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Michael Weiner: the union will try to persuade clearly guilty Biogenesis players to take a plea

Jul 18, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT

Michael Weiner AP

Please adjust your “the players union is only interested in protecting drug cheats” rhetoric appropriately. Because as Michael Weiner told the New York Daily News yesterday, that’s not the m.o. of his union with respect to the Biogenesis stuff:

“I can tell you, if we have a case where there really is overwhelming evidence, that a player committed a violation of the program, our fight is going to be that they make a deal,” Weiner said without referring to specific players. “We’re not interested in having players with overwhelming evidence that they violated the (drug) program out there. Most of the players aren’t interested in that. We’d like to have a clean program.”

One should assume that Weiner and the MLBPA will fight cases with which there are legitimate disputes as to culpability, and one should also assume that they will defend the due process rights of everyone involved, but the days where it’s 100% scorched-Earth between the league and the union are a long way in the rear-view mirror, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Weiner is taking a pragmatic approach here as well.

The interesting question will be if a player falls under Weiner’s “overwhelming evidence” category and still decides to fight. I presume he’d do so with his own legal team. And I presume the union would be issuing lots of awkward statements trying to both distance itself from the defense and respect the process.  But that will sure be hard after these statements.

  1. historiophiliac - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Am I sadly getting used to that pic, or is he actually looking better? I hope for the latter.

    • motorcitydiddy - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      How do you ask for that styling at the barber shop?

      • vexey - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        Haha brain cancer, am I right guys?

      • setzergirl - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        Michael Weiner has inoperable bain cancer and the hair loss is a result of chemo.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      I don’t know if you read Tim Brown’s article on Weiner talking about his cancer, but it has a current picture and he actually looks even worse. :(

      • historiophiliac - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        Oh, fertilizer. :(

      • jwbiii - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Thanks for the update. Hate the news, not the bearer.

  2. mvp43 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Ya, but is there overwhelming evidence? I’m guessing not.

    • evanwins - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Same thing I thought. He’s saying “if they have empirical physical evidence then…” knowing they don’t.

      I do think, and I’ve said this before on here, that the MLBPA represents all of the players and that the majority of the whole of players is very tired of the cheaters. As such I believe that this case will turn the tide on the way these PED cases are handled by the PLAYERS union.

      That union has to protect Hunter Pence as much as it has to protect Melky Cabrera. It can’t protect Melky Cabrera without hurting Hunter Pence. And there are more Hunter Pence’s then Melky Cabrera’s and my assumption is that the Hunter Pence’s are getting tired of the Melky’s of the league.

  3. rick1k6 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Face it. That toupee is not doing him justice.

    • setzergirl - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Michael Weiner has inoperable bain cancer and the hair loss is a result of chemo.

  4. uyf1950 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Forgive me, but I always thought the purpose of a union any union was to protect and defend the rights of all it’s members NOT just the one’s it believes there is a strong case against. The process and the arbitrator should be the ones to determine guilt or innocence NOT the union. That’s just my opinion.

    • anotheryx - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      For certain players asking for a plea deal rather than fight tooth and nails might be to their own best interest, and if union believe that’s the case they should advise so to those players. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

      • uyf1950 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        What troubles me with the unions position is the message it sends. That message is that the Union has in those cases already determined that some individual players are guilty and that in my opinion is not what they should be doing. Plus the fact that they have publicly stated their position before any thing has been determined in my opinion undermines the individual players positions.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        I think it’s okay for him to say this, but I doubt we’ll see an instance where the union comes out encouraging someone to take a deal. This position gives them credibility with certain segments of the public and sport. Behind the scenes, I expect they’ll defend players as fiercely as they can. In the end, a player’s representation is going to do what he wants them to anyway.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        That message is that the Union has in those cases already determined that some individual players are guilty and that in my opinion is not what they should be doing.

        Maybe not guilty, but highly likely of not getting off? Let’s say MLB cared about pot usage, and they were going to suspend Chris Perez for it. Now, MLB doesn’t have a failed drug test, so Perez wants to appeal any future suspension. Weiner, and the union, may want Perez to take a reduced suspension of say, 25 days, instead of 50, because they have all the proof in the world that the drugs were intended for Perez. I mean, he sent it to his house in his dog’s name!

