Monday, April 30, 2012

Billy Hunter: "The Hunted" Pt. 2 Fisher Pres. Edition

Billy Hunter is being hunted again.  As you may remember, during the NBA Lockout there was a contingency of NBA Agents who formed Team Agent and tried to finagle the ouster of Billy Hunter as the NBPA Executive Director.  At the time, Union President Derek Fisher stood and propped Hunter up.  But it seems the tide changed during the lockout as mistrust between the two leaders grew and boiled over after Bloomberg reported that Hunter's family members and businesses had been paid $4.8 million by the union since 2001.  In response, Fisher called for an independent audit, which initially was signed off by the NBPA Executive Committee.

But the NBPA Committee quickly reversed course.  Hunter explained his family's involvement to the Executive Committee and then pushed the spotlight back onto Fisher and asked for his resignation due to the "numerous instances over the past six months, where Fisher engaged in conduct detrimental to the union, including acting in contravention of the players' best interests during collective bargaining, declining to follow the NBPA Constitution, and failing to uphold the duties of the Union President." 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Opening Day MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement Odds and Ends

Happy Opening Day one and all!  There is no greater feeling than that of opening day in major league baseball as each club and its fans enters a state of eternal optimism!  Who remembers who won last year's World Series?  Even the Cubbies can wait a few days before the eternal mantra of "wait until next year"starts being uttered in Wrigleyville.  Heck, with Major League Baseball and the MLBPA agreeing to add one more wild card per each league, they may even get to wait until late July before they throw in the towel.   Yes, as I described before, Commissioner Bud has gone wild card crazy.  Up against a stringent deadline and scheduling nightmare, the Commissioner's Office and MLBPA representatives were able to work together to come to an agreement for this season.  While the World Series and League Championship Series will remain, for 2012 only in order to deal with the scheduling nightmare, the parties agreed the five-game Division Series will begin with two home games for lower seeds, followed by up to three home games for higher seeds. Division Titles and Wild Card slots will also be decided by a one-game play-in if necessary, as opposed to the prior use of head to head records.  The way the playoff system will work is that the two wild card teams will play a one game play-off to decide who moves on to the division series.  This also creates a competitive incentive to win the division as division winners will have two off days prior to the start of their series, where as the wild card teams will likely have to burn an ace pitcher to make it to the next stage.  In lauding the deal, Cardinals Manager Mike Matheney pointed to how exciting the last day of the season was last year and how that this system can guarantee that type of excitement every year.