Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fehr Out...thoughts?

Don Fehr has/is stepping down as MLBP union boss.  Personally I find the guy to be fairly detestable, but that probably stems from my general disgust with unions and him being the face of the 94-95 strike.  You steal baseball from a 13 year old kid, you're not coming back from that (hear that Sotomayor!)

On the other hand, he's also been roughly 100x better than Marvin Miller.  If a staunch Miller acolyte had been in charge in 94 I doubt the MLB would exist today.  Maybe the sport would have limped along after the strike, but his insane attitude to drug testing would surely have killed it this decade.  Thankfully, Fehr was willing to open the CBA on multiple occassions and did what was right for the sport.  Aside from those occassions (essentially forced by a Congress with way too much time on its hands) Fehr was a militant anti-tester but felt unable to stick to his guns.  Ol' Marvin would have martyred himself (more accurately would have martyred some willing player...what up Curt Flood!)

Some of you nutters probably will bitch about the salaries players make (he's presided over some insane salary inflation...$329,000 avg in 84 to $3.3m today) but the only way they make that money is if someone pays it, so I don't see that as a knock against Fehr.

Overall, I think he's been bad for baseball but not as bad as he could have been.  For that we can be thankful, I suppose.

1 comment:

OC Lurker said...

I don't have any problem with the salaries. I'm a believer in free markets through and through. The Yankees are certainly annoying but Boston has proved that even with a giant payroll you need to build from within to be a consistent winner.

I think Fehr did the players a disservice by being staunchly against testing for so long. The use of steroids has tainted the accomplishments of an entire generation of players and will cost some major stars Hall of Fame induction. Every player from that era has come under question, even those that did not do steriods. Steriods let guys put up numbers that made them very wealthy but there will be lasting consequences. Will that be worth it to players like Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, Sosa and McGwire? Even from just a pure monetary standpoint the taint from steriods will greatly affect the ability of retired players from this era to supplement their income from marketing and other opportunities.

Remember the year Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs and everyone was asking if the ball was juiced? Seems rather quaint now.