Sunday, January 12, 2014

The strongest union in the world...for now

The players union had better find its voice pretty soon.

Baseball’s investigative tactics included paying an ex-convict for stolen documents and committing at least $1.8 million to provide security for and cover the legal fees of Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch, according to New York magazine.

Rodriguez, while continuing to accuse baseball of misconduct, raised yet another diversion in his statement. Seeking to rally his union brothers like a modern-day Samuel Gompers, he contended that the owners would seek major concessions from the players in the next labor negotiations.
The "injustice" of his suspension, 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.
Details, details. Rodriguez does not actually care about any of this; he's trying to save his own butt, as most players will figure out immediately.

The point is, there are battles ahead.

Indeed.  Say what you will about Rodriguez, he was abused in this process.  How great an intrusion into players' rights is Major League Baseball will to go and can the players union fight back?  It doesn't seem like they're interested in defending this player.


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