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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Marvin Miller Dies

Marvin Miller, the first executive director of the MLB Players Association, died this morning at the age of 95, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports (on Twitter). Condolences to Miller’s family and the MLBPA.

 

eddieot Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:50 AM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlbpa

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   1. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4310467)
RIP.
It is sad to think he won't be alive when he finally makes it to the HoF.
   2. winnipegwhip Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4310477)

Considering my conservative viewpoint I have always respected (and agreed with) Mr. Miller for his zealous advocacy for those he represents. His fights were honourable and his loyalty for those he represented will never be questioned.

RIP.
   3. phredbird Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4310481)
Sad news. it really is disgraceful that he's not in the hall of fame. he was instrumental in as much change as any of the executives that are in.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4310486)
Terribly sad news, particularly since the recent Vet's committee had the opportunity to give him his Hall of Fame due, and blew it.

RIP.
   5. AndrewJ Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4310489)
We've lost a lot of good people in 2012. He was one of the best.
   6. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4310492)
Good man, long life well-led. RIP.
   7. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4310508)
This is obviously sad news because it's terrible to lose a man like Miller, but he led a great life. It's a shame he didn't get HOF induction, and it'll be even worse if they give him an immediate Santo treatment.
   8. Gamingboy Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4310517)
RIP. One of the most important figures in baseball history, especially amongst those that didn't wear a uniform.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4310524)
It's a shame he didn't get HOF induction, and it'll be even worse if they give him an immediate Santo treatment.


Though both posthumous elections are/will be depressing*, his situation is a little different than Santo's. Ron would have made the Hall before he died, but the previous Vet's committee was inadvertently designed to avoid electing anyone, and the reconfigured committee, the one that put him in, didn't meet until after he died.

Miller had a chance before a functioning Vet's Committee. The committee passed on him.

* Assuming Miller eventually gets in.
   10. Rough Carrigan Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4310530)
Owners: "Okay, now we can consider his enshrinement."
   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4310533)
a man of strong opinion who made a tangible impact on the world around him. not a bad legacy
   12. John Northey Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4310549)
It is sad that he didn't make the HOF while alive, and that he got to see Bowie Kuhn put in.

It does seem that the vets committee follows a 'lets put them in when dead and not a minute before' rule.

No question though, he did more for the players in MLB, and in other sports for that matter, than any other individual. Without baseball having salaries reveled and skyrocketing it is a safe bet the other major sports would never have seen the same. Every last player active or inactive should send a thank you letter to the funeral and, if donations are being asked, should donate to whatever charity is listed (often those who die will ask for donations to their favorite charity).
   13. dr. scott Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4310550)
Despite his age, over the last few months he had been talking to people inside cycling about how they might achieve for cyclists what he did for baseball players. There were a few interesting interviews with him about the subject.

That being said, given the much larger issue and impact of drugs in cycling, it may be for the best that unionization of the sort in MLB has not happened yet in cycling as cycling is finally starting to clean up.... who knows.
   14. Spahn Insane Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4310559)
Whoa. RIP.

EDIT: I mean, he was 95, so I shouldn't sound surprised, but Miller always seemed so damned spirited.
   15. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4310560)
RIP, of course. I think it's not clear to what extent Miller had a personal impact on the game, or to what extent he came along at the right time. Having read Miller's memoir, I think that he egged Curt Flood on when he should have restrained him, and arranged for inappropriate counsel for Flood. If Tom Yawkey's in the HOF, then certainly Miller should be in, if the if/then argument is valid.
   16. Textbook Editor Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4310569)
Despite his age, over the last few months he had been talking to people inside cycling about how they might achieve for cyclists what he did for baseball players. There were a few interesting interviews with him about the subject.


If you have links, I'd love to read those interviews.

RIP
   17. Perry Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4310571)
Having read Miller's memoir, I think that he egged Curt Flood on when he should have restrained him, and arranged for inappropriate counsel for Flood.


Really? Maybe (probably) your memory is better than mine, but I thought he said he told Flood he would almost certainly lose, but Flood wanted to go ahead anyway.
   18. fra paolo Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4310579)
Oh no. He was a great American.

Beatus qui intellegit super egenum et pauperem: in die mala liberabit eum Dominus.
   19. Bob Tufts Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4310596)
Thank you, Marvin.

I will re-read "Lords of the Realm" tonight to remember what you did for me.
   20. Mark Armour Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4310604)
Miller's impact on baseball history was extraordinary. I know we are entering the silly season, but I sure wish we could talk about Miller without the ridiculous HOF in/out test. History is not a list, and Miller does not need the HOF to ensure his legacy.
   21. LargeBill Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4310654)
May he rest in peace.

