Open Thread: Marvin Miller

Martino: Yankees hire Pete Mackanin
Update: Pettitte will return in 2013

If there was a baseball version of Mount Rushmore, two of the four figures would be Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson for pretty obvious reasons. Cy Young would probably get a spot since he’s the greatest pitcher of all time, but the fourth spot would go to someone who didn’t play even a single game: Marvin Miller. Miller served as head of the player’s union from 1966-1983, and he was one of the few people to spark legitimate change within the game. Most notably, he fought the reserve clause and paved the way for free agency. That impacted all sports, not just baseball.

Miller passed away today at the age of 95. He was never inducted into the Hall of Fame, which is ridiculous. As he said in 2010: “A long time ago, it became apparent that the Hall sought to bury me long before my time, as a metaphor for burying the union and eradicating its real influence. Its failure is exemplified by the fact that I and the union of players have received far more support, publicity, and appreciation from countless fans, former players, writers, scholars, experts in labor management relations, than if the Hall had not embarked on its futile and fraudulent attempt to rewrite history.”

Miller is a historic figure not just in the world of baseball, but in the world of labor relations. No one did more to advance the sport. He was an icon.

* * *

Here is your open thread for the evening. There’s no football and neither of the basketball locals are in action, so you’re on your own for entertainment. Go nuts.

Martino: Yankees hire Pete Mackanin
Update: Pettitte will return in 2013
  • djyank

    what a man

    • radnom

      Does anyone else love how random it is that Cash rappels down a building every year?

      This time, he’ll be joined by “sports great” Bobby Valentine (thats how the presser referred to him haha) and a weather man.

  • Andrew J.

    Miller nor in the hof but owner crooks like charles comiskey are. Go figure

  • mrdbag

    What is a sawzall

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    I wouldn’t put him on the baseball Mt Rushmore because I think the players union has gotten completely out of control and players salaries are totally absurd as a result. These long term huge money guaranteed deals are bad for the game.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      Pretty sure the latest CBA is going to impact this (see: million, $189)

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Not sure I agree. The owners are making absurd amounts of money even with these contracts. I don’t believe they’d agree to make less if their costs for players went down. We’ll never know however. We’re stuck with what we’ve got.

    • RetroRob

      The game is healthier and more competitive today than before Marvin Miller changed the game, although it’s understandable why Yankee fans might prefer baseball in the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s.

      • RC

        How many Yankee titles would be lost if there was 8/10 teams playing October baseball instead of just two?

        • Jacob

          96,98,99,00,2009 the rest were 2 rounds

          • RC

            Missed my point the Yankees would’ve won a lot less titles if they were multiple teams in each league making the playoffs instead one from each playing in the WS. Free agency isn’t the main culprit in destroying the amazing dynasties of 20-60s.

    • Knoxvillain

      I don’t quite understand how more money makes the game worse. I’ve heard people say this a lot but I can’t figure out a reason how that can possibly hurt baseball. It’s not like it’s the taxpayer’s money.


      • Jacob

        The yankees will now have to pay a 42 year old alex rodriguez 25 million that is one example. Another example which I do believe is the strongest is that last year Prince Fielder left the Brewers for big money, the core of braun and prince was an unmatchable talent that I do believe were destined to start a dynasty that could very well have gone on for a while, but now we will never know. Also now the yankees play by the buy and spend huge money on guys already 28, 29, 30 and are stuck with them through the bad years after getting 3-4 good years, before the yankees(and most other teams had great teams that without F/A guys. Do not get me wrong it has dramatically improved the sport but it has also taken away from some of the best aspects like a homegrown superstar staying with a team from year one throughout his career

        • Mike Axisa

          The yankees will now have to pay a 42 year old alex rodriguez 25 million that is one example.

          That was their decision. They signed him to that contract knowing the risks, no one held a gun to their head.

          • Jacob

            What I mean is before Free Agency it would have been loads less

            • steve (different one)

              Sure, but then where does that money go? The sport is drowning in cash, why shouldn’t it go to the players?

            • Preston

              Yes let’s go back to 1910 where they got the players straight out of the mines, mills and quarries and when they were done with them, put them right back. The poor owners profit margins are really impacted by players earning their market value.

              • jjyank

                This. And “this” to steve’s post above too. The money is there. I sure as shit would rather see the players make that money as opposed to the owners pocketing it all.

                I’m guessing Mr. Jacob is just pissy about the $189 budget.

        • steve (different one)

          Actually, they will “only” be paying him $20M at age 42. They front loaded his contract to avoid paying big money for his decline phase. The only reason the AAV has become the most important thing is because of the changes to the CBA which came 4 years after they signed that deal.

          Not defending the contract at all, just that things would seem more palatable if we weren’t so focused on AAV.

        • MannyGeee

          Yup, the union caused the Yankees to spend money on aging players like sailors on a weekend pass. Yup, thise unions made the Yankees trade away prospects for big names, they played the Steinbrenners like a harp. Damn you Organized Labor… First you take Twinkies from me, and now this?!?!?!?!?!?!?

          Dafuq are you on, dude?

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      These long term huge money guaranteed deals are bad for the game.

      How so?

      Not if you go by attendance.

    • awy

      you do realize the owners still make money from those contracts, right? your ticket prices are the result of revenue side drives, not cost side.

    • Block

      Are you saying Marvin Miller was bad for baseball. When he entered
      the picture in 1967 M.L.B. revunue was $50 million today $7.5.
      billion. Facts trump your opinion.

    • Matt Montero

      Aren’t the long term deals really just results of the completion between the owners? Also, it’s tough to say the salaries are out of hand when the athletes are the ones who fill the seats. Fans don’t go because the owner, GM, or manager, it’s the players on the field. Considering some teams are worth upwards of a billion dollars, it tough to argue that the players don’t deserve their salary.

