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Category:MLB
Posted on: April 8, 2012 4:21 pm
 

Stop the Insanity

At some point in the future baseballs historians will ponder discuss and disagree upon when the 2012 baseball season began.  Some will point to March 28 in a foreign country seven time zones removed from the continental United States.  Opponents will disagree and offer as evidence that the game was aired live only by the Mariners network at 3:00 AM PCT and not shown at all by the A’s Comcast Sportsnet.  

Further discussion will hover about whether MLB should be entertaining baseball fans in a foreign country at the expense of the fans of the country that gave birth, nurtured like a National Treasure and supported the game for over a hundred years.  The answer is absolutely not, especially since the owner of the Mariners for over twenty years, Hiroshi Yamauchi founder of Nintendo, had never seen his own team play.  Not even in 2001 when the team won 116 games.  Make no mistake about it this was not an effort to globalize baseball, not in a country that has played professional organized ball since 1934, a sum of seventy-seven years.  The fans of this country were sold out for money in the form of merchandise sales   The effort to squeeze every dollar or yen by Allan Huber Selig knows no limits.  Besides don’t we have a globalization abortion of a program known as the World Baseball Classic, wink, wink?

The rest of the opening season included a single game one week later between the Cardinals and Marlins.  Upon conclusion of that game the Marlins, who had lost, flew to Cincinnati to face the Reds on day three of the baseball opening day menu which introduced thirteen more teams to the new season.  None of whom had to fly overnight to play a day game other than the Marlins, the Marlins were shutout.  Day four and the final thirteen teams finally reached the beginning of the 162 game marathon.

The engineer of this madness was MLB whose overseer Selig has left no opportunity to earn his flock a dollar.  The beneficiaries of Selig’s zealousness are the owners, the networks, the agents and the players.  My failure to mention the baseball fan was not an error on my part.

Call Selig what you will, but do not call him Commissioner.  President of Merchandising, CFO, Angel of Death all apply.

The true Commissioners were non baseball men, who along with the two league presidents to oversee the “best interests of baseball and serve as arbitrators of the final say were appointed by the Baseball owners.  The positions of League Presidents was eliminated in 1999 by Selig.  Kenesaw Mountain Landis was a US District Court Judge who had been appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt when he became the first Commissioner and served 24 years until his death.  He was followed by Kentucky Senator ‘Happy’ Chandlerwho resigned his seat in the Senate to accept the appointment as Commissioner. Chandler was the second to serve and the first in my lifetime.  Those who followed, Ford Frick, Sports Journalist and NL President.  General William Eckert, West Point Graduate and retired AF General.  Bowie Kuhn, Attorney. Peter Uberroth, Organizer of the LA Olympics.  A. Bartlett Giamatti President of Yale and Fay Vincent, Deputy Commissioner appointed by Giamatti.  All were ardent followers of baseball and proved their judgment to be balanced.

In 1992 Fay Vincent received a vote of no confidence by baseball ownership and resigned.  Leading  ownership was Bud Selig and his followers “The Great Lakes Gang”, the issue was Vincent pointing out to the owners of the distrust of the union created by Selig and Jerry Reinsdorf in the rigging of free agency resulting in the owners being found guilty of collusion and having to pay back 280 M.

“The Union basically doesn’t trust the Ownership because collusion was a $280 million theft by Bud Selig and Jerry Reinsdorf of that money from the players. I mean, they rigged the signing of free agents. They got caught. They paid $280 million to the players. And I think that’s polluted labor relations in baseball ever since it happened. I think it’s the reason Fehr has no trust in Selig."-Fay Vincent

 

 The same distrust was present in the 1994-95 strike which eliminated the 1994 postseason, shortened the 1995 season and before the strike was settled introduced “replacement players”.  Vincent’s words upon his resignation still resonate today after twenty years.

