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redsfandan
06-22-2009, 03:09 PM
Source: Fehr to leave job after 25 years Updated: June 22, 2009, 2:52 PM ET ESPN.com

Don Fehr is stepping down as executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, a position he's held since the mid-1980s, a source tells ESPN.

Fehr will be replaced by general counsel Michael Weiner, pending board approval, the source said.

The announcement is expected to be made later on Monday afternoon.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4278728&campaign=rss&source=twitter&ex_cid=Twitter_espn_4278728

bucksfan2
06-22-2009, 03:20 PM
This man did a tremendous amount of harm to the game of baseball. While Selig, and rightfully so, will get the bulk of the blame for the steroids era, Fehr was a leading culprit as well. I guess he was doing his job, but I don't think he will be remembered for that.

Brutus
06-22-2009, 03:24 PM
This man did a tremendous amount of harm to the game of baseball. While Selig, and rightfully so, will get the bulk of the blame for the steroids era, Fehr was a leading culprit as well. I guess he was doing his job, but I don't think he will be remembered for that.

The problem with these guys is that they buried their heads in the sand for several years before being forced to treat the steroids issue seriously. I wish they had listened a lot sooner.

traderumor
06-22-2009, 04:05 PM
This man did a tremendous amount of harm to the game of baseball. While Selig, and rightfully so, will get the bulk of the blame for the steroids era, Fehr was a leading culprit as well. I guess he was doing his job, but I don't think he will be remembered for that.I will start out saying I agree with you. The integrity of the game was indeed harmed.

However, altruism aside, Fehr and Selig parlayed PEDs into historic growth of the game financially. Many are laughing all the way to the bank. I would say that Fehr and Selig regularly remind themselves of that as they consider their involvement, or lack thereof.

TheNext44
06-22-2009, 04:15 PM
Fehr definitely shares much of the blame for the Steroid Era, but he doesn't have a clause in his job description to promise to always act "in the best interests of baseball." In fact, he job specifically has nothing to do with the best interests of any other than the players he represents.

Union heads have to be a**holes in order to do his job right, and Fehr was one of the best of them.

bucksfan2
06-22-2009, 04:18 PM
I will start out saying I agree with you. The integrity of the game was indeed harmed.

However, altruism aside, Fehr and Selig parlayed PEDs into historic growth of the game financially. Many are laughing all the way to the bank. I would say that Fehr and Selig regularly remind themselves of that as they consider their involvement, or lack thereof.

I agree with you, but you could make the argument that a lot of baseball's financial explosion had to do with things outside of baseball's control. You could argue that technology was more responsible for the financial growth than the actual game being played on the field. Things like Satellite TV, MLB TV packages, Satellite Radio, and High Definition TV all brought in a tremendous amount of revenue to baseball.

IMO baseball right now is in an uh-oh stage. They have continued to increased salary based largely upon corporate investment coming in. Now with companies spending less money and attendance down MLB could be in for a rude awakening.

It will be interesting to see what Fehr's legacy will be. He brought in a lot of money to the players, but one will have to ask "at what cost?".

BCubb2003
06-22-2009, 04:20 PM
I'm not sure Fehr had the best interests of the players in mind. Their wallets, but not their health. The players association has always acted like a defense counsel for independent contractors, not a union for the workers.

bucksfan2
06-22-2009, 04:33 PM
Union heads have to be a**holes in order to do his job right, and Fehr was one of the best of them.

I agree to a point, but when it becomes illegal I have a problem with it.

traderumor
06-22-2009, 04:36 PM
I agree with you, but you could make the argument that a lot of baseball's financial explosion had to do with things outside of baseball's control. You could argue that technology was more responsible for the financial growth than the actual game being played on the field. Things like Satellite TV, MLB TV packages, Satellite Radio, and High Definition TV all brought in a tremendous amount of revenue to baseball.

IMO baseball right now is in an uh-oh stage. They have continued to increased salary based largely upon corporate investment coming in. Now with companies spending less money and attendance down MLB could be in for a rude awakening.

It will be interesting to see what Fehr's legacy will be. He brought in a lot of money to the players, but one will have to ask "at what cost?".What do you think made it an attractive product? I love baseball, and am more enamored with low scoring, well-played games than I am high-scoring slugfests, esp. as a steady diet.