  • KeithK

    “No one did more to advance the sport” is very much subject to opinion. I’m not sure I agree the sport is better with free agency. It would be vastly better if teams could keep the talent they develop and if trades were based on baseball considerations and not money. I don’t begrudge the players their high salaries but it would be better for the fans if they were paid according to a salary scale negotiated in the background rather than the auction of free agency.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      It would be vastly better if teams could keep the talent they develop and if trades were based on baseball considerations and not money.

      That too is very much subject to opinion.

    • CS Yankee

      The sport is clearly better with free agency. The owners used these players like slaves and it took way too long to resolve this injustice. this is America, and therefore you should have control to whom you wish to provide your talent to and for how much.

      I have never rooted for an owner and don’t know anyone who has… they are business people and as long as they run their business model correctly, they’ll have success in business.

      Quite a few companies have a labor costs (rule of thumb) of around 40% and under that scenerio the NYY likely run 325MM$ just in gate and concessions…add the gear, TV, billboards, etc. and I bet that there isn’t a clearer, lower risk business to invest in (sorry Walmart).

      Pay the man. Marvin Miller should be in the HoF and it is a much bigger injustice with him on the outside than Shoeless Joe or Pete Rose.

      • Knoxvillain

        I agree with everything you said except for the Pete Rose part. I don’t think he should get in the HOF because he was stupid enough to accept his ban on baseball with his signature.

  • Andrew J.

    Baseball is a business like any other. The marketplace helps decide player salaries. Sounds very american to me.

  • RetroRob

    Marvin Miller’s death could serve as a reminder to NHL players of why they’re following Miller’s protege Donald Fehr right now, as painful as it may be for the players and certainly the game’s fans.

  • bobmac

    Nobody really cares.

    • CS Yankee

      Expect those who;
      1) Care a little.
      2) Care an average amount.
      3) Care an excessive amount.
      4) Care bears.

      • Pat D

        Care Bear stare time.

  • RetroRob

    Seeing more reports that Greinke will be a Dodger and is expected to eclipse CC Sabathia’s Yankee contract in total value and AAV. Yup, the owners have lots more cash to spend and they’re going to spend it.

    • CS Yankee

      The only thing that bums me a little is when teams;
      1) Accept handouts (revenue sharing, etc), hold a city taxpayers hostage to get a new stadium and don’t field a decent team (Pirates style) and run it purely as a business model.
      2) Ramp up (take on a bunch of contracts, sign a player at any cost, etc) hoping to increase revenue (get rings) and then dump. (Marlins 3-times, BoSox).

      Although it’ll be more costly and limit the NYY FA success down the road, i hope the dodgers don’t pull a Mets/Marlins/BoSox type of thing. It seems like they are doing a Bullish thing and I hope it somewhat pays off for them.

      • RetroRob

        Although people disagree with me, I expect to see more “dump” situations similar to the Marlins and BoSox under market conditions created by the new CBA. We may see at least one of these every year now, with teams feeling more comfortable dumping salary, and other teams right on the cusp of winning feeling comfortable taking on salary in the hunt for the lowered postseason bar. It’s harder now to plan and build through drafting, both domestically and on the international front, which will force teams into trying new things.

        I expect the Yankees to be quite competitive, although as I noted in the last thread, the team may be in the process of planning for a rebuild a few years out, and one of the items on their list for the rebuild is re-setting the luxury tax rate to zero. It’s going to take a few years, though, for it all to come together.

        • steve (different one)

          I agree. I see a good team this year, and 2014 as a transition year.

          I also think it happens to coincide with the luxury tax rules, but I think a transition year was in the cards anyway. The yankees have been on an unparalelled run of success for 17 years. But this season is probably Mo’s last year. Maybe Andy’s. Possibly Jeter’s last year as a full time SS.

          I think you gear up for a 2013 run, re-sign Cano and fill in the cracks for 2014, live with a down year while working in some youth, then gear up for another big FA splurge in 2015-6.

          The only reason the luxury tax is at 50% is because ownership has been willing to blow through the threshold every year for the last decade. They can try to spend their way out of a transition year, but then I think you’re in the same spot 3-4 years later.

    • steve (different one)

      I think this is good news. If the Yankees aren’t going to sign him, get him out of the AL. No Texas, no Anaheim.

      Plus the Angels traded an excellent SS prospect for 3 months of Greinke and wound up missing the playoffs.

      This is good for the Yankees.

    • Knoxvillain

      I think it’s hilarious that they got rid of Haren and Santana to free up money for Greinke and now he’s gonna walk. I doubt he gets more than CC money though. I find that very hard to believe.

      • Steve (different one)

        Nothing surrounding the Dodgers would surprise me right now. Once they took Crawford, all bets were off.

        • Knoxvillain

          Yep. I love their attitude but they are taking it too far in my opinion. They might sign me to bat .000/.050/.000 to a 4/60.

  • Pat D

    Cy Young Walter Johnson would probably get a spot since he’s the greatest pitcher of all time…


    • Jacob

      Cy Young Walter Johnson AJ BURNETT would probably get a spot since he’s the greatest pitcher of all time…

    • Preston

      I’m partial to Christy Mathewson myself.

      • Pat D

        I’ve always liked Mathewson, too, but he never pitched in the lively ball era, so I tend to put Johnson ahead of him.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting
  • Kramerica Industries

    Anyone else here who has tried Go On ?

    I still can’t get over how ridiculously old Matthew Perry looks.

    • Pat D

      I have sworn off all new shows on NBC till they do right by Community.