As Mark said in #20 maybe this isn't the time to debate whether he should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I'm in the camp that votes no, but don't believe today is the day to argue that point.
   22. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4310677)
Just to re-iterate what Mr. Tufts said, I will also re-read "Lords of the Realm".

I didn't agree with everything Mr. Miller said, but he should be in the HOF considering the history of some of the non-uniform persons that are enshrined there. May he win his final arbitration case in the afterlife.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4310689)
RIP. He was part of the biggest change in the game's history, one I fully support.
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4310690)
I will re-read "Lords of the Realm" tonight to remember what you did for me.


This is a wonderful sentiment from the former MLB player among us. I hope the active guys realize what Miller meant to them and their families. Certainly Jeremy Guthrie's tweet shows he has that appreciation.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4310695)
Prediction: Cherubim organized, engaging in collective bargaining by Jan. 1.
   26. dr. scott Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4310704)
here is the interview...


http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/08/analysis/commentary-building-a-cycling-union-straight-from-millers-mouth_237069

Here is the opinion piece that apparently Marvin read which prompted the interview....

http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/08/news/opinion-does-pro-cycling-need-a-marvin-miller_234585

I thought there were some follow up pieces, but i cant find them.
   27. Obo Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4310715)
RIP. A major figure in baseball history and a man whose opinion was always worth listening to.
   28. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4310720)
Don't mean to hijack, but is anyone else seeing random words hyperlinked which are merely links to ads? I've been out of the loop for about 2 weeks, so maybe it's been discussed. In this thread, the words "executives" in post 3 and "uniform" in post 8 are hyperlinks to ads.

edit: and just like that, they're gone.
   29. eddieot Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4310722)
Miller's own words on the HOF snub: "I find myself unwilling to contemplate one more rigged Veterans Committee, whose members are handpicked to reach a particular outcome while offering a pretense of a democratic vote,'' he said. "It is an insult to baseball fans, historians,sportswriters, and especially to those baseball players who sacrificed and brought the game into the 21st century. At the age of 91, I can do without farce."
   30. Bob Tufts Posted: November 27, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4310731)
Two quotes taken from Lowenfish (The Imperfect Diamond) that show what Miller faced - and eventually accomplished

John Montgomery Ward in 1887:

"Like a fugitive slave law, the reserve rule denies him a harbor or a livelihood, and carries him back, bound and shackled, to the club from which he attempted to escape."

Curt Flood's letter to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn in 1969:

"After twelve years in the major leagues, I do not feel I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes. I believe that any system which produces that result violates my basic rights as a citizen and is inconsistent with the laws of the United States and of the several States."


   31. SoSH U at work Posted: November 27, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4310732)
Don't mean to hijack, but is anyone else seeing random words hyperlinked which are merely links to ads?


I am, and it's annoying as hell. I've clicked on this crap, thinking it was a legit link, on several occasions.

   32. puck Posted: November 27, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4310740)
Don't mean to hijack, but is anyone else seeing random words hyperlinked which are merely links to ads?

I am, and it's annoying as hell. I've clicked on this crap, thinking it was a legit link, on several occasions.

Huh, I am not seeing it...I have adblockers on some browsers but not all, and see the banner ads on top and lower right, but not what you're describing.
   33. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4310798)
I'm not getting the issue SoSh and Misirlou are getting.
   34. Repoz Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4310844)
Here's part of a tasteless anti-Marvin Miller rant on Baseball Camp or someplace on Facebook

...Ask yourself why baseball is no longer Americas #1 game (#3 behind football and basketball), the answer is: Marvin Miller. Ask yourself why performance enhancing drugs have become so rampant in baseball, the answer is: Marvin Miller (because of the amount of money he helped to put on the line for player contracts). There are those who will write of the injustice of his exclusion from Baseballs Hall of Fame, in my opinion it is a crime that he missed by ONLY 1 vote in the last election (another reason the vote should be taken away from the sports writers), because of the long term harm he has done to the sport I hope to never see his plaque in Cooperstown. I would expect his funeral to attract many 1000's as every player who has benifited by his policies should crawl on their hands and knees to worship at his final resting place and shrine. I doubt very much that you will find anyone from ownership in attendance, and other than out of curiosity I would hope the same could be said for your average fan of the game for it is them that he hurt the most. RIP Mr. Miller, you have my sympathy but never my thanks.

And here's a response from ex-hurler Dick Drago...

Totally disagree with you
   35. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4310852)
R.I.P., Mr. Miller.
   36. Master Procrastinator Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4310855)
I hope when the hall comes calling, Miller's family tell it to kiss its proverbial ass.
   37. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4310859)
Well, it is true that Marvin Miller wasn't concerned a whit with the competition that comprises the real essence of baseball, separating it from the movies and pro wrestling and American Idol. That, of course, wasn't his job but that's kind of the point -- his job and what he did with it shouldn't be made into more than it was.
   38. winnipegwhip Posted: November 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4310922)
If Miller gets in right away after his passing is it not a bad assumption that Pete Rose will be faking his death soon afterward?
   39. Gamingboy Posted: November 27, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4310940)

If Miller gets in right away after his passing is it not a bad assumption that Pete Rose will be faking his death soon afterward?


