May 14, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT
Shayam Das, the neutral third arbitrator who handles PED and other appeals, and who served at the pleasure of both Major League Baseball and the MLBPA, has been fired:
A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that baseball management has fired Shyam Das, the arbitrator who overturned Ryan Braun‘s drug suspension in February.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the decision had not been announced.
He has held the job since 1999. He was always able to be fired with written notice by either the league or the union. The story is still developing, but it would not be a surprise to hear that he was fired by the league due to the Braun decision, which baseball officials lambasted at the time it was released. Of course, as the linked article notes, he also serves as an arbitrator for the NFL — he’ll hear the New Orleans Saints bounty appeal this week — so maybe they think his plate is too full or want some fresh blood.
Whatever precipitated the league’s decision, however, this is a tricky business. Baseball arbitrators, because they can be removed by either side, have no incentive to consciously or consistently favor one side or another. At the same time, the league or the union have little incentive to remove an arbitrator for strategic reasons because the other side has the ability to do the same thing. This is part of why Das has been in place for 13 years. Everyone was basically happy with what is always a delicate balance.
But now things change. So a qustion: does MLB think that Das had gone too far to the player’s side of things? Do they think they’ll get more favorable decisions now that he’s gone? Do they expect that the union will fire back or make life difficult for the league in hiring a new one or keeping him or her in place once hired? Or is this just a case of change for change’s sake?
I would expect a statement from the league by the end of business today. That’s how they tend to roll with these things.
- Video: Watch Kris Bryant get his first major league hit and RBI 4
- Yordano Ventura ejected for hitting Brett Lawrie with a pitch 15
- Pete Rose joins FOX as a baseball analyst 18
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 55
- Josh Hamilton’s teammates say he’s in great shape and ready to play 28
- Mike Trout hit his 100th career home run to become the youngest member of the 100 HR/100 SB club 26
- Make that two: Alex Rodriguez hits second homer of the night, giving him 658 for his career 48
- Alex Rodriguez hit his 657th career home run 49
- The Commissioner’s Office thinks that the Angels could indeed go after Josh Hamilton under his contract (153)
- “Why Ted Cruz is like the Atlanta Braves” (150)
- “We no longer need the terrorists. We’re now so good at terrorizing ourselves.” (143)
- Another argument in favor of making the DH universal (127)
- When it comes to Josh Hamilton, Arte Moreno is a craven opportunist, not a “smart businessman” (116)