Monday, June 22, 2009

Fehr stepping down

Breaking news:

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.

This is a huge move by Fehr.

What will you most remember him for? The labor issues? The stonewalling of PED testing? Something else?

I'll have more to come on this later (work's in the way right now, sorry).

UPDATE: Shysterball was able to put fingers to keyboard on this topic:
Love him or hate him -- and as the reaction starts to come out about this, be assured that it will run about 10% love, 90% hate -- you can't say the guy didn't generally do a good job. In terms of working conditions and pay, baseball players are amazingly better off now than they were when he took over in 1985, and it was largely through Fehr's leadership that the union was able to fend off ownership tactics which bordered on criminal at times, and which could have meant the end of the union if not successfully combatted. Here I'm talking about Collusions I, II and III and the 1994 lockout. If you want an example of how these episodes could have gone without better leadership, you need look no further than the NFL, whose union has repeatedly rolled over for ownership, and the umpires, who were absolutely destroyed by Selig and his friends.

The big exception here is PEDs, where Fehr's instincts to fight tooth-and-nail against ownership ultimately did the union's membership a disservice in my view. Yes, many were responsible for that mess, but it strikes me that it took Fehr too long to recognize that, unlike the often boring minutiae of the usual collective bargaining fodder, there were (a) competing interests within union membership on this issue; and (b) a strong public interest in its resolution. Fehr misread both of those things, and because of it, the players remain stuck in something of a P.R. nightmare and will for some time. I think that angle will be overplayed in the Fehr commentary that will follow in the coming days, but it's not something that can be ignored either.
Shall we nominate Craig to the soon-to-be-vacant General Counsel role?


Anonymous said...

I can only hope Bud Selig will be following soon.

Anonymous said...

I know this will be a minority view, but I honestly think that history (long-term) will not look kindly on Fehr's acquiescence to the anti-PED witch-hunt. It's as if he asked the Grand Inquisitor to pretty please rake him over the coals.

Rory The Great said...

He should be remembered as a great union leader, yet I think he will be remembered most for the 104 names that will eventually all be leaked.

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely a Fehr fan. He may not have been perfect but he did a lot for the players.

Anonymous said...

Fehr did what he was hired to do, protect the members of the union he represents.
He did a fine job and that is all he had to do.
There are many Multi-Millionaires in Major League Baseball due to his work, they are all thankful for their riches.