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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlbpa, obituary, rip, union

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   1. Textbook Editor Posted: November 21, 2013 at 09:37 PM (#4604225)
RIP. Brain tumors just completely suck.
   2. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: November 21, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4604229)
rest in peace, though I wonder if this will delay the arod case for a few days.
   3. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: November 21, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4604230)
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.


Interesting, I hadn't heard that bit before.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: November 21, 2013 at 09:42 PM (#4604233)
Brain tumors just completely suck.

I've known people who've died from brain tumors within a matter of weeks (or even days) of diagnosis. Battling for 15 months is remarkable.
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 21, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4604249)
Only 51. Much too soon. RIP.
   6. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: November 21, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4604250)
This just sucks. He was such a fundamentally decent person.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: November 21, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4604257)
Weiner did so many interviews this year multi-tasking both his job and his condition, which I found to be remarkable. The industry reaction clearly has been way beyond "let's not speak ill of the dead before the funeral."

I remember when a colleague once left (thankfully, in that case, just for another job), and I noted that to another colleague, who simply said, "He's a pro."

Michael Weiner was a pro.

That's all I got.

   8. Publius Publicola Posted: November 21, 2013 at 10:30 PM (#4604259)
NY Daily News obituary headline:

"Brain Tumor Beats Weiner."
   9. ptodd Posted: November 21, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4604260)
It's sad anyone has to go so early. He had a lot to live for. Don't know him though.

I do wonder if Selig dares to suspend Arod for 211 games with a union head who was not distracted battling for his life and one who would have been around in the next CBA talks.
   10. jdennis Posted: November 21, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4604263)
Weiner did so many interviews this year multi-tasking both his job and his condition, which I found to be remarkable.


You get stir crazy when you think too much about death. If you are actually dying, you have a manic desire to get as much done as possible.

   11. bobm Posted: November 21, 2013 at 10:38 PM (#4604265)
I do wonder if Selig dares to suspend Arod for 211 games with a union head who was not distracted battling for his life and one who would have been around in the next CBA talks.

Maybe Weiner realized that it was not worth the effort to defend the indefensible beyond ensuring due process.
   12. jdennis Posted: November 21, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4604268)
I just saw on Clark's b-r that he was drafted and signed out of SDSU.... at 18, and barely so. Any explanations?
   13. Sonic Youk Posted: November 21, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4604270)
I remember Clark as being a big union guy, because his random awful year with the Red Sox was blamed on him being super busy with the labor problems that year
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2013 at 11:56 PM (#4604287)
Terrible. And he has a wife and three daughters. RIP, Michael.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM (#4604290)
As to Clark, I'm skeptical that a 41 year old non-lawyer who spent until age 37 focusing his adult life on a professional baseball career can know enough to be a successful union head. But, well, maybe.
   16. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 22, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4604292)
As to Clark, I'm skeptical that a 41 year old non-lawyer who spent until age 37 focusing his adult life on a professional baseball career can know enough to be a successful union head. But, well, maybe.


It's really a strange direction to go for MLB. But I guess they figured it worked so well for the NFL.

And RIP to Mr. Weiner, who seemed to pretty well liked and respected throughout the game.
   17. puck Posted: November 22, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4604293)
Wow, that's a big deal that Tony Clark is exec director, isn't it? Those guys haven't tended to be ex-players, right?
   18. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: November 22, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4604294)
I had an uncle die of stomach cancer a year ago. The final weeks of cancer are unbelievably horrifying.

RIP
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: November 22, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4604300)
"The final weeks of cancer are unbelievably horrifying."

If anyone here has been so crazily lucky not to have yet been metaphorically been hit in the midsection by a cannon by this issue - still, donate today, even if only you believe in karma. or anything.

or nothing.

you may only feel you have so many precious amounts of emotional cargo. take the chance.
   20. Lassus Posted: November 22, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4604312)
Ray, if you've ever heard Clark speak you might doubt less. He gives the impression of real natural intelligence and clear thinking.
   21. Bob Tufts Posted: November 22, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4604313)
As to Clark, I'm skeptical that a 41 year old non-lawyer who spent until age 37 focusinhis adult life on a professional baseball career can know enough to be a successful union head.


From the MLBPA website:

As acting executive director, Clark, who was named deputy executive director on July 22, will oversee all day-to-day aspects of the MLBPA's operations, including labor relations, business affairs and the Players Trust. The issue of union leadership will be addressed by the executive board during the MLBPA's 2013 executive board meeting in December (Dec. 2-15; La Jolla, Calif.). The MLBPA Constitution and By-Laws provide that the executive director shall be "appointed by the Executive board."


David Prouty, the general counsel, will be in charge of all legal work and future negotiation of CBA matters - unless there are changes at the union winter meeting.
   22. dejarouehg Posted: November 22, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4604356)
Extremely sad. How often do you find people from the opposing side of what have been historically contentious negotiations expressing such admiration the way MLB has for Weiner since he was first diagnosed. He had the gift of arguing/convincing without making things being personal or putting up pretense.

