Sports

Wait, J.J. Putz Supports Card Check?

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Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein points out that the Major League Players Association, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, is stumping for card check (or, to use the Orwellian nomenclature of our friends in organized labor, the "Employee Free Choice Act") with ads in Politico, The Hill, and Roll Call featuring MLB stars like Mark Teixeira and Jimmy Rollins.

The Major League Baseball Players Association is one of the strongest unions in the country in addition to being a member of the AFL-CIO. And as part of the ad, some of the best-known names in the game, including three players who are participating in the fall classic—Jimmy Rollins, Mark Teixeira and Shane Victorino—pitch the societal benefits of stronger labor organization.

"[A]ll Americans should have the same opportunity we've had— to be able to join a union without being fired and to negotiate with their employers without being penalized," their statement reads. "Today, our country is facing some tough times. Health care costs are skyrocketing. Families are losing homes. Savings and retirement income are disappearing overnight. Now more than ever, we need a strong union movement to protect our jobs, our pensions, and our future. The Employee Free Choice Act simply guarantees a level playing field for all workers. It makes sure everyone plays by the same rules. That's as important in the workplace as it is in baseball."

The print ads ran on Wednesday in The Hill, Roll Call, and Politico. The players who signed a statement in support of EFCA are as follows: Heath Bell, Dave Bush, LaTroy Hawkins, Torii Hunter, John Lannan, Andrew Miller, J.J. Putz, Jimmy Rollins, Mark Teixeira, Justin Verlander, Shane Victorino and Adam Wainwright.

Here is the ad. And note that, like those baseball cards included in early 1980s Wonder Bread packages, the union has scrubbed all logos from helmets, jerseys, and hats:

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  1. I have no issue at all with unions, so long as the government has no involvement, and a worker is free to belong or not as they see fit.

    With that not being the case, I say, fuck the unions…quit dragging my country’s economy down!

  2. What “[ability] to join a union”? As soon as they’re signed, they’re brought into the MLBPA. There is no right; either you join the union, or you’re not playing major league baseball.

    If it was a freedom issue, then why not, on the same principle, have one of these “labor freedom” types extend a middle finger to the union and negotiate on their own?

    …oh, wait.

  3. With a league minimum of $400k in 2009, I can see them being big fans of unions.

  4. Although I view baseball’s former labor system as repugnant to free enterprise, the current version is also repugnant. Unionism is always a downer.

    I have never bought the bullshit that the players are so uniquely gifted that they represent the only people able to play the game at a high level. IMO, folks will flock to the ballparks whether their hometown team has Shane Victorino or Shane in uniform as most fans, like most people, are sheeple and will root for laundry.

  5. Don’t get me wrong, Marvin Miller was brilliant and Curt Flood was a genuine hero. But there is a huge difference between negotiating from the standpoint that one is not property of a given team, on the one hand, and collective bargaining, on the other.

  6. Whenever I want an informed, philosophically rigorous opinion on an issue of vital national importance, and a rock star or Disney tween isn’t available, I ask a baseball player.

    1. For a game that requires (arguably) the most mental disipline of the four major North American sports, baseball players are the dumbest. If you support Card-Check, you probably don’t want any MLB player, past or present, on your side.

      1. Granted you qualified your statement, but how could you even contemplate the proposition that baseball requires more mental discipline than football? Not that baseball is bereft of complexities, but it is the horse and buggy to football’s space age travel. How about digesting a playbook and being responsible for knowing thousands of variations? And to process those thousands of variations in the context of what the defense or the offense is presenting in a second or two?

  7. Yet another reason to blow off this year’s World Series.

  8. What’s Orwellian is the claim that EFCA removes the worker’s right to a secret ballot. It merely changes who decides this from the employer to the employees.

    1. Yes, give the right to decide if there will be a secret ballot to the very people a secret ballot is supposed to protect workers from. “Choice” indeed.

      Your shtick is as old as the cheese on your cock.

    2. True, currently employers have the choice, but it’s propaganda to say that EFCA gives workers the choice. Under EFCA, union organizers (who at that point don’t represent anybody) will have the “choice” – and since union bosses always prefer card check, EFCA not only removes employees “right” to a secret ballot, it effectively ends all secret ballot votes for unionization.

      Ohh, and union organizers have quite the track record of lying to get workers to sign cards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXGRTWnXbK4

  9. [A]ll Americans should have the same opportunity we’ve had — to be able to join a union

    Umm…excuse me?

  10. either you join the union, or you’re not playing major league baseball.

    You too.

  11. I probably should have used “Scarborough Green”, due to the coolness of his name, but Ligtenberg was the first “scab” that popped to mind.

  12. Level playing field? O.K., how would they like it if employers were allowed to call workers into the inner sanctum and say: “Here, sign this card that says you don’t want a union.”

    A secret ballot takes the coercion out of, at least, the voting for or against unionization.

  13. I think the MLBPA should operate under the same rules as every other union does. Using seniority to decide who gets sent down to the minor leagues. Pay grades that ensure that all players with the same number of years of service get payed the same, not matter the disparity in performance. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  14. Working stiff unions to baseball union: We need to put this issue on steroids…..

  15. Membership in MLBPA is not required for employment in MLB. Membership is not even offered until a player has served a minimum service time in the majors. Several players who crossed the line as “replacement players” during work stoppages later returned to the Major Leagues but were not allowed to join the MLBPA. Further, some players, most notably Barry Bonds, have opted out of MLBPA membership to take greater advantage of their own personal marketing eschewing the marketing agreements made by MLBPA. I’m no fan of unions, but thought these facts should be clarified.

  16. “Here is the ad. And note that, like those baseball cards included in early 1980s Wonder Bread packages, the union has scrubbed all logos from helmets, jerseys, and hats.”

    The practice of “scrubbing” team logos that Mr. Moynihan takes note of here is generally done to save money. Were the team logos included, the AFL-CIO ? or Wonder Bread, etc. ? would have to pay royalties to Major League Baseball. Those royalties would come on top of those you’re already paying the Major League Baseball Players Association for the right to use the images of the players.

    1. They would also need permission from MLB to use the logos, which it would probably straight out deny.

  17. I’m sorry, but I stop listening as soon as anyone utters the phrase: Now, more than ever…

    Cack!

  18. But how does Enrique Romo feel? How about Pete Ladd? We need a poll of all former Mariner closers before I can really get behind this.

  19. “[A]ll Americans should have the same opportunity we’ve had — to be able to join a union without being fired and to negotiate with their employers without being penalized

    All Americans should be subject to a draft by prospective employers, and have to work for whichever employer picks them?

    No thanks.

  20. Fuck unions. Alos, fuck Mark Teixeira. Would’ve been a legend had he stayed at home to play in Baltimore.

  21. ClassWarrior, you’ve got it wrong. It doesn’t move the right to choosing the secret ballot from employers to employees, but from employers to union organizers. The employees are completely left out of the look as stupid, useless dupes of the unions.

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