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Labor talks: Now baseball is just rubbing it in

Mar 14, 2011, 9:30 AM EDT

Selig and Weiner

The NFL labor situation turned apocalyptic on Friday, with talks breaking off, lawsuits being filed and rhetoric being unleashed that will take months to walk back before real progress can be made.  In light of this, it’s almost as if baseball is gloating, what with it being ahead of schedule in its efforts to get a new collective bargaining agreement in place. Barry Bloom of MLB.com:

The second round of collective bargaining between officials for Major League Baseball and the Players Association will occur sometime during the next few weeks in the Phoenix area, Michael Weiner, the union’s executive director, said on Sunday morning after meeting with the Rangers.

The two sides had an amicable meeting in Florida on March 2, and Weiner said he hopes that regular sessions occur once the season begins on March 31.

“In 2006 we didn’t really get into that sort of rhythm until sometime in June,” Weiner said. “I think we’ll be able to do that sooner this time.”

Both Weiner and Bud Selig wax cautiously yet optimistically, citing that “whole range of issues” thing we’ve heard before as opposed to anyone citing one issue that looks to be a sticking point.  Indeed, the lack of a single contentious issue is probably the biggest reason we’ll get a new CBA with very little strife.

Which has me rather contemplative about Bud Selig’s legacy.  The 1994-95 work stoppage that cost us the World Series is, in my view, primarily his doing and it should be in the first paragraph of his Hall of Fame plaque that — whether we like it or not — he will almost certainly be given one day.

But at the same time, he has also presided over what has been an unprecedented era of labor peace. At least unprecedented since the days when the owners treated players like chattel and the players didn’t say much about it.  Assuming this deal gets done, the game will have gone over 20 years without a work stoppage and over 12 years since there was even any contentiousness to speak of.

Bud can’t be forgiven for the strike.  But the hard lesson he learned from it has certainly informed his approach since then. And that’s to his credit, I think.

  1. jd1221 - Mar 14, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Considering that the other commissioners are Goodell, Stern, and Bettman, it might be possible that Selig is actually the best commish in sports today (if only by process of elimination)

  2. Old Gator - Mar 14, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    Before we roll over and let that drooling nitwit into the hall, I want to check his back for acne.

  3. BC - Mar 14, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Bettman is a blundering fool, even worse than Selig. He basically killed his sport through over-expansion, stupid rule changes (like the shootout), and skipping a whole year. They’re tied for last.
    Goodell is a smart guy, but he’s very inconsistent – everything is case-by-case – and he’s a lousy front-man.
    I like Stern. He has this casual, friendly demeanor most of the time, but you DO NOY want to get him angry. He’s tough as nails. He’ll have to be next spring, or there will be NBA labor armageddon that makes the NFL labor situation look like a game of Mah Jongg.

    • tomemos - Mar 14, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      I dislike a lot of Selig’s changes too, but baseball is doing great, so how is he tied with the hockey commish? Genuine question.

  4. steveflack - Mar 14, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Stern canceled the World Series and allowed the PED scandal to run rampant to make up for it. He should be blackballed from the sport like Joe Jackson and Pete Rose.

    • Detroit Michael - Mar 14, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      Presumably you mean Selig, not Stern.

      It’s kind of hard to play a World Series when the players were on strike (and I’d rather have no MLB baseball than replacement player fake MLB baseball). Assuming you agree, responsibility for not having a World Series in 1994 was a shared one amongst all the key management & union figures, not Selig’s personal accomplishment.

      There are many other more valid reasons for disliking Selig in my opinion than the fact that he was the one who made the press announcement cancelling the rest of the 1994 season.

  5. victormilan - Mar 14, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    And of course you’re loving getting to stick it to your former-lawyer compatriot Florio, with his loud disdain for baseball.

    If not, why not?

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