Friday, December 19, 2003

I keep on talking about labor unions. Of course, I'm not the first blogger to observe that it doesn't help labor that the most visible union in at least this part of the country right now is also a poster child for blind, overwhelming greed. I'm referring, of course, to the Major League Baseball Player's Association, which has blocked a trade that the Red Sox had arranged for shortstop Alex Rodriguez which involved restructuring his contract. The union claimed that it reduced the value of the contract too much -- even though the added endorsement opportunities in Boston might well have left ARod making more money overall. And ARod himself was happy with the deal, pending union approval -- it was negotiated with him and his agent, and he had to waive an ironclad no-trade clause in his own contract to permit it.

A lot of media, local and national, were floating the idea that ownership might challenge the union. The idea was that baseball commissioner Bud Selig might approve the deal unilaterally, and if the union challenged, it would go to arbitration. But ARod himself has said he won't buck the players' union's wishes, and unless ARod waives the no-trade clause, Selig has no deal to approve.

Well, so much for the media. The saddest thing for me is that the amateur internet forum from which I cadged this bit of analysis -- Sons of Sam Horn -- is now completely closed to the public, as another unfortunate bit of fallout of Red Sox nation's overwhelming interest in this deal. SOSH had been a closed club for posting for years (though well-heeled as of late, with occasional posts direct from Red Sox principal owner John Henry), but nonmembers had read-only access until this week, when the board operators (a/k/a The Dopes Who Run The Site) closed off public access altogether, apparently to cut back on their bandwidth costs. The irony is that I'd happily pay $5/month for read-only access. A few hundred people taking that deal would certainly pay back the incremental bandwidth costs and give them beer money on the side (hey, Linux Weekly News makes a living at it), but the deal's not on offer. C'est la vie.

Late edit: backed off on the endorsements a bit...

Further update: SOSH is back open, at least temporarily. If any of the Dopes are reading this, the offer stands...


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