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From the 2011 Winter Meetings: Astros Hire Jeff Luhnow as New General Manager PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 08 December 2011 09:10

AstrosThe waiting is over for the Houston Astros after firing Ed Wade as late last night they announced that they have hired former Cardinals V.P. of Scouting and Player Development, Jeff Luhnow as their new General Manager. Astros President and CEO George Postolos made the announcement. Owner Jim Crane will introduce Luhnow on Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Minute Maid Park Press Conference room.

"We are very pleased to have Jeff as the new General Manager of the Houston Astros," Postolos said. "Jeff is the perfect fit for the Astros because of his track record in scouting and player development during his eight-plus seasons with the Cardinals.

"The Astros strive to develop one of the best systems in baseball and create a consistent winner at the Major League level. Jeff has the knowledge, skills and experience to lead the baseball operations efforts at all levels and help the Astros achieve this vision. Jeff has a demonstrated the ability to inspire and motivate staff in the front office and out in the field. He was born and raised in Mexico and his bicultural background will be an asset in recruiting players from Latin America and developing the Hispanic market for Los Astros."

Luhnow, 45, has been a Vice President with the St Louis Cardinals since 2003, most recently serving as V.P. of Scouting and Player Development. He has overseen the Cardinals amateur draft since 2005, and his drafts have been widely recognized as among the most productive across baseball.

Some of the players on the Cardinals’ 2011 World Series roster that were drafted under Luhnow’s watch, include Jaime Garcia, Allen Craig, Jon Jay and Lance Lynn.

Luhnow has overseen the Cardinals’ scouting and development efforts in Latin America since 2004.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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From the 2011 Winter Meetings: The Curious Case of Manny Ramirez' Reinstatement PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 05 December 2011 21:27

Manny Ramirez

Yes, it happened while many were either in-route to Dallas or thinking about heading to the bar at the Anatole, but on Sunday, Major League Baseball announced that free agent Manny Ramirez has applied to the Commissioner to be reinstated from the Voluntary Retired list. For those that don’t remember, in early April, Ramirez testing positive for Clomiphene and instead of serving a 100 game suspension for a second violation (remember, he tested positive in May of 2009 for hGC –human chorionic gonadotropin, a female fertility drug), he retired. At the time, MLB said in their statement, “If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed.”

Whether Ramirez will or won’t, clearly some negotiating has occurred as the league announced that upon his signing with an MLB club he will serve a 50 game suspension, not a 100 game stint as was initially stated. The amount of time of the suspension was negotiated between the Office of the Commissioner and the MLBPA.

Maybe, the league and PA worked out a deal in which Ramiriez length away from the game – an entire season, without pay – constitutes “time served”. Or, maybe it’s something else. What isn’t in question is that an exception was made. Whether that alters how the policy is enforced in the future will remain to be seen.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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From the 2011 Winter Meetings: Jasyon Stark, Craig Calcaterra, Maury Brown and the CBA PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 05 December 2011 13:23
Calcaterra, Stark, Brown, Lashbrook
(L-R) Craig Calcaterra, Jayson Stark, and Maury Brown talk the new MLB CBA with
Dr. Lynn Lashbrook moderating

It’s turned into one of the most enjoyable and enlightening side events that takes place at the Winter Meetings: The Sports Management Worldwide Baseball Career Conference.

This year, I had the pleasure of talking the new MLB collective bargaining agreement with ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark, and NBCSports.com “Hardball” writer Craig Calcaterra with Dr. Lynn Lashbrook moderating.

We simply warmed up the crowd of over one-hundred. Afterwards, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak talked about the how the new CBA impacts matters and how allocating resources (a challenge with Pujols) makes remaining competitive difficult. He cited the Rockies 9-year, $141.5 deal as the only time 18 percent of salary allocation went one player on a World Series team.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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From the 2011 Winter Meetings: Hello, It’s Me PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 04 December 2011 15:29

2011 Baseball Winter Meetings

DALLAS - Each year since MLB graciously accepted my request, I have attended the Baseball Winter Meetings. They are, in my mind, the most worthwhile sporting event that I attend each year.

SEE Inside the 2011 Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas

There are a host of reasons…. Transactions, meeting with league, and club executives, seeing what’s going on with MLB Network, getting together with the media brethren.

So, as it has been in years past, I am now in Dallas where the Meetings will begin in earnest tomorrow.