 

“To do the job without angering an owner is impossible. I can't make all twenty-eight of my bosses happy. People have told me I'm the last commissioner. If so, it's a sad thing. I hope they [the owners] learn this lesson before too much damage is done.”

 

I previously suggested that Selig could be called Angel of Death.  If you think that was extreme consider that today you still receive free games on television if you pay for cable or one of the dish networks.  Otherwise you get no coverage or a handful of games on free television.  Major League Baseball will also sell you a package of all games for the entire season for $110 which is less than $20 a month, not a terrible price.  Now look down the road to the point where the cable and satellite providers will take their baseball coverage premium and for that same $20 or more you’ll just get your home team.  Joe Family Guy who has been priced out of taking the kids to a ballgame will now have to pay to tune in to the team he supported before the Angel of Death killed the National Pastime.  

 

 

Posted on: March 19, 2012 11:56 am
 

2012, Gateway to the Future

Vision a beautiful stadium, sun shining, Division Pennants and World Championship banners rippling in the air.  On either side of the field is a door located between the infield and the outfield wall. The LF door leads to the Mets locker room of the past three years, the RF door opens to the Mets farm system.  At the entrance of each door is a threshold, it is the threshold to the playing field of the future and of those who will sweat, ache, bleed and excel in this arena.

We enter the LF door leading to the Mets locker room; it is a gloomy place with the shadows of the past three years hanging in the air.  Yet the some of the future of the team that will compete, succeed and revel on that field in the sun are here.

All players fall into one of three categories; potentials, unclassified, and space keepers.  We will not be spending time with the space keepers who are short time getting the team to the threshold but are not part of the future. 

The unclassified are players whose potential is identified, but may be sliding into a space keeper role.

The potentials are the youth, the younger players who will at some point soon determine if they are crossing that threshold or their replacement is waiting in the wings and they have become space keepers.

The Rotation;   I am defining Johan Santana as an unclassified, he has two years left on his contract and will be 35 when he reaches FA unless he converts the option for 2014 which would pay him another 25 M.  Very unlikely that he will win a Cy Young and finish 2<sup>nd</sup> or 3<sup>rd</sup> in the other year or pitch 420 innings in the next two years or 215 in 2013.  If Santana does perform decently 28-30 GS 170+ inn. ERA of <4.00 he could be a short term pick up at 2yrs 6 M per in 2014. 

R.A. Dickey is also an unclassified, he will be 38 next year and the Mets hold a 5 M option on him that will likely be picked up.

The potentials are Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee, both need to step forward this year or next to consider themselves as part of the future.

On the Field; The only unclassified I will mention is David Wright the longest tenured Met.  Whether he is a space keeper or a potential may likely be the result of his first 250 PA of this year.  A good start could put him on the deadline trading block or ensure that the Mets pick up his option for next year.  A poor start pushes him into space keeper with either a trade of limited value or as a FA next off season.

The potentials in some capacity as a fixture at their position or on the bench are Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda, and Justin Turner.  For some, as the economics of arbitration out weight their value they will move in trades.  Other may have a long and indeterminate run at Citi Field.

The Bullpen; Pedro Beato, Bobby Parnell and Chris Schwinden are the only members with potential.  Schwinden, if he goes north it will be as the long man out of the pen and as the heir apparent if injury strikes the rotation.  None has made the first step toward that threshold of the future but time is on their side until it isn’t or they fail expectations.

That door down the RF line controls the overall health and future of the team, as long as that door keeps opening and players continue to step into the sunshine, our future will be secure. 

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets, MLB, NY Mets
 
Posted on: January 7, 2012 11:58 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 2:04 pm
 

Sleazy Agent Men

This is a look at three high profile agents and three high profile players. 

 

Agent one and player one are Peter Greenberg, and Jose Reyes.