However, commercial appeal comes from offense, offense, offense, and specifically, homer driven offense. And that was the horse that pulled the multi-media cart into the lucrative telecasts.

bucksfan2
06-22-2009, 04:46 PM
What do you think made it an attractive product? I love baseball, and am more enamored with low scoring, well-played games than I am high-scoring slugfests, esp. as a steady diet.

However, commercial appeal comes from offense, offense, offense, and specifically, homer driven offense. And that was the horse that pulled the multi-media cart into the lucrative telecasts.

I once asked a friend of mine to go to a baseball game. He didn't know if he wanted to go and I was doing some convincing. He said something to the point of "I just don't understand baseball. People stand up and cheer when a player gets a hit. Its boring to me". He ended up going to the game with me but largely due to the free tickets I had.

Selig and Fehr preyed on the fact that your average fan would much rather see a 7-6 walk off HR game than a 2-0 shutout. Im with you, I would like to see a well played game with good pitching, good defense, and timely hitting. The problem is the Reds already have me. I already spend my time talking about the Reds. They need to convince my friend, or my wife whose favorite part of the game is the Kiss Cam.

Yachtzee
06-22-2009, 04:51 PM
I'm not sure Fehr had the best interests of the players in mind. Their wallets, but not their health. The players association has always acted like a defense counsel for independent contractors, not a union for the workers.

Very true. I think if he had been working for all the players, instead of just the highest paid, he might have done more to ensure a level playing field for all players and worked to protect the long term health of these players. He has allowed individual agents to control the salary structure of baseball, which in turn has skewed money toward superstars and high-profile draft choices while those players unfortunate enough to be born in Latin America are prey to unscrupulous street agents and scouts who profit off these kids trying to escape poverty.

TheNext44
06-22-2009, 05:01 PM
I'm not sure Fehr had the best interests of the players in mind. Their wallets, but not their health. The players association has always acted like a defense counsel for independent contractors, not a union for the workers.


Very true. I think if he had been working for all the players, instead of just the highest paid, he might have done more to ensure a level playing field for all players and worked to protect the long term health of these players. He has allowed individual agents to control the salary structure of baseball, which in turn has skewed money toward superstars and high-profile draft choices while those players unfortunate enough to be born in Latin America are prey to unscrupulous street agents and scouts who profit off these kids trying to escape poverty.

Well said. Unfortunately this is true of too many Unions these days. But the Players Union is perhaps the most guilty of becoming what it was fighting against.

RFS62
06-22-2009, 05:03 PM
I'm not sure Fehr had the best interests of the players in mind. Their wallets, but not their health. The players association has always acted like a defense counsel for independent contractors, not a union for the workers.



Yep. And his use of drug testing as a bargaining chip sold out an entire generation of ballplayers coming up through the ranks.

IslandRed
06-22-2009, 05:56 PM
He has allowed individual agents to control the salary structure of baseball, which in turn has skewed money toward superstars and high-profile draft choices while those players unfortunate enough to be born in Latin America are prey to unscrupulous street agents and scouts who profit off these kids trying to escape poverty.

A few points and counterpoints:

* The salary structure of baseball hasn't changed meaningfully since 1976 and the ballplayers seem to like it the way it is.

* The MLBPA represents Major League players, not all professional players. Amateurs and minor-leaguers who have never reached the show are not union members and the union has no legal right to bargain on their behalf. The only reason they have any say in the draft structure is because draft picks are used as part of free-agent compensation, and some have suggested that clubs do away with that so they can put in whatever draft rules they want.

* I think the union ultimately made the wrong choices with respect to drug testing but I understood why they were hesitant, given who they were dealing with.

jojo
06-22-2009, 06:16 PM
* I think the union ultimately made the wrong choices with respect to drug testing but I understood why they were hesitant, given who they were dealing with.

Ya. Anonymous doesn't seem to mean the same thing to all people.

BCubb2003
06-22-2009, 06:32 PM
A real union would go ballistic over workers taking harmful chemicals to keep up production, but this made the independent contractors very rich, so the players association protected that instead of health.

M2
06-22-2009, 07:10 PM
I think the union ultimately made the wrong choices with respect to drug testing but I understood why they were hesitant, given who they were dealing with.

Exactly. The 2007 CBA was the first time the owners' primary goal in negotiations was something other than breaking the players union.

jojo
06-22-2009, 09:47 PM
A real union would go ballistic over workers taking harmful chemicals to keep up production, but this made the independent contractors very rich, so the players association protected that instead of health.

Lets not forget that the "union" is made up of the players who vote on things.