Here’s what you can expect from The Biz of Baseball :

  • Reports here, and many mini-reports via my Twitter account @BizballMaury
  • Details on Monday from the Sports Management Worldwide Baseball Career Conference. I am speaking on the “CBA panel” with ESPN’s Jayson Stark and NBCSports.com’s Craig Calcaterra. But the conference has much more… Tracy Ringolsby, Rob Neyer, and Will Carroll are on the “Media panel”. Special guest speakers include MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds and World Series Champion Cardinals GM, John Mozeliak.
  • Monday evening I’ll be attending the Trade Show gala, and will be giving reports from there.
  • I’ll also be doing a story on the “Women Leadership in Baseball” conference here for Forbes.
  • Along the way, there’s a mountain of other little reported on aspects I’ll be giving you.

The Winter Meetings officially start Monday, but look for material here and on Twitter starting, well… now.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Valentine Introduced as New Manager of Red Sox: "I'm honored, I'm humbled and I'm pretty damn excited." PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 01 December 2011 18:42
Bobby Valentine press conference
(L-R) Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine, and John Henry at the end of
the press conference introducing Valentine as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox

Bobby Valentine was introduced today as the 45th manager of the Boston Red Sox, and in it showed that the club that saw an epic collapse in 2011 was looking for a veteran leader, signing him to atwo-year contract with club options for 2014 and 2015.

Even though Valentine hasn’t managed in the majors since 2006, the man that once snuck back into the dugout wearing a fake mustache after being ejected, was unscripted and, at times, emotional as he welled up with tears.

"The talent level and the players that we have in this organization is a gift to anyone and I'm the receiver of that gift," said the 61-year-old Valentine, adding, “I'm honored, I'm humbled and I'm pretty damn excited."

“We are thrilled to welcome Bobby as the manager of the Red Sox, and I’m eager to begin working closely with him in our preparations for the 2012 season,” said new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington in a statement. “He is one of the brightest baseball minds I have encountered, with a wealth of experience in the game, an unmatched passion for winning and a proven track record of success in demanding environments.  In Bobby, we have the right man to lead the Red Sox.”

During the press conference Cherington offered thanks toPete Mackanin, Sandy Alomar Jr., Torey Lovullo, Dale Sveum, and Gene LaMont, who was the other finalist along with Valentine, for the management position left open when Terry Francona’s contract was not renewed.

Valentine has more than 40 years in professional baseball, previously serving in parts of 15 seasons as a Major League manager with the Texas Rangers (1985-92) and New York Mets (1996-2002), compiling a 1,117-1,072 (.510) record.  He ranks fourth among active managers in games and fifth in wins.  The Stamford, CT native becomes the sixth Red Sox manager born in New England and the second from Connecticut, joining Meriden’s Jack Barry, who managed the club in 1917.

His previous managerial experience includes parts of two seasons at the helm of the Mets Triple-A Norfolk club in 1994 and 1996, and seven years over two stints with the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League in 1995 and 2004-09.  In 2005, Valentine led the Marines to their first Pacific League pennant in 31 years and a four-game sweep of the Japan Series for the Nippon Professional Baseball Championship.  Chiba Lotte also won the inaugural Asia Series that year, defeating the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization.  Valentine was presented with the 2005 Matsutaro Shoriki Award, given to an individual who makes great contributions to professional baseball in Japan.

At the end of the interview for the photo op with John Henry and Larry Lucchino joining Cherington and Valentine, the now new manager put his hand on top of his GM’s with the two owners doing likewise in a sign of solidarity. “I know it’s corny, but…,” Valentine said.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Annual MLB-MLBPA Report for 2011 Shows 26 Players Tested Positive for PEDS or Stimulants PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 01 December 2011 17:35

Drug TestThe annual report issued by released jointly by MLB and the MLBPA as part of Major League Baseball’s drug program shows that of 3868 tests for performance-enhancing drugs and/or stimulants were performed with a total of 26 positive test, or less than 1 percent (0.41%) in 2011, a slight decrease from 0.47% in 2010.

The report, which covers the time from the beginning of the 2010-2011 Major League Baseball off-season to the end of the 2011 MLB post-season, had one PED positive for Clomiphene. That player was Manny Ramirez who retired from the league rather than face a 100-game suspension for a second violation of the drug program.

As part of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, players that test positive a first time for stimulants are not suspended, nor are names released of those in violation of the program. A player that tests positive for stimulants a first time is simply subjected to follow-up testing. There were 12 such positives this year for Adderall (8), Clobenzorex (1), d-amphetamine (1), Methylhexanamine (1) and Oxilofrine (1)

Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), which allow a player to use banned substances based upon approved medical needs, totaled 112 in the report, down from 110 last year and 118 the year prior. The breakdown of TUES is nearly identical to last year's report with the addition of one player being granted the exemption for Post-Concussion Sytndrome.

Below is a breakdown of TUEs over the time of the report released today:

Theraputic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
Exemption
#
Attention Deficit Disorder 105
Hypertension
2
Hypogonadism
1
Post-Concussion Syndrome
2
Narcolepsy
1
Total
111

The number of tests have increased in each of the years that MLB and the MLBPA have had the JDA and released had the Independent Program Administrator, Bryan W. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., file his report. In 2008 there were 3486 tests with 19 players having adverse analytical findings while in 2009 there were 3722 tests with 13 adverse analytical findings. Last year there were 3747 with 17 adverse analytical findings.

SUPPORTING INFORMATION


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Detroit Tigers Named 2011 MLB "Club Retailer of the Year" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 01 December 2011 13:15

The Detroit Tigers have been named the 2011 MLB “Club Retailer of the Year” by Major League Baseball Properties for the Club’s commitment to driving merchandise sales. Regular season retail sales at Comerica Park in 2011 increased +26% over the 2010 season. Sales for MLB Authentication memorabilia, which are game-used and autographed items that are marked with a unique, searchable hologram by a third-party authenticator, have increased 100% from 2008 to 2011. The MLB Authentication Program is the first league-wide memorabilia authentication initiative in professional sports and has become an industry standard.

Since its inception in 2005, the MLB “Club Retailer of the Year” Award has been awarded based on a combination of hard sales data, vendor/customer feedback and creative marketing and merchandising efforts.  The Detroit Tigers opened a new 6,000 square-foot store, named “The D Shop” in April 2011.  Within the new D Shop is a MLB Authentication Collection area with wood displays and glass etched cabinets which have enhanced the presence and presentation of authenticated memorabilia.  The D Shop also has an expanded assortment of women’s and kid’s apparel as well as Big & Tall (3X – 6X) and over 300 styles and designs of hats/headwear.

"The Detroit Tigers are honored to be recognized by Major League Baseball Properties as Club Retailer of the Year," said Duane McLean, Detroit Tigers' Executive Vice President of Business Operations. "This recognition is a tribute to the passionate Tigers fans everywhere who proudly wear the iconic old English 'D'. This is also a tribute to members of our organization and to the staff at Sportservice who work diligently to provide Tigers fans with unique and quality merchandise and authentic memorabilia."

“Tigers fans are able to express their enthusiasm and passion for their team thanks to the club’s commitment to offering a variety of merchandise and apparel at the ballpark’s new ‘D Shop’ store,” said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball. “As a result of this aggressive approach, especially with authenticated game-used memorabilia, the Tigers have put themselves in an ideal situation to capitalize on their on-field success.”

Previous recipients of the award have included the Seattle Mariners in 2005, New York Mets in 2006, Philadelphia Phillies in 2007, Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 and Cincinnati Reds in 2010 (award not given in 2009).

Source: MLB Properties


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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MLB Releases Info on 2011 Postseason Shares PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 28 November 2011 20:10

 

2011 postseason

A full Postseason share for the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals totaled $323,169.98, while a full share for the American League Champion Texas Rangers amounted to $251,515.76, Major League Baseball announced today.  Last year’s share amounts were $317,631.29 for the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants and $246,279.55 for the A.L. Champion Rangers.

The players’ pool, formed from 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first three games of the Division Series and 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the League Championship series and the World Series, was divided among 12 clubs: the World Series participants, the League Championship Series and Division Series runners-up, and the four regular season second-place clubs that were not Wild Card participants.  The 2011 players’ pool was $57,299,244.23.

Select READ MORE to see the club-by-club breakdown:

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Transcript of Press Conference with Bud Selig, Michael Weiner Announcing MLB Labor Deal PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 24 November 2011 12:03

Rob Manfred, Bud Selig, Mike Weiner

When MLB’s labor deal was announced on Tuesday, it sets in motion a host of changes that will drastically alter how the game functions, both on and off the field.

SEE DETAILS OF THE LABOR AGREEMENT

READ ANALYSIS OF THE LABOR AGREEMENT

The following is a transcript of the press conference held on Tuesday to announce the labor agreement:

An interview with:

  • COMMISSIONER SELIG
  • MICHAEL WEINER
  • ROB MANFRED
  • TONY CLARK

MICHAEL TEEVAN: Thank you for being here today. It's a great day for baseball. To my near left we have the All-Star relief pitcher of the Oakland A's, Andrew Bailey, to Andrew's left is Andrew Miller of the Boston Red Sox, Rob Manfred, the Executive Vice President of Labor Relations for Major League Baseball. In the center is Commissioner Selig, next to him is the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Michael Weiner, Tony Clark of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Carlos Villanueva of the Toronto Blue Jays, and long-time Major League pitcher, David Bush.

Commissioner Selig and Michael Weiner will provide some opening remarks. Commissioner, if you'd like to get us started.

COMMISSIONER SELIG: Thank you, Mike. Good afternoon. It is with great pleasure today that I announce that Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have agreed to a five-year collective bargaining agreement that will allow play to continue, obviously, uninterrupted through the 2016 season.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Michael Weiner, all of the people at the MLB Players Association, and all the players for their shared commitment to reaching what I consider to be another historic agreement.

I also want to thank Rob Manfred, Dan Halem, and their staff for all their hard work through this process.

Especially want to thank and acknowledge the contributions and guidance of Arte Moreno of the Angels and Jerry Reinsdorf of the White Sox.

I believe that this five-year agreement will continue the remarkable popularity and surge that baseball has been on. I've said this often, and I'll say it to all of you today, nobody back in the '70s, the '80s, and the early '90s would ever believe that we'd have 21 years of labor peace. It's really remarkable. Clearly it's the longest period of labor peace that this sport has ever had.

It's interesting to note that baseball's popularity has manifested itself in a myriad of ways. It's been at its greatest in the last 15 or 16 years. I think that one of the primary reasons, if not the primary reason is labor peace.

I think at least from my standpoint, a lot of us didn't understand how serious the labor confrontations of the '70s, and the '80s were. Usually I (list each lockout year)…because I can still remember, but how much it really had hurt the sport. Now with the great growth of this sport, and this year ended as well as it could have, and this is another step forward.

So this is really a very proud day for us. By the way, it needs, obviously, clearly ratification from the players as well as from all the owners, and that process will begin today, so we have a lot of work yet to do before this deal is done.

But I'd like to turn it over to Mike Weiner, and again, thank him and everybody for their participation in this remarkably constructive process.

MICHAEL WEINER: Thank you, Bud. Good afternoon, everybody. This is a good day for baseball, and it's a good day for collective bargaining. It's a good day for baseball not just because of what we avoided, but because of what we've actually achieved.

Bud spoke of labor peace, and labor peace is good. It's better than labor war, for sure. But the goal of the collective bargaining is not just to have peace. Not just to reach an agreement. This is a good day for baseball, not just because we reached an agreement, but because of the quality and the nature of the agreement that was reached, an agreement that will benefit all players.

Bud used the word historic, and there are some historic changes in this agreement, some that the players have sought for a long, long time. There are benefits here that will run to young players to veteran players, to international players, to former players. It's our job, the union's job, to secure the benefits for players and to protect and further players’ rights, and that's exactly what we did in this agreement. It's an agreement that will benefit all clubs, the largest market clubs, the smallest market clubs and everyone in between.

It’s the Commissioner's job and Rob's job and Dan's job and the staff's job to do that. They bargained hard for their constituents and they bargained successfully. This is also an agreement that will benefit the game and the industry.

I've been working for the union for 23 years, and this is the first round of bargaining where we're able to really engage on matters that can be of benefit to all involved with the game.

The first time in my experience that it didn't matter whose idea it was, it didn't matter who brought a particular idea to the table or who didn't, but we engaged on matters that I think are exciting for everybody who loves the game.

Maybe the best example of that is the realignment. The 15-15 realignment that Bud and the owners announced last week. This was a union idea from over a decade ago. It was the owners' side of the table that brought it into this round of bargaining. None of that mattered. It was a good idea. It was an idea that the parties worked hard with that's allowed us to come up with an exciting new post-season format. That kind of bargaining is something that these parties haven't previously been able to achieve.

There are other examples as well, for example, in the areas of health and safety. The parties jointly brought to the table issues related to drug testing to our joint drug agreement to how we deal with players with alcohol difficulties, with players with concussions, issues of equipment and safety that the parties jointly addressed.

And there are a number of others in the reserve system and in the draft area, and revenue sharing is just a couple of examples. Of these are exciting changes that will better the game and help grow the industry.

That's why I say it's not just a good day for baseball, but a good day for collective bargaining. When collective bargaining works, you have creative, determined, even dogged people on both sides of the table, and that's what we had here.

The parties are pursuing in good faith the priorities of their constituents. But at the same time, they're looking for areas of common interest, areas of common benefit.

The process wasn't easy. It's never easy. It's always harder than you think it's going to be. But it was a successful process. It's a good day for collective bargaining and for baseball.

Let me offer a few thanks. First I want to thank the members of the press for basically leaving us alone for the last year and letting us do our job and not getting in the way. Thank you very much.

I want to thank Commissioner Bud Selig and his negotiating committee. I also want to thank Rob Manfred, Dan Halem, and all the others from the Labor Relations Department and the Commissioner's office who are here. The negotiators for management displayed remarkable respect for the collective bargaining process, remarkable respect for the union, and remarkable respect for the union's members and for the players. As a union negotiator, you can't ask for anything more than that from your managing counterparts.

I want to thank the incredible staff at the Players Association. It's going to sound corny. It's going to sound trite, but it's a complete team effort when it's time for us to bargain.

I thank Tony Clark and everybody on his team, our Players Relations team, all of the lawyers that worked on this, our economic team, our senior administrative staff, our communications staff, our accounting staff, our business affairs staff, and our clerical staff. All of them contributed to the successful negotiation.

Also, if you'll indulge me, I want to take a minute to thank the family of all of our staff members who put up with an awful lot of time away, thanks to all of them.

The most important thanks I have to give are to the players. I think everybody involved in this process owes thanks to the players. I spoke with Marvin Miller a couple hours ago after we signed the memorandum of understanding, and I told him I was going to steal one of his lines. It's a line I've heard Marvin say many times. The secret to success of the Major League Baseball Players Association isn't really a secret. The secret to success is the involvement, the engagement, the ownership that the players take in their union.

This negotiation showed that in spades. You don't negotiate without players being present, and over the course of this season, and we negotiated throughout the entire season we had 236 negotiating players attend bargaining meetings. That is a remarkable number. Many of them time and time again, that doesn't count Josh Thole and Chris Capuano and Curtis Granderson and David Robertson who came to countless meetings in New York, and other players who came to multiple meetings.

Those 236 players included rookies, it included players on their first day in the Major Leagues, 20-year veterans, MVPs, players who just called up from the minor leagues, players from the U.S., the Dominican, Canada, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Australia, from all the countries that feed our great game.

Those players were led by a negotiating committee. They had big shoes to fill. I look around the room. I see Joe back there. Joe Torre was a member of the union's negotiating committee a few years ago. We had 30 active members of our negotiating committee. That is not an exaggeration. 30 members who consistently not only came to meetings, but consistently were on conference calls, weekly calls during the season, virtually daily calls for the last two months.

Not a single major proposal was put forward by the union that was not vetted, run by, and in almost every case, improved by the negotiating committee, tremendous representatives of the other members of this union.

They're independent thinkers and they take very, very seriously the commitment that the members of this union have always had, to further the rights of all players, past, current and future.

I'm not going to name all 30 of the guys. There are a few guys I do want to name. If logistics had not prevented this conference from taking place yesterday, you would have also seen Curtis Granderson, Aaron Heilman, Kevin Slowey, and Craig Counsell, four of our elected officers who were particularly involved.

I want to take just a moment to single out Craig Counsell for his service in this negotiation and for his service to the union. Craig was one of the players at the last negotiating meeting now both in 2006 and in 2011. I don't expect Craig to be on my negotiating committee in 2016, so I want to take a moment just to thank him for incredible and continued service to the cause of the players and to the union.

Time will tell whether we're going to be proud of the result of this bargaining. I truly think we will be, but we don't need any time to be proud of the process that we've just completed. The way that the players, the way that the union, and dare I say the Office of the Commissioner has conducted itself. This is collective bargaining, in my view, at its best is truly collective on the players’ side. Thank you for your indulgence.

COMMISSIONER SELIG: Thank you, Michael. I call on Rob Manfred now who represented Major League Baseball.

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