This past off season Jose Reyes signed a 6 year 106 M dollar contract with the Miami Marlins.  The contract did not contain a no trade clause.  Why do I mention that aspect?  The Marlins do not have a solid fan base in the best of seasons and despite winning the World Series in 1997 and in 2003 have drawn 3 M fans only once.  That was in the Marlins first season 1993, in 1997 when they won the first Championship attendance was 2.4 M.  By the time the Marlins won their second Championship the fan base was jaded.  Owner Wayne Huizenga broke up the 1997 team and with it the fan base.  By the time newest owner Jeff Loria won the second World Series, the attendance in that year was an embarrassing 1.3 M with a payroll of $45 M.  Once again the Marlins sold off the team and by 2006 the opening day payroll was $15 M.  In the last 14 seasons the Marlins payroll has been in the bottom 20% of the League in every year but one.  Loria has been exceptionally fortunate; Allan Huber Selig gave him the opportunity to purchase the Marlins for 158 M including a 38 M no interest loan from MLB by taking the Montreal Expos off his hands.  He stepped into a situation where the Marlins won the World Series the following year.  After he sold off the assets of that team he fielded a team with a payroll of less than MLB was giving him in revenue sharing for a number of years.  He was also the beneficiary of a 500 M taxpayer bond to pay for a new stadium.  That stadium is going to open this year and is the reason why Loria signed Heath Bell to 3 years 27 M, Reyes and Mark Buehrle to a 4 year 58 M $ contract which is only 17 M owed in the first two years.  The Reyes contract of 106 M only pays Reyes 20 M over the first two years leaving an eight-six million dollar balance in the remaining 4 years.  Jeff Loria has been a snake in the past and the handwriting on the wall is that he has his exit strategy already laid out.  New stadium gratis of the taxpayers, big name signings with back loaded contracts equals maximum revenue while the payroll is low and before the stadium allure is over.  The Expos won’t be the only team he dumps on MLB.  Peter Greenberg cannot be that dumb to not see what the future holds, but he can be that greedy to put his percentage of 106 M over the next highest bid of 80 M in front of the well being of his client.  Why not?  It will be Reyes’ last big contract and if Reyes ends up in Kansas City, so be it.

Dan Lozano is the agent for Albert Pujols, and according to rumor recruits new clients with hookers and booze.  I imagine that the other back stabbing sub human species that are also agents are the foundation of this rumor or are annoyed that they didn’t think of it first.  Pujols was courted by three teams; the Cardinals whom he felt low balled him from the very start.  This he regarded as an insult to the man who had been the center of the team for a decade.  The Marlins who either he or Lozano recognized were looking to use Pujols as a marketing tool.  This was apparent by their refusal to give him a no trade clause in the contract which reached 274 M for 10 years.  The Angels did give Pujols the no trade clause and signed him to a contract of 254 M for 10 years.  Arte Morano, owner of the Angels got his wish but will very likely learn the meaning of the saying “be careful of what you wish for”.  Pujols is listed at 32 years of age but is widely believed in baseball circles to be as old as 35.

The final agent is Scott Boras; a piece about sleazy agents couldn’t be complete with out Boras.  Where Boras unsuccessfully tried to steal Reyes last season he was successful in signing K-Rod away from his former agent Peter Kinzer. 

PHOENIX-- Agent Scott Boras confirmed he is now representing New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez.  Rodriguez, 29, is in the final guaranteed season of a deal that pays at least three years, $37 million and was negotiated by former agent Paul Kinzer.  If Rodriguez finishes 55 games this season, a vesting option for $17.5 million kicks in for 2012. Otherwise, K-Rod receives a $3.5 million buyout in addition to his $11.5 million salary for this season.

 "This is something that Sandy and Frankie and I will talk about," Boras said. . Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. 7/11/11

One day later Rodriguez was traded to the Brewers.   What I believe happened, and the senario that makes sense is that Rodriguez, the Mets and the Brewers reached an agreement before the trade, otherwise the Brewers who already have (John Axford 46 Svs) would have been insane to take on Rodriguez with a 17.5 M vesting option pending.  The agreement was reached and the trade took place.  The Brewers bought out his vested option in exchange for a mutual option, Rodriguez got the opportunity to go to a team with playoff ambitions, his agent Boras sold Francisco Rodriguez that it was in his best interest.   

