Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Donald Fehr You're Dumb

Sometimes, you have to wonder whether certain people in sports have enough oxygen flow to their brains. These people litter the Major League Baseball landscape. Guys like Bud Selig, Ozzie Guillen, Alex Rodriguez, and Jose Conseco jump to mind as examples of temporary and/or permanent idiocy. Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras also easily make the list.

I’d like to give another member his due credit: Donald Fehr, come on down!

If you didn’t catch the latest and exceptional bit from the head of the MLB Player’s Union, check it out. He’s essentially implying that MLB owners are colluding to hold player contracts down. Sure, he’s careful to say that’s NOT what he’s saying. Uh huh.

Trust me, for an attorney, that might as well be a formal charge.

That’s right—economic empires are crumbling, bedrock companies are seeking the government with their hands out, and the global credit system is taking on water like it’s the Titanic and Wall Street was the iceberg. Yet, Donald Fehr says the million dollar contracts his charges are signing aren’t enough.

Not only are they not enough—they’re proof that the owners are keeping the prices down.

Yep, Ol’ Donnie’s saying that, economy be damned, my guys are special!

These guys are ballplayers after all. They’re above such trivialities as shaken world financial systems and consumer terror. They can’t be troubled by your credit problems or your father’s lost job or your mother’s magic disappearing life savings. They want their millions and they want them NOW.

Oh, and Manny Ramirez wants them for years to come too.

It took Ramirez and BorAss all of 12 hours to reject the Los Angeles Dodgers’ offer of $25 million to play baseball for a single year. Yep, sounds like collusion to me. How could they insult the man with such a ridiculous offer?

But Manny’s a superstar you say? And a diva at that so he’s an outlier?

Ty Wigginton just signed a contract worth $6 million. I don’t care what he was paid last year, I don’t care what the fair market says his value should have been, and I really don’t care if the owners worked together to “limit” Wigginton to such a pittance.

The man will receive SIX MILLION DOLLARS to play baseball. In a recession that is threatening hardships reminiscent of the Great Depression.

This is a glorified role player who signed a multi-million dollar contract while regular people are getting laid off right and left. While regular companies are expecting staggering losses and the average American can’t open the paper without risking a panic attack.

Foreclosures are still an everyday occurrence. Some retirement savings and 401Ks barely exist. Caterpillar and Microsoft have announced layoffs. And I could continue this list for hours.

Call me crazy, but I don’t give a damn if all those free agents out there think they’re worth more than teams are offering. I don’t care if Babe Ruth himself descended from the heavens and said Ramirez was worth $30 million per year for the next four.

That’s just not the point.

The point is that they should be happy to be so well compensated for playing a game in the best of times. In these times? They should have freakin’ ear-to-ear smile plastered all over their mugs 24-7. It should look like they slept with a coat-hanger in their mouths.

Instead, their mouthpiece is pissing and moaning, hinting at this and that, I can practically see the drool sliming from his fat jowls.

I don’t really blame the players who stubbornly sit at home, waiting for some team to offer what they think their fair market value is. I don’t blame their arrogance because, to some extent, it’s the nature of the beast. Baseball is a psychological game, first and foremost. You need unwavering confidence to succeed and, sometimes, that means keeping the faith where there is reason for none.

So it’s not surprising that a full stable of players refuses to accept what the new FMV is.

What is ludicrous is that a man paid to advocate on behalf of his players would look at the situation and whisper ‘collusion’ in a crowded free agent market.

Because that ain’t advocating.

That’s turning thousands of everyday Americans against your clients. That’s making every regular Dick/Jane who has lost his/her job or operating buffer or nest egg sit up and take notice of how greedy your boys are. And how out of touch with reality they seem to be.

That’s pretty much the opposite of advocacy.

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