        There may some players that MLB has all the proof in the world, a la the BALCO case (calendars, schedules, syringes, spreadsheets, etc), AND unlike BALCO, someone to testify that the player named was aware of all this. MLBPA may say that they’ll fight for the player, but the player will most likely lose and serve out the full suspension. So what’s worse, a 50 game suspension or a 25 game one?

    • Kevin S. - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      Weiner can say this and still defend any player who chooses to fight to the best of his abilities. People go against their lawyers’ advice all the time, doesn’t mean the lawyer defends them with any less vigor.

  5. rickdobrydney - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    I cannot believe the large number of insensitive creeps out there who post to this blog—–the man has terminal brain cancer , and there are jerks out there actually poking fun at his hair. Unbelievable. Really. Insensitive, entitled, brainless creeps…..

    • historiophiliac - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      I agree on the sentiment, but only see 2 jerky comments so I wouldn’t say it’s all over the page here.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

        But, the thumbers are jerky too — now that they’re out.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Is it terminal? I thought it was just unoperable, which is not the same thing.

      • paperlions - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        I did some searching and couldn’t even find survival rates for inoperable brain cancers….but based on his age, the survival rate (even for just > 1 year) for any type of brain tumor is not good.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        I do not know what specific type of brain cancer he has. My understanding is that he is now essentially paralytic on his right side. The most common primary brain cancer is a glioblastoma. Unfortunately the median survival time is 15 months.

      • cur68 - Jul 18, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        I was hoping yo get some happier news. Damn.

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    The funny thing is there’s players who will publicly agree with Weiner while their own cheating hasn’t been discovered yet.

    • bfunk1978 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      There are also most likely big piles of non-cheating players who have pushed the union into this direction.

      • chip56 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        Union wouldn’t have agreed to the JDA if the bulk of their membership didn’t want it.

      • bfunk1978 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:50 AM

        Exactly.

    • bfunk1978 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Oh, wait, I just read your name. Braun fan. Makes sense.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        Bite me. My comment has nothing to do with Braun.

  7. chip56 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    We saw this from Weiner’s comments the other day – the League and the Union are working hand-in-hand on this. The majority of players don’t want the small percentage of guys who use to keep screwing things up for the rest of them.

  8. klownboy - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Never thought I’d see the MLBPA come down so hard on alleged steroid users. With that said, here’s hoping they back Selig and my Yankees in suspending A-Roid/A-Fraud for 100 games. Talk about overpaid, under-achieving, and just a plain douche-bag…

    http://wp.me/p1gCK6-zL

    • dcarroll73 - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      And Arod is STILL better than the alternatives we’ve been running out to play third. I don’t care that he has a very unlikeable personality. The bottom line is that he has put up some good numbers for the Yanks. He was playing hurt for a long while last time out, and people are assuming there is nothing left in the tank. Since we have NO good alternative, how about we see how he does? As for this Biobull stuff, I would want a lot more proof than testimony from a dirt bag and “records” that he could have made up. I’m sure you would be just fine with your employer suspending you without pay for about 60% of the year based on that sort of evidence.

  9. turdfurgerson68 - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    “Clearly guilty Biogenesis players to take a plea” = A-Roid.

    Why the subterfuge…we all know who he is referring to when he states “players with overwelming evidence…”

    Will the Yankees move to void A-Roid’s contract if the union recommends he take the suspension?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      They can’t. There’s nothing in the JDA that allows for a termination of the contract. They can’t prove fraud either so the Yanks are stuck with it.

  10. raysfan1 - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    In the case of a player against whom there is insurmountable evidence:
    What I’d expect is for the union to counsel the player, advise him to try to make a deal, and avoid the embarrassment of engaging in a losing fight. If the player elects to fight anyway, then I would expect union lawyers to remain on the defense team for the arbitration hearing(s) anyway. That would prevent them from answering too many awkward questions and leave it to writers’ and fans’ speculation as to how they felt about the case based on things like whether MLBPA lawyers or private defense attorneys did most of the talking before the arbitrator.

