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Donald Fehr could return as MLBPA head due to Michael Weiner’s health

Jul 12, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reports that an old face could come back to the players’ union:

With the condition of cancer-stricken union chief Michael Weiner not improving, MLB Players Association officials have discussed the possibility of a return of his predecessor, NHLPA director Donald Fehr, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Fehr’s possible return — in some role, be it advisor, leader or something altogether different — would be very strange. He led the union at a very different time and when the issues between it and the league were very different. More significantly, the tone of the relationship was much different. It was often combative, and necessarily so given the times in which he ran the show. Part of his transition out of the MLBPA and the ascension of Michael Weiner, in my view, was an acknowledgement that those great battles of the past were over and a new, more collaborative effort was what was needed.

Fehr, of course, has gone on to lead the NHL player’s union, where battling was and continues to be more of the order of the day. As Passan notes, there is no indication that he’s ready to leave that job and no comment from anyone involved as to whether he’d come to assist the union.

The bigger takeaway here, however, is Weiner’s health. I’ve never met the man but all accounts of him I’ve ever heard have been incredibly positive. He’s a smart and thoughtful leader, well respected by his coworkers, the players he represents and the league with which he negotiates and, occasionally does battle.

Here’s hoping his battle with cancer is a successful one and that the reports of someone needing to take his place prove to be wrong.

  1. skids003 - Jul 12, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    If Fehr returns, that would be a sad day.

    Hope Weiner gets better, for his sake and baseball’s.

  2. plmathfoto - Jul 12, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Let’s hope Michael’s help improves.

    As for Fehr, replacing Mr Weiner with a weiner is not a good idea at all.

  3. asimonetti88 - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Fehr has been involved in like 3 lockouts or strikes with the NHL. I certainly hope he doesn’t come back to the MLB or we can expect some labor unrest, stat.

    • koredan - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      He’s been involved with one NHL work stoppage, this year’s, and it was a lockout, not a strike (ie: blame lies with ownership, not the players). The 1994-95 and 2004-05 NHL lockouts occurred when he was still with the MLBPA. I would never argue that Fehr is a calming hand, so to speak, but the blame for the NHL’s jackassery this year doesn’t lie with him.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        It was a lockout sure. Doesn’t mean he’s completely blameless.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        It was a lockout sure. Doesn’t mean he’s completely blameless.

        If your employer refuses to allow you to enter the building so you can go to work, whose fault is that?

      • icewalker946 - Jul 12, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged – Jul 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM
        If your employer refuses to allow you to enter the building so you can go to work, whose fault is that?
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        From Wikipedia;

        [A lockout is generally used to enforce terms of employment upon a group of employees during a dispute. A lockout can act to force unionized workers to accept changed conditions such as lower wages. If the union is asking for higher wages, or better benefits, an employer may use the threat of a lockout or an actual lockout to convince the union to back down.]

        So, if the union (or union head) is asking for the stars and the moon and the company is only willing to give or thinks the union members are only worth the stars, then yeah, the union is at least partly to blame.

        The damn World Series was canceled. I have not watched a full game since 1994. Thanks to Bud and Fehr.

  4. schmedley69 - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    If Fehr does return, I imagine that Bud Selig’s reaction would be similar to Michael Scott’s when Toby Flenderson returned to The Office.

  5. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:47 AM

  6. tellyspop - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    “a man named Albert Shanker got a hold of nuclear warhead.”

  7. paperlions - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    It would be nice if Fehr and Selig could be room mates in an old folks home…that just seems like justice.

  8. Old Gator - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Bufogenesis is about to break out, and Michael Weiner is not a wartime consiglieri.

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