The following is from FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal 7/15/2011.

According to sources, newly acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez has freed Milwaukee from the burden of paying a possible vesting option of $17.5 million, which would have come into effect had K-Rod finished 55 games in 2011.  With Rodriguez needing just 21 more to reach that plateau, the Brewers would have been reticent in letting him close.  Rodriguez, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, has waived the option in exchange for additional compensation, which according to one source is "not a significant amount."

 K-Rod's vesting option is now a mutual option that kicks in with same 55 games finished threshold. It's meaningless, as he would decline and become a free agent. His buyout increases from $3.5M to $4M, which was the inducement. The Mets are paying the original buyout, while the Brewers will pay the additional amount.  The development is a victory for Rodriguez's new agent, Scott Boras, who only began representing the reliever earlier this month. Had the option vested, the commission on next year's salary would have belonged to Rodriguez's former agents at Wasserman Media Group. Instead, now that Rodriguez will be a free agent, Boras will apparently lay claim to the commission on K-Rod's 2012 earnings.

In an ideal trade both sides would benefit and there would be no losers.  This trade produced multiple winners and multiple losers.  Obvious losers are Peter Kinzer and Francisco Rodriguez who has accepted arbitration from the Brewers when the closer market dried up in early Free Agent signings.  The Mets paid 4.5 of Rodriguez 2011 salary and 3.5 of the buy out but still came up winners by avoiding the 14 M remaining on the  vesting option.  The Brewers got Rodriguez for a half season for 1.5 M.  As almost always the case Boras was a winner since he will earn a commission on what ever Rodriguez is awarded in arbitration.  Was this the first time that Boras wrote a check his azz couldn’t cash?  Here are a couple of other Boras clients;

 2009 Jarrod Washburn 35, coming off a 4 yr 35 M contract with the Mariners was offered a 5 M contract by the Twins for the 2010 season he declined.  Washburn has not pitched since 2009.

Johnny Damon won a world Series with the Yankees in 2009 at the end of his 4 yr 56 M contract.  A contract offer of 2 yrs for 19 M was declined.  Damon played 2010 with the Tigers for 8 M and the Rays in 2011 for 5.3 M


Addendum;  Rodriquez who accepted arbitration from the Brewers agreed to a 1 year contract of 8 M.  That added to the 4 M buyout still falls short of the 17.5 option that Rodriquez had almost locked up with the Mets before Boras entered the picture.  Rodriguez loss is 5.5 M.  Boras gets a piece of the 8 M for 2012. 

 

 

Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:26 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:03 pm
 

Survivor's Guide

The World Series begins tonight in St Louis where the weather will be 47 degrees at game time with winds at 16 out of the NW.  There is also a 40% chance of rain.  You would have to go all the way back to 1984 to find the last World Series game played outdoors in the sun.  They were games 4 & 5 (Sat. & Sun.) at Tigers Stadium. 
I have prepared a check list for those of you who may have tickets and plan on going to the game.


2 World Series tickets, check.  Bernard will love going to his first game.

Heavy Down Parka, check.

Ski mask, check.

Ski Gloves, check.

Hand Warmers, check

Mets  Blue snuggie in a snuggie., check. 

Brandy Cask for St.Bernard, check

 

The game will be televised by FOX.    Yogi’s advice, scalp the tickets. 

 

 

This check list and advice is not brought to you by the Commissioners office.  If you look carefully you will be able to spot Allan Huber Selig in the heated owners box. 

Posted on: September 25, 2011 9:11 am
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:43 pm
 

A Change for the Worst

In a booth discussion with Gary Cohan and Ron Darling, Sandy Alderson was open and frank about Mets team thoughts going into the 2012 season.  One of these disclosures was that the team was seriously considering a major change to the dimensions of Citifield.

