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View Full Version : Players: Contraction would have to be part of CBA


Jerry_Manuel
10-26-2001, 02:01 PM
ESPN.com news services
The Major League Baseball Players Association may be willing to agree to contraction -- as long as it is considered a concession as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Union chief Donald Fehr told the Washington Post that contraction -- the elimination of a pair of major league teams -- would only be considered by the players as part of negotiations for a new CBA. The current agreement between the owners and players officially expires on Nov. 7.

"You can't do a deal just on contraction," Fehr told the Post by telephone. "It affects too many other things."

Baseball spokesman Richard Levin told the Post it is baseball's position that a separate deal could be negotiated on contraction.

The Windsor Star of Ontario reported earlier this week that the Montreal Expos and the Florida Marlins would be bought out by MLB and folded after the World Series. The Miami Herald, quoting two "industry sources," reported Thursday that the Minnesota Twins were more likely to be shut down than the Marlins, and that they would stay in business through next year.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig told the Post on Wednesday that "no definitive decisions" have been made on contraction.

Selig told the Post on Wednesday that he didn't know if contraction could be done in time for next season. However, Fehr's comments to the newspaper may force Major League Baseball to address the issue as early as Nov. 7, the day the CBA expires.

Randar68
10-26-2001, 02:20 PM
The Major League Baseball Players Association may be willing to agree to contraction -- as long as it is considered a concession as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Great, the players can agree or disagree, and it won't make one iota of difference if the owners chose to do so!

This is the equivalent of the employees at KFC saying the company would have to go through them before deciding to close a store...

THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM!?!?!?!?!?!?!?














bla!

Paulwny
10-26-2001, 02:42 PM
I"m beginning to agree with Daver, no ball in April. Legally I don't think the players have any say in contraction since it's not part of the present contract.
As some of us believe the owners are using contraction as a bargaining chip with the players but," See you in court".

PaleHoseGeorge
10-26-2001, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel
ESPN.com news services
The Major League Baseball Players Association may be willing to agree to contraction -- as long as it is considered a concession as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Union chief Donald Fehr told the Washington Post that contraction -- the elimination of a pair of major league teams -- would only be considered by the players as part of negotiations for a new CBA. The current agreement between the owners and players officially expires on Nov. 7.

"You can't do a deal just on contraction," Fehr told the Post by telephone. "It affects too many other things."

Baseball spokesman Richard Levin told the Post it is baseball's position that a separate deal could be negotiated on contraction....


There you go; the battle lines have been drawn. The MLBPA will agree to contraction as part of a wider negotiation of the CBA. MLB claims they can unilaterally impose contraction. Next stop, federal mediation and the courts.

There is no CBA after the World Series. That's a HUGE point because there is no precedence for contraction in the industry. Is this an economic issue to the players? Can contraction only be implemented through collective bargaining?

If the players insist on making it part of negotiations (and Fehr says they will), we could be looking at a strike. If MLB tries to impose it unilaterally (and Levin says they will), we could be looking at a lockout and the players seeking an injunction. Either way a federal judge will end up deciding this.

See you in court!

PaleHoseGeorge
10-26-2001, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by Randar68


Great, the players can agree or disagree, and it won't make one iota of difference if the owners chose to do so!

This is the equivalent of the employees at KFC saying the company would have to go through them before deciding to close a store...

THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
bla!


If a certified employees' union, the legally-recognized sole representative of the employees, has an expired CBA with KFC management, and KFC tries to eliminate jobs over that union's objections without a CBA, the inmates WILL be running the asylum by court order.

U.S. labor law is meant to resolve these differences, not exacerbate them. The courts will get involved because one side or the other will appeal to them.

FarWestChicago
10-26-2001, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
If the players insist on making it part of negotiations (and Fehr says they will), we could be looking at a strike. If MLB tries to impose it unilaterally (and Levin says they will), we could be looking at a lockout and the players seeking an injunction. Either way a federal judge will end up deciding this.

See you in court! Either way it's going to suck. This is just ridiculous. I have never seen a sport so hell bent on it's own destruction.

Daver
10-26-2001, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by FarWestChicago
Either way it's going to suck. This is just ridiculous. I have never seen a sport so hell bent on it's own destruction.