  11. reediddy - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Hahaha…weiner…

  12. banpeds - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    The only player with the gonads to possibly appeal will be Braun and he will not have a leg to stand on when every other player accepted thier suspension, including AROID. They got Braun on PEDS use back to 2008. People have no idea the overwhelming pile of evidence and witness’s that MLB has on the dozens of players involved. If you want more info go research the court case in Miami… 2 versions, the free one and the pay one. Up to 4 players could be staring at lifetime Bans, mostly for turning on the other dozens of players invovled to all the clinics involved, not just Biogen. There are a lot of people and players singing like a group of birds. Anyone that thinks this story hinges on the Tony B types of misfits, are totally wrong as to the size and scope of this. That does not mean the misfits have not provided true, factual evidence, all of it being verified. Follow the money, as with anything.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Up to 4 players could be staring at lifetime Bans

      [citation needed, again]

      • banpeds - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        Not Until MLB releases the names and thier findings. I’m not for accusing anyone and believe in the process playing out. The only comments I have made about names are the ones that have been reported since day one when Porter Fisher turned over a few documents from Biogen to Miami new times.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Nice cop out. You have no issue making this comment without proof:
        The only player with the gonads to possibly appeal will be Braun and he will not have a leg to stand on when every other player accepted thier suspension, including AROID. They got Braun on PEDS use back to 2008.

        And then asked to provide proof of your other statements, you hide behind waiting until the findings are released. Please make up more shit like you did in the last thread about PEDs, where we all called you out on your ridiculous numbers.

      • banpeds - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        I suggest you follow the story before you spout. There are plenty of real facts known. The numbers were not wrong, sorry – I’m not into debating people who stand up for Cheaters and drug users.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        The numbers were not wrong, sorry

        yes, yes they were. Here I’ll repost everything for you:

        banpeds – Jul 12, 2013 at 10:07 AM
        People liek to shoot from the hip without researching anything they are talking about.

        Irony incoming!

        By my math thats about 10% of all players in the minors and majors (approx 3000) governed by Baseballs Drug testing policy.

        25 man rosters * 30 teams = 750 players in MLB. Teams have anywhere from 5 to 7 affiliates in the minors, with 25 man rosters on each one. At the low end, that’s 25 * 5 * 30 = 3750. At the high end, that’s 5250. Splitting the difference that’s 4500 + 7500 = 5250 total. Far cry from 3000.

        Regardless, the numbers you showed were 294 players suspended over 3 years (which is wrong also). You can’t take the total number of suspensions over 3 years, and divide it by the total number of players overall in one year. If you wanted a true sample, you’d have to figure out how many new players came in and out each year. Regardless, it’s no where as high as 10%.

        Also, not all suspensions were from PEDs. From ’06 to ’12, 63 of the MiLB players were suspended for drugs of abuse (pot, for instance). that’s 13.9% of the sample over those years.

        The only way you can figure 10% of the population has been caught is if you add up all the failures from ’06 to ’12 and divide it by your absurdly low number of players over one year (416/3000) for 13.9% of the population.

        88 Minor and Major league players suspended from 25-100 games each in 2010.
        71 Minor and Major league players suspended from 25-100 games each in 2011.
        113 Minor and Major league players suspended from 25-100 games each in 2012.
        22 players in 2013 suspended for at least 50 games, almost all for PEDS.

        I love how you combine these two things, as if it’s almost equal between MLB and MiLB. In reality, 27 total players from ’06 to ’12 were busted in MLB. 452 were busted in MiLB.

        Here’s the link:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/12/columnist-calls-for-enhanced-drug-testing-chooses-to-discredit-results-of-drug-testing/

  13. zacksdad - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Where was this attitude with the Ryan Braun cheating? I hope the union is finally fighting for the non-cheats by not supporting the cheats anymore.

    I do not blame the players for cheating when they feel they need to because other players do it and get great contracts.