This strikes me as a reactive approach to a problem than can be resolved and create a home field advantage for the team for years to come. 

This week the movie Moneyball opened, Alderson who while not depicted in the movie was a factor in the whole Billy Beane/Athletics story.  Essentially it is about have an edge on the competition, in the Athletics’ case it is information and in the Mets case it could be an 81 game playing field that is not level by any means. 

It has been three years since Citifield and its hitter unfriendly dimensions opened.  In the first year David Wright’s Hrs dropped from the 30 average he had hit in his Mets career to 10.  Year two, we invest 66 M in a left fielder who averaged over 30 Hrs over the 5 previous years before joining the Mets and has hit 18 in the two years since.  In the three years that Wright has played at Citifield he has struck out 392 times in 397 games, his last three years at Shea 346 Ks in 474 games. 

It is pretty clear that home runs at Citifield come with a great cost and no guarantee. 

I look at the elements that do work in a pitchers park.  Of course pitching.  In 2009 we witnessed a mostly mediocre Mets pitching staff finish seventh in ERA in the Majors.  Pitching is a hard to attain commodity, so when a team can elevate less than exceptional pitching into that asset even if only at home they have an edge. 

Power doesn’t work especially well in large ballparks which frees up money for the other elements that do, speed, pitching and defense.  In 2011 the Mets are tied for twenty-eighth in errors.  David Wright represents two areas that do not fit well into the composite of Citifield, he does not play solid defense and strikes out at a higher rate as a result of Citifield.  

Jose Reyes represents speed, he has also altered his game by increasing his OBP and is also the most difficult to strike out in the league.  He is a Citifield type.  Speed is not as costly as power and can be every bit as effective.  The Mets need to make speed top criteria for future additions.   Angel Pagan is arbitration eligible this off season at 3.5 M, he may move to 5 M.  His health has cost him 30 games this year and consequently his runs, SB and RBIs are down.  So is his fielding average, the errors as I see them are primarily throwing errors.  What has not been affected is his range in the outfield and for this speed and his offense speed he is an easy resigning. 

Big power hitters like Fielder and Albert Pujols will cost over 20 M per year for more years than one would want to offer.  Jayson Werth signed for 18 M a yr. and for 7 yrs last year.  These are exactly why the Mets should pursue the elite speed and the elite pitching when it becomes available.  Citifield is fine, just put the right pieces in place and have a home field advantage that few other do.  Besides; pitching, defense, and speed travel well

Posted on: September 12, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Absolutely Clueless

No one should have been surprised that the worst Commissioner in the history of baseball made another bad decision yesterday on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country.  The two cities that bore the brunt of those attacks New York and Washington DC were told by MLB not to wear the caps of the first responders for the Mets or the Navy Seals for the Nationals.  Joe Torre, formerly the Yankees manager in 2001 was the messenger, but there can be no doubt that the author of that edict was Allan Huber Selig. 

What profit would baseball garner by having the nation watch a game with the players wearing the unauthorized caps of the NYPD, the FDNY, the Port Authority of NY ?  None. This on Selig’s watch is unacceptable.

Selig as owner of the Brewers with help of the gang of 6 forced Fay Vincent, the last independent Commissioner, out and assumed the role of acting commissioner himself.  For the next six years Selig wore two hats, baseball owner and commissioner until in 1998 baseball confirmed him as commissioner and he turned the Brewers over to his daughter and son-in-law.  Six years after that the Brewers were sold and Selig’s son-in-law Laurel Prieb was hired as an executive by MLB.  In the 35 years that Selig and family owned the Brewers they made the playoffs twice and in the final twelve years finished under .500 every year.  An argument could be made either way as to whether Selig was as bad a commissioner as he was a baseball executive.  Both sides would be right.

