Michael Weiner: 'Such a powerful person, and so humble'

WASHINGTON -- The day after he began treatment for a brain tumor, Michael Weiner spoke on a conference call to player representatives from the 30 teams.

First, the head of the players' union gave them the news. Then he told them he planned to continue to work for them while undergoing treatment.

"Guys, don't be afraid to call if you need something," Weiner told the players, according to Nationals player rep Drew Storen.

Yes, that's Michael Weiner. That's why players love and respect him. That's why baseball management people admire him.

That's why the news of his condition stunned and saddened people all over the game Tuesday.

In his 2 1/2 years as the union's executive director, Weiner has changed the tone of player-management relations, and greatly improved the union's image. He has impressed his union membership with his knowledge, but also by proving to them how much he cares about each player, and about the game itself.

"I'm a backup catcher, but he knew every detail of my career and my negotiations," Braves catcher David Ross said. "He's so down-to-earth, and he's always got your back.

"He cares about everyone, and he's not going to let anyone make the union, the player or the game look bad."

And on a day when anyone would have understood if he was just thinking about himself, Weiner still wanted to make sure the players knew that he was still thinking about -- and still available to work for -- them.

"Such a powerful person," Storen said. "And so humble."

The statement released by the union Tuesday afternoon said that Weiner "looks forward to making a full recovery."

All around baseball, people will be hoping and praying that he does.

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