Johnny Footstool
06-22-2009, 10:00 PM
Lets not forget that the "union" is made up of the players who vote on things.

Yes. And all of those players benefit from the 8-10% of them who put up astronomical stats and drive salaries up, so they're pretty likely to ignore the PEDs that those 8-10% are using.

RedFanAlways1966
06-22-2009, 10:07 PM
<Steroids aside> 1994. No World Series. I can respect a man for doing his job, but I will remember 1994 b/c I am a baseball fan. Had something do with implementing a salary cap. As a fan of a small market team, it might have made my fav team more competitive. The following season started with "scabs" and then officially started late. It was also the last year my fav team made the playoffs. The salary gap has widened further since.

Not a fan of Mr. Fehr, but I respect a man for doing the job he has. I wish him well.

Yachtzee
06-22-2009, 11:42 PM
A few points and counterpoints:

* The salary structure of baseball hasn't changed meaningfully since 1976 and the ballplayers seem to like it the way it is.

* The MLBPA represents Major League players, not all professional players. Amateurs and minor-leaguers who have never reached the show are not union members and the union has no legal right to bargain on their behalf. The only reason they have any say in the draft structure is because draft picks are used as part of free-agent compensation, and some have suggested that clubs do away with that so they can put in whatever draft rules they want.

* I think the union ultimately made the wrong choices with respect to drug testing but I understood why they were hesitant, given who they were dealing with.

The rules and conditions concerning players entering the league does have an impact on the earning ability and job security of current players. I would therefore argue that the MLBPA is exercising its mandate of representing current major leaguers by seeking to adopt rules concerning the amateur draft and conditions affecting Latin American players.

BCubb2003
06-23-2009, 12:06 AM
Lets not forget that the "union" is made up of the players who vote on things.

Yes, and enough of the independent contractors wanted to be rich rather than healthy.

cincinnati chili
06-23-2009, 12:09 AM
I agree that Fehr would have served his constituents better by giving a lot more on the testing issue... HOWEVER...

Fehr has done a significantly better job for his players over the last 25 years than his 3 counterparts in the other Big 4 sports. I'm guessing the NFL role players wouldn't mind having access to guaranteed contracts and final-offer arbitration after 3 years of service.

Blitz Dorsey
06-23-2009, 12:25 AM
Yes. And all of those players benefit from the 8-10% of them who put up astronomical stats and drive salaries up, so they're pretty likely to ignore the PEDs that those 8-10% are using.

8-10 percent. That's a good one.

cincinnati chili
06-23-2009, 01:16 AM
8-10 percent. That's a good one.

High or low? Sounds about right to me.

TheNext44
06-23-2009, 01:38 AM
High or low? Sounds about right to me.

Maybe now, but not in the late 90's early 00's. I don't think we'll ever know the true number then.

WebScorpion
06-23-2009, 02:06 AM
It's about time...don't let the door hit you, Don. Now if we could get Bud Selig and Scott Boras to follow him, we might have something. :D

redsfandan
06-23-2009, 06:17 AM
It's about time...don't let the door hit you, Don. Now if we could get Bud Selig and Scott Boras to follow him, we might have something. :D
I agree. 1 down, 2 to go.:thumbup:

hebroncougar
06-23-2009, 08:00 AM
High or low? Sounds about right to me.

My guess is it's pretty low. I'd say 25-30% in it's heyday.

Hoosier Red
06-23-2009, 09:30 AM
High or low? Sounds about right to me.


No matter what the percentage, ALL players benefitted from the superstars putting up big numbers.

Everyone was made a lot richer by Baseball becoming so much more popular and marketable.

Ask the 125th ranked golfer if he likes what Tiger Woods has done for the PGA.


As for the 1994 World Series, that can be pretty much 100% blamed on the Owners. They were out to break the union and used what amounted to illegal tactics to do it. Not sure exactly where there was room to compromise.

Chip R
06-23-2009, 09:45 AM
As for the 1994 World Series, that can be pretty much 100% blamed on the Owners. They were out to break the union and used what amounted to illegal tactics to do it. Not sure exactly where there was room to compromise.

Dibble was on the radio this morning and he said (It was Dibble, so you take whatever he says with a grain of salt) that the 94 strike was a lot about protecting the pensions of the pre-1970s players.


A real union would go ballistic over workers taking harmful chemicals to keep up production, but this made the independent contractors very rich, so the players association protected that instead of health.