September eleventh resonates with  everyone.  But for some the scars are still visible in the unfinished resurrection of the fallen World Trade Center, in the tears of loved one left behind and in the children.  The NY Mets wore the caps of the first responders in the first game after 9/11/01 against the Braves at Shea Stadium on Sept. 21/ 2001.

On September 11, 2001, 3,051 innocent people died at the hands of Osama bin Laden and his death squad.  403 of them were first responders who died trying to save lives.  184 died in a field in Shanksville, PA., the final resting place of Flight 93, where the final words were “Lets Roll”.  The courage and patriotism on that plane destined to hit the Capital Building can never be surpassed.  I think of that day and I get a knot in my chest, and Selig sees dollar signs.  Not only the worst commissioner, but a soulless commissioner.

Posted on: August 13, 2011 6:52 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:45 pm
 

The NY Mets and Tomorrow

I thought that this might be entertaining.  Some players need no further comment as to their placement, with others I offer my opinion.  All the players that have made the big club this season and their status, as I see it, for 2012.

 

KEEPERS

Johan Santana, Not going anywhere with his contract and unknown status.

Jason Bay, Contract and he hasn’t played up to it.

David Wright Still has a reasonable contract and club control.  He is, even with the offensive fall off an upper echelon third baseman and has age on his side.

Jose Reyes, Extraordinary ability when healthy and one of the top players in the game at those times.  What looked like a 140 million dollar, 7 year deal has likely dialed down into a 5-6 year 90-100 M contract.  The Mets have to do what it takes and that may mean going beyond their comfort zone to ink Reyes.  The NL East is the toughest division in the NL and arguably in baseball.  The two teams in front of us have a balance of excellent pitching and hitting, with the Braves also adding quality young players like Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman.  The Nationals will become that constant threat sooner than later with Stephen Strasburg on the mend and Bryce Harper working his way up, add in others like Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, Jordan Zimmermann, rookie 2nd baseman Espinosa and Michael Morse.  As reprehensible as I consider Jeff Loria the Marlins periodically put together unsustainable winners.  With their pitching and a new stadium opening next season, they could be willing to spend some to produce a winner.

Reyes’ ability to drive this team and to draw fans is financially why the Wilpons will sign him.

Daniel Murphy, baseballs Philip Nolan.  There is an account of Murphy being asked by a journalist as to what was his position? Murphy responded “I hit third”.  Murphy is currently hitting .320 and fourth in the NL but will fall short of being listed among league leaders as he doesn’t have enough PAs.  Not long ago I suggested that Murphy be groomed as a catcher.  Jade reminded me of the hits on both knees and common sense filled in the rest of the blanks on what was wishful thinking.  Murphy has been in a learning curve going back to PSL 2009 when he was the new LF’r.  He will be 27 at the start of next season and perhaps revisiting the OF would be a wise move.  As the line up card would look next year Murphy would be on the bench.  The ability to play an adequate OF added to his resume of his more than adequate play at 1st  and 3rd, and his ability to play 2nd<sup> </sup> enhance his opportunities to do what he does best, step in to the batters box.  Murphy is not a free agent until 2015, but I can imagine the number of phone calls that Alderson will get over the next 3 years from all 29 other teams that will include the name Daniel Murphy.

Josh Thole is included as a keeper more of by way of backing into it as opposed to earning it.  Thole has not shown much improvement in his game offensively or defensively.  Essentially he is here because options are poor or expensive and he is young and inexpensive.

Ike Davis, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Justin Turner, Pedro Beato, Bobby Parnell.

Mike Pelfrey, probably next to Reyes there has been more words written on this board about Pelfrey than the next two players.  Pelfrey is a keeper because he will be a reasonable 5-5.5 M.  There are no better options.  He will give us 200 innings.  Slotted middle- back in the rotation he will possibly find a psychological comfort zone and exceed expectations.

 

ON THE BUBBLE

R.A. Dickey, despite turning 37 I think that the Mets will make an effort to resign Dickey in the off season, but may have to contend with other clubs.  The 5-11 record belies the 3.75 ERA and 1.28 whip.