The Major League Daredevils league killed itself off rather quickly.

Iguana775
10-26-2001, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by daver


The Major League Daredevils league killed itself off rather quickly.

daver, was that a joke????? lol. :)

Daver
10-26-2001, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by Iguana775


daver, was that a joke????? lol. :)

Of course not,everyone knows I have no sense of humour.

Randar68
10-26-2001, 06:12 PM
That's a HUGE point because there is no precedence for contraction in the industry.

Major sports teams in other sports have folded in the past...whether this was before or after unionization, I cannot remember...

Daver
10-26-2001, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Randar68


Major sports teams in other sports have folded in the past...whether this was before or after unionization, I cannot remember...

Teams folding is due to not having a willing buyer,in this case I am sure there are more than one willing buyer for the franchises in question.What happens when MLB tries to delete two franchises without offering them for sale to the highest bidder? I think they could be taken to court by the rest of the league participants for devaluing their organization.

But then again what the hell do I know?

Randar68
10-29-2001, 10:18 AM
What happens when MLB tries to delete two franchises without offering them for sale to the highest bidder? I think they could be taken to court by the rest of the league participants for devaluing their organization.

While not being offered in the open market, MLB would be essentially buying them out. In this case, the owners must agree and pony up 15-25million each to do so, so I'm sure they wouldn't be too upset.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-29-2001, 01:00 PM
What I find amusing are the reports that several owners are seeking to get bought out while also expressing interest in buying another franchise!

We as fans are suppose to believe Reinsdorf and Selig when they whine about the "economics of baseball are screwed up", yet some of these guys want a second bite of the apple after they supposedly couldn't turn a profit the first go around.

An MLB owner would have to be a fool to cough up $25 million to buyout a fellow owner only to have that same guy reappear as owner of another franchise.

Sure, Arod made a fortune, but it was based on talent. What have guys like Pohlad and Loria done to deserve this windfall?

Daver
10-29-2001, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by Randar68


While not being offered in the open market, MLB would be essentially buying them out. In this case, the owners must agree and pony up 15-25million each to do so, so I'm sure they wouldn't be too upset.

They would get there pants sued off in a class action suit if they were to try that.I know of a couple cities that would love toi have an MLB team,one of them being Charlotte N.C.,where Theresa Earnhardt is looking for a chance to buy into baseball,and is also trying to accquire a portion of the Panthers.

Randar68
10-30-2001, 11:09 AM
They would get there pants sued off in a class action suit if they were to try that.I know of a couple cities that would love toi have an MLB team,one of them being Charlotte N.C.,where Theresa Earnhardt is looking for a chance to buy into baseball,and is also trying to accquire a portion of the Panthers.

Just curious, as I am very unfamiliar with the legal issues here, but what legal basis could anyone(buyer or city) have to sue over baseball reducing the number of teams. Franchised establishments come and go all the time, as there is no legal obligation to continue operating in a loss, or does baseball's special status preclude it from the normal operating procedures of franchises and national establishments???

Iwritecode
10-30-2001, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by Randar68


Just curious, as I am very unfamiliar with the legal issues here, but what legal basis could anyone(buyer or city) have to sue over baseball reducing the number of teams. Franchised establishments come and go all the time, as there is no legal obligation to continue operating in a loss, or does baseball's special status preclude it from the normal operating procedures of franchises and national establishments???

Where's Sonny when we need him?

I haven't seen any thoughts on this from Smirnoff either. He should have a better grasp on the legal stuff too.

duke of dorwood
10-30-2001, 11:25 AM
The legal basis is citing ANY prior case some judge decided to hear and not rule as "frivolous". Didnt the city of Oakland sue the Raiders? I dont remember.

Paulwny
10-30-2001, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by Randar68


Just curious, as I am very unfamiliar with the legal issues here, but what legal basis could anyone(buyer or city) have to sue over baseball reducing the number of teams. Franchised establishments come and go all the time, as there is no legal obligation to continue operating in a loss, or does baseball's special status preclude it from the normal operating procedures of franchises and national establishments???

Legal issues in baseball are totally different from the rest of businesses. The exemption given to baseball by congress changes the normal legal thinking. See you in court.

