Notes: MLBPA, Orioles ownership change, A’s boycott

A normal week, a change of hands via loophole, and John Fisher getting embarrassed. A busy Friday, really.

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As promised, my latest for Baseball Prospectus is a reaction to the news that there is a whole lot of internal grumbling going on in the Players Association — grumbling that, for a brief time, made it look as if there was going to be major leadership turnover in the form of lead negotiator and deputy director Bruce Meyer and executive director Tony Clark losing their jobs.

That time has passed, however, the worst possible damage from the storm now evaded. However, that storm is not quite finished. Luckily, as I get into, everything left is honestly just normal business: the kind of behaviors that you’d expect from a union that is nearly six times the size now as it was when it signed the 2022 MLB collective bargaining agreement, thanks to the addition of 5,400 minor leaguers as a sub-unit under the PA’s umbrella.

The players weren’t legion even before minor leaguers arrived on the scene: now there are even more points of views and concerns to consider, and figuring out what the focus should be, what everyone can agree on as a priority, is going to take time. Time and arguing and more time and a whole lot of talking. Some of it ugly and public, like the “coup” attempt, most of it behind the scenes and leading to changes. The union now isn’t the union it was two years ago, isn’t the union it will be two years from now. That’s healthy, and much better than stasis.

Major League Baseball’s owners have officially approved David Rubenstein as the owner of the Baltimore Orioles. Despite the recent death of previous owner, Peter Angelos, the plan is still for Rubenstein to be the control person, with the rest of the deal that sees the Angelos family sell off the remainder of the team to Rubenstein in the future still taking place sometime down the road. A reminder that everything in the sale was setup as a loophole in this way so that the Angelos clan could avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in capital gains tax by selling the team before their patriarch’s death. The wealthy sure get to do whatever they want, huh?

At least we’re one step closer to no John Angelos. I’ll take that.

A’s fans, as promised, boycotted the team’s Opening Day game. The stands weren’t completely empty, but they were even emptier than they usually are, and there were certainly far more people outside of the stadium than inside it, even if you count the workers and players, too.

Now, unfortunately, the fans apparently still purchased tickets to the game so they could setup parties outside of the stadium in the parking lot. But at least they did get plenty of headlines for it: the A’s mistreatment of the city, their fans, pretty much any entity that comes into contact with them, got to be the focus for the day. John Fisher getting some extra cash out of the deal bothers me, yes, but him taking a proverbial punch to the chin is also a nifty occurrence, so I’ll let it go.

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