    Hopefully the next CBA includes a clause that any cheat has his contract voided. Feel bad for the teams that sign a cheat to a big contract and then he just stops cheating and now they pay a lot for nothing. A-Rod fits in this category, even though I do not like the Yankees.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Where was this attitude with the Ryan Braun cheating? I hope the union is finally fighting for the non-cheats by not supporting the cheats anymore.

      Following protocol is of the utmost important regarding the drug testing, which is why the union fought for Braun. Once you start cutting corners in one aspect of the testing, the entire integrity of the test is lost.

      • banpeds - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        Bruan fought for himself, along with his own legal team. MLPA support was tepid and because they had an obligation to provide it, and no more eveidenced then Mike Weiners remarks from yesterdat stating:

        “I can tell you, if we have a case where there really is overwhelming evidence, that a player committed a violation of the program, our fight is going to be that they make a deal,” Weiner said without referring to specific players. “We’re not interested in having players with overwhelming evidence that they violated the (drug) program out there. Most of the players aren’t interested in that. We’d like to have a clean program.”

        another words, if you players did something wrong, you are all on your own this time, there will be no Union support, other than what the union needs to or has to provide contractually.

      • dcarroll73 - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        This reply is really to panpeds following comment (but no reply button showed up on that; nice interface.) Banpeds, the whole point is that the Union DOES have to provide that support by contract and labor law. The Union can’t just arbitrarily decide, “oh, you’re guilty anyway so no defense.” They can advise, but if the player wants to fight it, they’d better do a good job. Or would you prefer Theodoric of York, Medieval Judge?

      • banpeds - Jul 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        dcarroll73 – Jul 18, 2013 at 5:03 PM
        This reply is really to panpeds following comment (but no reply button showed up on that; nice interface.) Banpeds, the whole point is that the Union DOES have to provide that support by contract and labor law. The Union can’t just arbitrarily decide, “oh, you’re guilty anyway so no defense.” They can advise, but if the player wants to fight it, they’d better do a good job. Or would you prefer Theodoric of York, Medieval Judge?

        dcarroll73: read what I wrote… “there will be no Union support, other than what the union needs to or has to provide contractually.” are we not saying the same thing?

        I’m all for any player that wants to appeal, to appeal, and The Union will support that appeal as they have said they would. If the Union feels a player has good case, in respect to this PEDS investigation, I’m sure they will help. If they feel a player has no case, the player will be going against thier advice of “cutting a deal”.

  14. dparker713 - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    The MLBPA has been the strongest sports labor union since its inception. Not a crack to exploit in negotiations. Until now…

  15. anxovies - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    The problem with unusual circumstances like the Biogenisis matter is that they tend to make bad law. If the union doesn’t at least demand some hard proof on this before caving in, it risks losing the confidence of the members and some of its bargaining position with the league. So far all we know is that there or some records that might or might not be from Biogenisis and some information coerced from a former official of the company. Most of today’s ballplayers are financially able to provide their own defense to these things and don’t remember the bad old days when the players were slaves to the owners and had to have part-time jobs to pay the bills. Even players who resent PED use by others might be put off if there is not a rock sold case against those accused of using steroids and the union backs off because of public pressure.

    • louhudson23 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:39 AM

      These last few days have seen the first trickle of the coming tide of the leadership of the Players Association reflecting the rank and file Players Association members in saying they have had enough…it’s a big ship,and it doesn’t turn on a dime,but ………it’s happening….

  16. skarfacci - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Why does the MLBPA have the most unlikable guys leading it. This guy looks a mutant from X-men.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      Are you f’ing serious? The man has brain cancer you asshole.

  17. stevem7 - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Sorry but Weiner has no business being the head of any union with that attitude. I remember a cast iron case against two people (Not baseball related). Their Union Rep told me he knew they were guilty but had to fight their termination anyway. Wound up getting them $5K each just to go away. A Union has to represent their members and he should be telling Bud Selig to take a hike, that the Union will under no circumstances take the word of a drug dealer and others who were paid for what they said.

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