Angel Pagan, The Pagan of 2010 was a sure handed player that was offensively having his best season, the criticisms regarding his instincts and focus were forgotten and he became a fan favorite.  This year is raising doubts that last year was an indicater that Pagan had taken the step up to full time player.  His errors are next to worse in the league and his offensive game has regressed.  Pagan is 30 and is arbitration eligible, at 3.5 M this year he would likely ask for and get an increase of 4.5 to 5 M.  The Mets have to question if he is still a starting CF or would they be offering arbitration to a 4th OF’r.  The free agent market doesn’t present great options either.

Ronny Paulino will be 31 early next season, he is still arbitration eligible for 2012 and coming off a 1.3 M contract could be a solid candidate for an offer from the Mets.

LIMBO

Ruben Tejada is either going to be on the bench or will continue with Buffalo

Lucas Duda also has a chance to make the club in a bench role.

Nick Evans returns to Buffalo as does Mike Nickeas

GONE

Tim Brydek, Jason Isringhausen, DJ Carrasco, Ryota Igarashi, Manny Acosta, Mike O’Connor.  Some may be offered minor league contracts. 

Willie Harris

Scott Hairston                                                                                                                   

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:46 pm
 

Victory

There is a settlement and the NFL is in business again.  Most baseball fans will now devote a growing proportion of attention on their football teams as the start of the NFL season begins and the baseball season draws to close. Every columnist I read Bob Glauber (Newsday), Mike Lupica and Gary Myers (Daily News) were all complimentary on the fairness of the CBA and the part that Jeff Saturday played in the negotiations.  It amounts to 10 more years without having to revisit lockouts, decertification and a work stoppage.   If only the MLB had a Players Association and a Commissioner who did not more resemble the Allied Forces and the Axis Forces facing each other on a battlefield than the NFL joint leadership. 

MLB and the Players association have had eight labor stoppages since 1972 with a significant loss of games (712) in 1981 that resulted in two half seasons.  The 1994 work stoppage was far more costly when baseball shut down and the rest of the season and post season were lost.  The contention was over the subjects of a salary cap and revenue sharing, but the adversarial relationship had been brewing for years.

In an interview with the Biz of Baseball in 2005 former Commissioner Fay Vincent was quoted “The Union basically doesn’t trust the Ownership because collusion was a $280 million theft by Bud Selig and Jerry Reinsdorf of that money from the players. I mean, they rigged the signing of free agents. They got caught. They paid $280 million to the players. And I think that’s polluted labor relations in baseball ever since it happened. I think it’s the reason Fehr has no trust in Selig.”  This referred back to the 1990 settlement of three cases of collusion brought by the MLBPA against the owners 1986-88.

 

At that time, then-commissioner Fay Vincent told the owners:

“The single biggest reality you guys have to face up to is collusion. You stole $280 million from the players, and the players are unified to a man around that issue, because you got caught and many of you are still involved.”

 

A little more than a year later a 18-9 no confidence vote led by the ‘Gang of Six’ which included Allan Huber Selig and Reinsdorf cost the last independent Commissioner his job and Brewers owner Selig became Commissioner.

We have seen what can happen when men of reason and character like Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith sit down to resolve an issue.  This will never happen in MLB as long as the commissioner is a stooge of the owners and lacks the moral fiber to command the trust of the MLBPA.

 

I entitled this entry ‘Victory’ for the NFL CBA.  For baseball fans titles like Defeated, Disillusioned or Disenfranchised might better describe baseball’s relationship with the fan.  The game has been sold to the media and Corporate America.  If you want to watch a game with your son during the school year, plan on writing him a note for missing school the next day.  Unless you are of more than ample means don’t expect to be going to many games.  The owners have sold America’s Pastime and with every dollar squeezed out are bring the game closer to the end of the glory that once was baseball.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com