Fehr and Loathed

It’s the end of an era.  Arguably the most (in)famous labor leader since Jimmy Hoffa has resigned. 

MLBPA boss Donald Fehr has thrown his last pitch for the players in what you could say was a tumultuous, at best, 26 years.

Under his watch, the baseball union has become the strongest in the country.  At a time when recession was an all to real situation, he managed to get baseball salaries up.  This is a man who will always be remembered by two HUGE events:  forcing the cancellation of  the 1994 World Series and the steroid era where he fought tooth and nail to not allow drug tests.

Has he done the players right, hell ya, but at what costs?  The percentage of increase for the average major league salary during his tenure is astronomical.  From $289,000 in ’83 to $2.9 million last year.  During that same time, the popularity of the sport and the disconnect between players and fans has decreased just as much. 

I think over the past few years, his reputation has become a little less tarnished.  Even though he was forced, literally by an act of Congress, to support drug testing, he has been behind it, publicly at least.  Through all of baseball’s problems, the drug testing is the strongest this side of the Olympics. 

It has been 14 years since the last work stoppage.  The past few agreements have been barely a blip on the public radar.  I think the player reps and he saw where the sport was going and they did what they could to stem the tide. 

Will these to events help change his legacy.  Is “Better late than Never” his career mantra? 

I for one and happy to see him go.  I thought he was always bad for the sport, then again, I am not very “pro-union.”  I just hope that the damage is not permanent.  Lets hope the players can take a stronger role and not let one man speak for them.  Lets hope, that for the games sake, the next labor leader can see the big picture and not the dollar signs. 

 I think the owners and players have found a nice middle ground.  Money is being made and the fans are slowly coming back.  Lets keep it this way and maybe that can be his legacy, continued peace through his hand-picked successor.

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