(I do believe the ARod camp was not happy with his actions at all.)

   23. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4604378)
I've known people who've died from brain tumors within a matter of weeks (or even days) of diagnosis.


Evidently, that's what happened with my maternal grandmother. She died while my mother was in high school, about 15 years before I was born, but what I was told is that she was one of those people who was never, ever sick, then took to her bed with a debilitating headache. When she finally went to the hospital, she was dead within a week. My mother never got over it.

RIP, Mr. Weiner, & my deepest condolences to your family & friends.
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4604411)
Kinda cool how many players tweeted condolensces. I tend to think of many of these athletes as not noticing what's going on with labor issues, but Weiner apparently did a great job of connecting with many of them, even the non-superstars.
   25. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4604421)
David Prouty, the general counsel, will be in charge of all legal work and future negotiation of CBA matters - unless there are changes at the union winter meeting.


Thanks, Bob. This makes much more sense to me.
   26. Bob Tufts Posted: November 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4604423)
Kinda cool how many players tweeted condolences


When NYU had a memorial service for Miller, five current players attended to show their support and thanks. Tony Clark has been the main contact with these players, making sure that they remember how their ability to earn millions came about. Now that we are far past the 1980-81 and 1994-95 labor battles, Tony fills the role of institutional education regarding the history of the union.

Once I complete my Miller course at NYU this spring, I will edit it and provide it to the MLBPA in some form (with their assistance).
   27. asinwreck Posted: November 22, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4604454)
Once I complete my Miller course at NYU this spring, I will edit it and provide it to the MLBPA in some form (with their assistance).

Can you speak more about this, Bob? Are you working with Jim Jacobs?
   28. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 22, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4604478)
David Prouty, the general counsel, will be in charge of all legal work and future negotiation of CBA matters - unless there are changes at the union winter meeting.


Isn't he the original Darth Vader?
   29. Bob Tufts Posted: November 22, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4604504)
Are you working with Jim Jacobs?

Asinwreck: No I am not, but if he is an associate I would like to meet with him.

I plan to bring guest speakers from the UAW, MLBPA, MLB, former players, reporters, fellow professors and deans in the sports management program to give their expert opinion.

I will be talking with Arthur Miller (the attorney) when I adapt the course for future use at NYU - and perhaps by the MLBPA. I am also in the process of trying to arrange an interview with Justice Sotomayor to discuss the 1995 2nd circuit decision that ended the strike and the recent Supreme Court Historical Society re-enactment of Flood v Kuhn .
   30. Swoboda is freedom Posted: November 22, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4604510)
I've known people who've died from brain tumors within a matter of weeks (or even days) of diagnosis. Battling for 15 months is remarkable.

Both my father and my sister died from brain tumors (GBMs). The life expectancy depends on the tumor. People with stage 4 have less than a year usually. My father noticed his vision was bad while driving home from watching the NCAA basketball finals. He was dead before the end of the end. He had stage 4.

My sister had stage 2 and lived for 3 years. The cancer progressed. The doctors believed that she had a very slow growing cancer and may have had it for 10 years. She had been having migraines for the past decade before getting diagnosed.

The end stage is horrible and excruciatingly slow. The skull is only so big and the brain is getting pushed around by the tumor growth. Often the brain stem is pushed out of the skull, which
   31. GregD Posted: November 22, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4604524)
The end stage is horrible and excruciatingly slow. The skull is only so big and the brain is getting pushed around by the tumor growth. Often the brain stem is pushed out of the skull, which
I am so sorry. That is terrible.
   32. dejarouehg Posted: November 22, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4604585)
Is truly a horrific illness. Lost my F-I-L to it. One of the all time great human beings.

He had a stage 4 glioblastoma when diagnosed.

Asked a doctor "friend" of ours who had been working in brain tumor research (this is in 2000) for more than a decade if there was anything we could do and he (cavalierly) responded, "take him on the cruise of his dreams and then just before you return, throw him overboard to avoid the inevitable."

Last time we spoke.

I wish this illness had the same financial research support as the other more popular
   33. Rafael Bellylard: A failure of the waist. Posted: November 23, 2013 at 02:49 AM (#4604788)
I wish this illness had the same financial research support as the other more popular


Agreed. But "Save the TaTa's" is much more catchy than "Save the Brain".
   34. dlf Posted: November 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4604828)
Trying not to think about the ribbons they would have for a "Save the Prostate" campaign ...

Anyway, I met Michael Weiner once some years ago when he was general counsel for MLBPA before his subsequent elevation to replace Don Fehr. He spoke, together with Gene Upshaw and someone from the NHL plus representatives of management at the annual meeting of a group of labor neutrals that was held in Puerto Rico. After the conference session, I was able to talk to him for several minutes and he couldn't have been more gracious. After the session, a bunch of us went to see a game between the Expos and, if I recall, the Angels, played at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan. Weiner joined the NHL reps to watch a Stanley Cup game at the hotel, but after the game he met several of us at the bar and talked late into the night about baseball, labor relations, practicing law, and, the part he was most interested in, families. I was impressed.

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