Skip to content

Players tried to kick A-Rod out of the union, threaten him with beaning when he returns

Jan 21, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT

Yankees' Rodriguez stands at third base in the eighth inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Red Sox in Boston Reuters

I don’t know if the union did everything it could in defending Alex Rodriguez in his arbitration, but it is apparently doing a piss-poor job of explaining to its players that threatening other union members for exercising their legal rights in appealing discipline from the league is a pretty dumb precedent for a union to set.

That’s what, according to this report from Jeff Passan and Tim Brown of Yahoo!, MLBPA players reps attempted to do when Alex Rodriguez filed his lawsuit against the MLBPA following the arbitrator’s decision handing him a 162-game suspension. Player reps voted to have him expelled, only to be told it wasn’t legally possible. Then one of them told Passan and Brown that, if A-Rod plays again, he should be hit “and hit hard” He then compared A-Rod unfavorably to Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta because, unlike A-Rod, “they took their medicine.” Moreover:

“[Rodriguez] needs to be scared of coming back and facing people he sued. If he can’t fear the wrath of getting kicked out or not being included, he’s going to be forced out.”

This is crazy. As I noted two weeks ago, suing the MLBPA is a legal prerequisite for having his suspension overturned pursuant to Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Rodriguez has an exceedingly small chance of success, of course, but if he or any other player who ever wishes to appeal an adverse arbitration result to federal court has any shot of winning, he has to name the union in the lawsuit.

Is A-Rod being a jerk? Yeah, probably. Do players have a right to hate him? Sure, who doesn’t hate him at this point? But there’s a big difference between hating a guy and actually attempting to blackball a guy from the union and then suggesting he’ll be physically harmed simply because he is exercising his legal rights in a labor fight with management. That’s the kind of thing that, no matter how good it feels to do when someone like A-Rod is involved, seriously undermines a union’s power and legitimacy and hampers its efforts to help less unpopular players who find themselves wanting to exercise their rights in the future.

135 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. freedomfork - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Fyi, a union is not an indispensable party to a 301 action. In a 301 suit, the employee must demonstrate a breach of the union’s duty of fair representation, but the union does not have to be a party to the action.

    See Carrion v. Enterprise Ass’n, Metal Trades Branch Local Union 638, 227 F.3d 29, 33 (2nd Cir. 2000) (“An employee may sue either his employer or the Union, or both, in a hybrid Section 301/fair representation claim”).

  2. chris6523 - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Union members going rogue on another member. Wow, that’s never happened before.

  3. johnnycantread - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    He’s painted himself into a corner… It’s come down to A-Rod against the world… I’m betting on the world.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Do the Angels have any weaknesses?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (3756)
  2. A. Rizzo (2596)
  3. B. Belt (2450)
  4. R. Castillo (2354)
  5. J. Hamilton (2233)
  1. A. Pujols (2138)
  2. C. Young (2123)
  3. B. Gardner (2048)
  4. H. Ryu (2031)
  5. E. Gattis (1898)