Usually, this would entail workers taking harmful chemicals without their knowledge or approval. Like working in a plant with asbestos. These players voluntarily took these steroids.

What a lot of people don't realize is that right now MLB has the toughest steroid policy of all the major pro sports. Manny tested positive and was suspended for 37% of the season. In the NFL, you have to test positive 2-3 times before you get suspended for 25% of the season.

BCubb2003
06-23-2009, 10:24 AM
Usually, this would entail workers taking harmful chemicals without their knowledge or approval. Like working in a plant with asbestos. These players voluntarily took these steroids.

What a lot of people don't realize is that right now MLB has the toughest steroid policy of all the major pro sports. Manny tested positive and was suspended for 37% of the season. In the NFL, you have to test positive 2-3 times before you get suspended for 25% of the season.

I think there have been quite a few industries where workers were expected to risk their health to keep up, and they figured they had no choice, until a union fought for them. And MLB's tough steroids policy is mostly because the outside world, including Congress, got the two sides together and threatened them. It wasn't the players association stepping up.

Johnny Footstool
06-23-2009, 10:35 AM
8-10 percent. That's a good one.

The 8-10 percent I was referring to represents the upper echelon of players -- the All-Stars who put up astronomical stats. That's 2-3 guys on every team. Those are the guys who are driving salaries.

There are probably more guys than that who are using PEDs, but they're not the ones who are setting the bar.

bucksfan2
06-23-2009, 10:39 AM
I can't see another union giving its workers meth because it would increase their output. In essence that is what Fehr did, or at least he knew about it but the money was good so he turned his head.

traderumor
06-23-2009, 10:42 AM
The 8-10 percent I was referring to represents the upper echelon of players -- the All-Stars who put up astronomical stats. That's 2-3 guys on every team. Those are the guys who are driving salaries.

There are probably more guys than that who are using PEDs, but they're not the ones who are setting the bar.The idea of fringe guys taking them to give them that edge to make a MLB roster drives the number pretty high.

Chip R
06-23-2009, 10:42 AM
I think there have been quite a few industries where workers were expected to risk their health to keep up, and they figured they had no choice, until a union fought for them. And MLB's tough steroids policy is mostly because the outside world, including Congress, got the two sides together and threatened them. It wasn't the players association stepping up.


All that is true. But this is still America and people can and do make choices for themselves, be they bad or good. People still smoke even though it has been proven detrimental - and even fatal - towards the smoker's health and other people forced to inhale second-hand smoke. Yet while companies usually don't allow you to smoke in the workplace any more, they - and the unions - don't discourage it. They see it as a personal choice.

MLB's tough steroid policy may have been Congressionally driven but it is still a fact that they have the toughest policy of any of the major pro sports. We haven't seen any movement from any of the other commissioners or union leaders of the other sports to either institute or strengthen drug testing in their sports.

IslandRed
06-23-2009, 11:41 AM
The rules and conditions concerning players entering the league does have an impact on the earning ability and job security of current players.

Except that legally, when someone is drafted or signs as an amateur, they are not "entering the league." They are entering professional baseball, but they are not entering Major League Baseball. The MLBPA can certainly try to influence draft rules but it's missing all kinds of leverage. Think back to how the minor-leaguers had the drug-testing system imposed while it was still being negotiated at the big-league level.


I would therefore argue that the MLBPA is exercising its mandate of representing current major leaguers by seeking to adopt rules concerning the amateur draft and conditions affecting Latin American players.

I'm guessing that the rule you're talking about is a draft cap or slotting system of some sort, which theoretically would leave more money available to spend on major-leaguers. It's possible, but ownership would have to convince the union that they won't simply pocket the savings.

You'll have to be more specific about what you expect people to do about the Latin American situation.

westofyou
06-23-2009, 12:40 PM
http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20090623_Phil_Sheridan__Fehr_s_legacy__More_money_ _less_ethics.html

Fehr's legacy: More money, less ethics

By Phil Sheridan

Inquirer Sports Columnist


Maybe the best way to explain Donald Fehr is that he was very good, maybe even too good, at his job. It's just that he could not or would not grasp what his job could have and should have been.

If the union chief's sole responsibility was to pump up player salaries, then the brilliant and quick-witted Fehr was a smashing success. Clearly, that is how he evaluated himself. The fact that his own income was tied directly to the average player's salary may have had something to do with his point of view.