Hasn't helped Shoeless Joe.
   40. winnipegwhip Posted: November 27, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4310941)
Shoeless Joe was dumb. He wasn't Pete Rose stupid.
   41. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 27, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4310960)
If Miller gets in right away after his passing is it not a bad assumption that Pete Rose will be faking his death soon afterward?


And that Vegas sports books will suddenly begin laying odds on an Iowa cornfield shortly after that?
   42. toratoratora Posted: November 27, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4310991)
Really? Maybe (probably) your memory is better than mine, but I thought he said he told Flood he would almost certainly lose, but Flood wanted to go ahead anyway.


You have this right.
I just finished reading Miller's bio for the first time.
The man had balls of steel(Fitting, considering his background), and was lucky enough to have an opponent as hapless as Kuhn.
That Bowie is in the HoF and Miller is out, well, that's simply absurd.
RIP Marvin-you changed the game more than anyone else in my lifetime
   43. silhouetted by the sea Posted: November 27, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4310993)
RIP Marvin And this quote, from #30, is awfully powerful, coming 22 years after the end of the Civil War.
John Montgomery Ward in 1887:

"Like a fugitive slave law, the reserve rule denies him a harbor or a livelihood, and carries him back, bound and shackled, to the club from which he attempted to escape."
   44. Tim D Posted: November 27, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4311031)
Miller's autobiography is a great read if you haven't picked it up. I especially enjoyed the comparison between what he was used to with the steel workers and the MLBPA when he started out in 1966. The backwardness of the players, let alone the owners, was pretty shocking. His impact on the game was huge. And if the owners had followed Charlie Finley's advice to let them all become free agents and resist salary arbitration at all costs, I suspect things would have turned out much worse for the players. I too hope Marvin's family gets chance to tell the HOF "thanks anyway."
   45. Mark Armour Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4311047)
I interviewed Miller in 2007 for my book on Joe Cronin, with whom he worked very closely--at the time Miller got his union post, Cronin was the chair of the Player Relations Committee. Miller spoke kindly of these men, but he expressed mainly frustration had how the owners had no knowledge in the world about labor law, collective bargaining, and the basic rights that the union had just by its existence. He spent most of his first year or two teaching both the owners and the players things that were true--not rights that the players *could* have, but rights that they *had*.
   46. asinwreck Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4311063)
Shouldn't Bowie Kuhn's plaque read: "Tolerated by his employers for bumbling for a few years, then fired and sent to Florida?"

Having Kuhn in the Hall and Miller out is like giving Michael Spinks the heavyweight championship for being knocked out in seconds by Mike Tyson.

   47. Steve Treder Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4311064)
Having Kuhn in the Hall and Miller out is like giving Michael Spinks the heavyweight championship for being knocked out in seconds by Mike Tyson.

This.
   48. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4311076)
Kuhn accomplished more for the game as a whole than Miller and it really isn't close. Opening the HOF to Negro Leaguers, night games in the World Series, increasing exposure on TV, the rulings against McLain, Finley, and Ted Turner, opening the training camps in 1976, making the Braves play Aaron in the first series of 1974, effectively shepherding through the revolutionary changes wrought by the end of the reserve clause.

Which isn't, of course, to say that Miller didn't lead a very worthy life because he did.
   49. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4311079)
Miller didn't negotiate with Kuhn. The commissioner wasn't an owners' lackey in Kuhn's day -- which is why Kuhn sided with Miller, not the owners, in the spring of 1976 when he ordered baseball to be played when there wasn't a CBA and there was tons of uncertainty in the wake of Seitz's decision a few months earlier.

Thus, no "knockout." Kuhn didn't play the role of a Bud Selig or Gary Bettman.
   50. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4311141)
Having read Miller's memoir, I think that he egged Curt Flood on when he should have restrained him, and arranged for inappropriate counsel for Flood.



Really? Maybe (probably) your memory is better than mine, but I thought he said he told Flood he would almost certainly lose, but Flood wanted to go ahead anyway.


I don't think these are completely incompatible statements. After reading Miller's account, I don't think he was as pessimistic as precedent should have led him to be.

I was nevrous when typing the comments critical of Miller, because of what happened in the Pesky thread a while back. I think that Miller certainly is qualified for the Hall based on its previous standards for off field figures, although I'd go with Bill James and Dr. Jobe before him.
   51. winnipegwhip Posted: November 28, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4311156)
If Bill James went in he should go in the writers wing.

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