A surprising nugget

DMZ · September 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

From a Baker piece today on the delays and possibility of playing tomorrow:

Spoke earlier to Mariners player rep Brandon Morrow and he told me he’s been in touch with the players’ association and that MLB has gotten involved as well. The Mariners players have almost unanimously come up to Morrow to tell him they do not want to stay and play tomorrow and the message has been conveyed to the union, which in turn has passed that on to MLB.

Morrow was optioned to Tacoma on July 11th and was down there for two months. Now, this either means that they handed the union rep badge around to whoever was the most junior player on the roster and then back to Morrow on his return, or… I’m not sure what the interim solution was.

I know on many teams the player representative is something to be shirked, but I’m always surprised when I find out that the guy sticking up for the interest of his fellow union members in cases like this isn’t the guy we hear is the veteran clubhouse leader (Beltre, say) but whoever is relatively junior and put their hand up. It certainly doesn’t helps with accusations that players don’t take union issues like steroids seriously enough (it does make me wonder why the union doesn’t do a better job advocating for low-service-time players, though, if they’re so disproportionately represented).

In any event — Morrow’s recalled on the ninth, makes a start, and four days after he rejoins the team he’s lobbying on everyone’s behalf with the union and the league. I’m sure whoever he took the badge back from was happy to be the complainer rather than the complainee.


13 Responses to “A surprising nugget”

  1. Liam on September 13th, 2009 5:31 pm

    I believe Garrett Olson had the job earlier this year as well.

  2. Liam on September 13th, 2009 5:33 pm

    Here it is

    “Garrett Olson is the team’s union representative and insisted that no formal protest is planned, but he did say the relievers might raise the matter with union official Michael Weiner in a couple weeks.”

  3. Liam on September 13th, 2009 5:39 pm

    Baker also said that a “David Aardma” is also representing the Mariner players.

  4. thegroovewrangler on September 13th, 2009 5:47 pm

    Based on that list, I’ve spotted another trend. Could it be that they favor having a player representative who is not an everyday player? I don’t know how much time the position would require, but just a thought.

  5. DMZ on September 13th, 2009 5:47 pm

    I wonder if they’re going to tap Moore for it now. “Step up, it’s a great chance to demonstrate your leadership…”

  6. DMZ on September 13th, 2009 5:50 pm

    It was Dan Wilson for a long time, if I recall. And if I remember, he took it pretty seriously. I think he was handed it when he was a rookie and just kept it… but now I’m casting way back.

  7. Mike Snow on September 13th, 2009 9:02 pm

    It would be interesting to go through all the rosters and see how many of the union representatives are U.S. college-educated guys. I suspect they tend to be more frequent choices, and that may matter more than their role on the roster otherwise.

  8. DMZ on September 13th, 2009 9:11 pm

    That’s a really interesting observation. All three of the M’s we know have served this year went to college.

  9. Mike Snow on September 13th, 2009 9:23 pm

    Wilson was too, of course. And I don’t think he was alone in taking the responsibility seriously. While the media may like to bash the union for sleeping on the steroids issue, everything I know about the union’s history and leadership is that they are keenly aware that they do important work and also need to keep the players educated on the importance of what they’re doing. That goes a long way toward explaining why, unlike the unions of the other major sports, the MLBPA has not had much in the way of factional infighting, or leaders who got seriously disconnected from the desires of the membership.

  10. Mike Snow on September 13th, 2009 9:50 pm

    Couldn’t find information for many teams readily, let alone a complete list. But for those I did find who are currently playing:

    Brandon Morrow – Yes (Cal)
    David Aardsma – Yes (Rice)
    Garrett Olson – Yes (Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo)
    Mark Teahen – Yes (St. Mary’s)
    Jimmy Rollins – No
    Mark Loretta – Yes (Northwestern)
    John Buck – No
    Aaron Heilman – Yes (Notre Dame)
    Tony Clark – No
    Craig Counsell – Yes (Notre Dame)
    Mark Teixeira – Yes (Georgia Tech)
    Rich Aurilia – Yes (St. John’s)

    So not absolute, but I’d hazard that the preference is there. And being from the U.S. definitely matters, I think, as I’ve yet to find anyone from Latin America, although I have vague memories that I have heard of some.

  11. joser on September 14th, 2009 1:06 am

    I might be misremembering, but wasn’t Bloomquist the union rep for the M’s for a while earlier this decade?

  12. joser on September 14th, 2009 1:32 am

    Earlier, when playing on Sunday looked doubtful, Drayer wrote

    The Rangers are pushing hard to have the Mariners stay and play part of a split double header tomorrow. The Mariners want no part of that and are talking to the Players Association right now about it. Brandon Morrow, David Aardsma and Mark Lowe are all reps but I would not be surprised to hear if Junior gets involved with this one. Might need the big guns for a showdown with Nolan Ryan.

    How many reps does a team normally have? Is this because the regular bus to Tacoma means you need to keep designating new ones?

    Also — judging from this maybe in this context that mysterious “veteran leadership” is more like pulling rank than some kind of daily tickle-party thing.

    (Drayer also later snapped a pic of Gutierrez getting a baseball signed by Ryan — which I think is cool of Guti, even if Ryan is in charge of the hated Rangers).

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a split double-header, though I’m sure it’s happened somewhere in baseball more recently than I think.

  13. Mike Snow on September 14th, 2009 8:17 am

    How many reps does a team normally have?

    According to the MLBPA FAQ:

    Q: How are the Club Player Representatives chosen?
    A: The Members on each Major League club elect, by secret ballot, a Club Player Representative and an Alternate Player Representative. Each Club Representative serves on the Executive Board and he is responsible for meeting regularly with the players on his Club and represents them in the resolution of problems at the Club level.

    So it would appear that the answer is normally two. However, I’m not sure how they address the situation when guys get sent down. If you replace somebody, then he gets called back up, maybe all three of them keep the status.

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