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Tag: marvin miller

A Whole Different Ballgame


Howard Bryant on the changing nature of the MLBPA:

After the release of the Mitchell Report in December 2007, players were still resistant to the reality that they themselves were the biggest victims of their members’ transgressions. But now, the steroid discussion no longer seems to be a philosophical conversation but a personal one. Players now consider PEDs a violation of their personal baseball code, no different from standing in the batter’s box too long after a home run or repeating what was said in the clubhouse. In the past, they had framed the drug conversation as an imposition of public relations pressure placed by grandstanding outsiders — the public, the media, the front office or Congress.

Now, players are demanding an accountability from one another that didn’t exist in previous years. For the first time, players no longer view steroids as a victimless crime. Users aren’t cheating the public as much as they are other players.

“So, let me get this straight,” an American League player said. “Guy uses steroids. He then puts up better numbers than I do. He goes to free agency and gets the years and the money, takes a job I don’t get and now I have to scramble during the winter to find another slot. Then, he gets busted for steroids and we use my union dues for his lawyers, his defense and his appeal? And that makes sense to you? That bulls— is fair?”

[Photo Credit: AP]

Enemy of the State

Over at Deadspin, Barry Petchesky writes about how America Commie-Baited a Baseball Hero.


The Great Game Changer

Marvin Miller, one of the most important figures in 20th century American sports, has died. He was 95.

I had the opportunity to speak to Miller more than a dozen times when I was writing a book about Curt Flood and a few years later I visited his apartment to talk about the possibility of making a documentary about his life. He was gracious, bright, and funny.

I will compile all of the tributes to Miller later today or tomorrow so that you can get a full appreciation of the man and his lasting professional accomplishments.

Meanwhile, here is a Q&A I did with him talking about Flood for the Banter back in 2003.

Breaking News: MLB Still A Sore Loser

Once again, Marvin Miller has been left out of the Hall of Fame – this time by a single vote.

Pat Gillick got voted in. Nothing against Pat Gillick, who as they say is “a good baseball man,” but he was not one tenth as influential on Major League Baseball as Miller was. And I believe George Steinbrenner should be put  in as well – he didn’t get the votes, this time – but I imagine that he’ll get there at some point in the future; whereas it seems likely, at this point, that Miller never will.

Almost none of my reaction to this is printable (so to speak) on a family blog. It’s just so infuriatingly stupid, or spiteful, or both. I’ll let Miller speak for himself, something he is, as always, more than capable of doing. USA Today quotes from the statement he released:

“The Baseball Hall of Fame’s vote (or non-vote) of December 5, hardly qualifies as a news story. It is repetitively negative, easy to forecast, and therefore boring.

“A long time ago, it became apparent that the Hall sought to bury me long before my time, as a metaphor for burying the union and eradicating its real influence. Its failure is exemplified by the fact that I and the union of players have received far more support, publicity, and appreciation from countless fans, former players, writers, scholars, experts in labor management relations, than if the Hall had not embarked on its futile and fraudulent attempt to rewrite history. It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out.”

Miller has made a point of never groveling or indeed campaigning at all for a place in the Hall of Fame, and he’s not changing course now. And he’s right here: the Hall is a repository of baseball history, but it’s not the only one. Anyone interested in the facts can do a little research and decide for themselves just how important a role Marvin Miller played, and his lack of inclusion in the Hall of Fame takes nothing away from his accomplishments. And for such an anti-establishment figure, maybe that really is more fitting.

Still, I would sure love to have a word with the  committee members who didn’t vote for him. That word wouldn’t be printable, either.

Winter Meetings Day One (Open Thread)

As the winter meetings begin, the Yanks have their sites set squarely on Cliff Lee. According to George King in the Post:

“My priority list is pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching — I’ve been focusing on pitching,” GM Brian Cashman said yesterday.

…”When you’re a free agent, we kind of have to dance to their dance card,” Cashman said. “I’ve kind of been reacting to them.

“I flew into Arkansas especially to meet with Cliff Lee and his wife and his agent. I did that very early in the process. I was the first one out of the gates there.

“So, everybody knows I got ahead of everybody else. But it’s their dance card. They’re setting the pace of this thing. I can only wait and respect the process they put themselves in. It took them a long time, they fought through a lot of different cities to get to this point. I’m hoping this will be the last city he ends up in, in New York.”

It will cost the Yanks plenty in dollars and years to secure Lee.

UPDATE: Hall of Fame disgrace continues as Marvin Miller comes up one vote shy. No shock there.

UPDATE: Really nice breakdown of the Adrian Gonzalez deal by Jay Jaffe.

UPDATE: Klap tweets that Andy Pettitte will likely retire.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver