz, MLB COO Rob Manfred and former players David Cone, Al Leiter, Bobby Bonilla and Frank Thomas. Don Fehr, Weiner’s predecessor (and now the NHL’s union chief) as well as Tony Clark, Weiner’s successor, also attended.

“I’ve been thinking about how to address you on this occasion since August of ’12, when an aggressive, cancerous tumor invaded Mike’s brain. I imagined this day to be far, far off, but I knew it was coming. And I knew when it would come, I knew you’d come, because you loved Mike, and because you know how much Mike would want us to be here together,” [his widow] Margolin said. “Our Mike, he lived an intentional, mindful, truthful and honest life, and I need all those words to say it, and I need to say it again. Our Mike, he lived an intentional, mindful, truthful and honest life. And this led to much happiness for him and all of us around him.”

 

eddieot Posted: November 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: a-rod, bud selig, michael weiner, mlbpa

Thursday, November 21, 2013

ESPN: Union leader Michael Weiner dies

Condolences to his family.

Baseball players’ union head Michael Weiner has died 15 months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He was 51.

The union says Weiner died Thursday at his home in Mansfield Township, N.J.

Weiner was a plain-speaking labor lawyer known for his casual dress and easygoing manner. He took over as head of the powerful union four years ago and helped smooth its often-contentious relationship with MLB management.

A succession plan was put in place last summer that will lead to former big league All-Star Tony Clark taking over Weiner’s role as executive director.

AndrewJ Posted: November 21, 2013 at 09:07 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa, obituary, rip, union

Sunday, November 17, 2013


 

 

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