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Over the next few weeks, I’ll be emailing out article-sized sections of a larger story, titled “Labor peace is a lie.” The goal is to provide context for why the Major League Baseball Players Association formed in the first place, why it operated the way it used to, and how Major League Baseball and its owners eventually changed their tactics combating the union, all of which connects to the lack of free agent activity today. At the center of it all is the concept of “labor peace,” and, well, we’ll get to how I feel about that.
Here’s the first part of the larger story, which looks at the origins of the union and the direction it nearly went in before its first possible leader saved the players from themselves, all because of geography. If you missed any of the other five parts, you can find them here.
Labor peace seems like an admirable goal. On one side, you have the players, and on the other side, you have the owners. If they’re at peace, then we, the fans, get baseball, the players get paid, and the owners continue to see the benefits of television deals and revenue-sharing and everything else profitable in MLB.
Everybody wins, and MLB’s website can run articles with URLs that say things like “labor peace in MLB benefits everyone” without anyone taking a second to think about how weird it is that MLB has their own outlet designed to influence fan opinion on matters like labor peace.