FarWestChicago
10-30-2001, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by Paulwny


Legal issues in baseball are totally different from the rest of businesses. The exemption given to baseball by congress changes the normal legal thinking. See you in court. This is very true. Baseball's expemption puts them in a special class with different rules. Of course, I don't know what those rules are. :)

Paulwny
10-30-2001, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by FarWestChicago
This is very true. Baseball's expemption puts them in a special class with different rules. Of course, I don't know what those rules are. :)

I suspect the lawyers for the players'union are scrambling to find the rules.

Randar68
10-30-2001, 02:08 PM
I suspect the lawyers for the players'union are scrambling to find the rules

And I'm sure Bud's lawyers thoroughly checked it out before throwing it out there. As silent as they have been, I doubt Bud would allow such open posturing and talk if they didn't have a very solid legal ground to stand on...

PaleHoseGeorge
10-30-2001, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
And I'm sure Bud's lawyers thoroughly checked it out before throwing it out there. As silent as they have been, I doubt Bud would allow such open posturing and talk if they didn't have a very solid legal ground to stand on...

Actually, the opposite has been true for 30 years. It was poor legal advice that led to MLB's defeat in U.S. circuit courts in 1976 (upholding free agency for Messersmith), 1988 (finding commissioner Ueberroth and all 26 owners and gm's guilty of conspiracy), and 1995 (held liable for treble damages for not negotiating in good faith).

MLB hasn't won a U.S. court case involving the basic agreement since 1972 when Curt Flood tried to claim the Cardinals had no right to trade him to Philadelphia. The one exception was 1981 when a federal judge ruled baseball could implement a new free agent compensation system. The players had already negotiated the right to strike in such an event the prior year, and immediately went on strike.

The strike wiped out half the season and was the longest work stoppage in U.S. sports history--that is, until baseball broke its own record in 1994-95. The owners caved once their strike insurance money ran out. Thus their legal "victory" was wiped out by the results of the strike. These guys don't learn.

Both sides will make a legal argument supporting their position, but I wouldn't bet on baseball's legal eagles having their act together.

I've heard Fox guaranteed MLB the TV money regardless of whether there is a work stoppage. If so, Fox figures to be major league chumps since this practically guarantees the network will be bankrolling the very forces that are preventing a settlement--just like Lloyds of London was back in 1981. No wonder MLB didn't care that nearly all the early-round playoff games were on Fox Family. They found a stooge to bankroll their strike fund; who cares how the product gets cheapened.

I wouldn't bet against the union in any matters brought before a federal judge.

czalgosz
10-30-2001, 07:13 PM
Contraction is totally legal; there's absolutely nothing the union can do about it short of striking, inside a courtroom or out of it.

What they can control is the form that contraction takes. They can, in court, prevent the owners of any team from selling to Major League Baseball unless MLB offers the highest bid, if the anti-trust exemption doesn't apply here - and if it gets up to the SCOTUS, the way that it's made up these days, I don't think the players will win. If the teams simply fold, there's not much the players can do about it, but I don't think that Expos or Marlins or Twins management just wants to fold up the franchise and write it off as a complete loss. They would prefer to stay in existence.

From the players' perspective, of course, the difference is huge. If the Expos are sold to MLB, for instance, Vladimir Guerrero's contract goes to the Orioles or whoever, and he just has to grin and bear it. If the Expos simply go under, then Guerrero's contract is rendered null, and he becomes a free agent. I'm sure Guerrero would much prefer the latter scenario.

I'm not sure if there is a third choice for the Expos, though - with 8000 fans a game and no TV contract, I don't see how they can survive.

Of course, this mess could have all been avoided had we skipped the last expansion and moved the Expos to Arizona (which is what I thought even at the time was the obvious move) but that would have meant that the MLB teams would have had to pass on that hefty expansion check...

Paulwny
10-30-2001, 07:20 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Contraction is a good thing
By MIKE ULMER -- Toronto Sun

They are talking contraction in baseball. Brothers and sisters, let me hear you say Amen.

Amen to the end of baseball in Montreal, a city, in so many ways, uninterested in pro sports in the summer and, thanks to the Montreal Canadiens, early-to-mid-spring as well.

It is time to put a final, merciful end to the notion that if mollified with a new ball park, a modified ball park or a ball park that carries the tender mercy of no falling concrete, people in Montreal will care about baseball.