But if the head of the union had some accountability for the long-term health and well-being of both the players and the game that enriched them all, then Fehr's tenure can only be considered a wretched failure.

This seeming paradox can best be explained with a single name: Alex Rodriguez.

Thanks to Fehr's domination over three commissioners and the owners they represented, Rodriguez was able to command two contracts worth $525 million from the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees.

This is Fehr's triumph, the highest paid player in baseball history.

And this is the singular failure that outweighs it: Not only was Rodriguez able to earn those big dollars while pumping himself up with illegal steroids, he has never been suspended for a minute even though he has tested positive and admitted cheating.

On Fehr's watch, the majority of which coincided with the reign of commissioner Bud Selig, baseball grew its revenues while bankrupting itself ethically and morally. Ultimately, that was the calculation that will define Fehr's career: Salaries rose with the home run totals and radar-gun readings, so let the players do whatever it took to jack up those numbers.

Never mind the integrity of the sport.

Never mind the defacing of the record books.

Never mind the long-term impact on the health of the players.

Never mind the unknown toll paid by young athletes who emulated the big-leaguers by jamming needles full of illegal drugs into their own fragile bodies.

Selig has taken a lot of criticism for presiding over the steroid era, and he deserves most of it. It is the commissioner, after all, who is charged with protecting the game. From Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the Black Sox to Bart Giamatti and Pete Rose, commissioners have had to cope with difficult situations. The sad reality is that most of them have not been up to the task.

Selig bought into the long-held misconception that steroids weren't a major problem in baseball because they wouldn't be of much help in a sport that relied on hand/eye coordination and agility rather than brute strength. Indeed, weight training was long viewed as a detriment to baseball players.

When the bodies changed dramatically in the late 1980s and early 1990s, clearly the thinking had changed. We know steroids were wildly effective in baseball because virtually every record-breaking performer of the last decade-plus has been linked to using some or other form. Even now, we have to wonder whether the game is cleaner or the cheaters have simply moved on to human-growth hormone and other substances.

Fehr fought drug testing until Congress all but forced him to capitulate. As a direct result, an entire generation of baseball stars has been permanently, irrevocably stained.

Last week's New York Times report, which named Sammy Sosa as another of the positives from the 2003 "survey" testing," was met with a shrug. Sosa averaged 61 homers per season over a four-year period. It would have been a surprise if he'd somehow been proven never to have used peformance enhancers.

The mishandling of those 2003 test results represent a huge mistake by the union, which was responsible for destroying them. Because that didn't happen immediately, and because federal investigators obtained subpoenas for the data, the reputations of another 100 players are just an unnamed source from ruination.

That oversight alone should have been enough for Fehr and Gene Orza, his top lieutenant, to step down. If they got a free pass from players making too much money to care about niceties like the integrity of their sport, this was malfeasance with a direct negative impact on the rank and file.

Although Fehr announced he is retiring - and could serve until next spring training - it is fair to wonder if he is feeling pressure to step down. The suspicion, depressing though it may seem, is that the players judge Fehr only by the number of zeros on their paychecks.

Well, the rest of us don't. Long after everyone forgets how much money A-Rod and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds made, they will remember that the greatest players of this era were cheaters. Baseball's enormous mess is the legacy Fehr and Selig will share forever.

Chip R
06-23-2009, 12:44 PM
I'm guessing that the rule you're talking about is a draft cap or slotting system of some sort, which theoretically would leave more money available to spend on major-leaguers. It's possible, but ownership would have to convince the union that they won't simply pocket the savings.



I'm guessing the MLBPA doesn't want any kind of cap or slotting system because it brings the bonuses down and the ones who get hurt in that scenario are the agents/advisors representing those kids who are in bed with the MLBPA.

jojo
06-23-2009, 12:44 PM
I can't see another union giving its workers meth because it would increase their output. In essence that is what Fehr did, or at least he knew about it but the money was good so he turned his head.

Fehr inherited that working environment.....

Tony Cloninger
06-23-2009, 10:28 PM
The agents control that union as well.....especially when it comes to the the draft. The union wants to negotiate everything including players who are not yet members of the union. They do not want to discuss some sort of draft cap....and that is all based on these agents not wanting it and having the power to to demand that the union not give into it.

Johnny Footstool
06-23-2009, 11:43 PM
Although Fehr announced he is retiring - and could serve until next spring training - it is fair to wonder if he is feeling pressure to step down.

No outside pressure. He just felt it was time to retire.