Friday, July 11, 2008

Reserve Psychology

The master negotiator Marvin Miller, at the age of 91, still has it.

In his on-going battle with the baseball establishment, the wily former executive director of the MLB Players Association (1966-82) has shown that he still has another card up his sleeve.

The cagey Miller's artful tactics led to the overthrow of baseball's reserve clause and allowed for the advent of free agency in the 1970's, forever changing the game. Yet he continues to be passed over for inclusion in Cooperstown, and it seems that he has finally given up hope of being enshrined among the immortals in the Hall of Fame.

And that's just what Miller wants them to think.

Miller, who according to the Boston Globe "says he will never set foot in the Hall [of Fame] again", and called the Hall "a crock," has requested that his name be kept off future Hall ballots, in perpetuity, thereby ensuring that he never be elected to baseball's hallowed hall.

What brilliance!

Miller's advanced age has clearly not diminished his negotiating skill; if anything, he's only that much more beguiling. After all these years, Miller is finally employing perhaps the most advanced negotiating tactic known to man: reverse psychology. This difficult maneuver comes with its own risks; not since Bugs Bunny outwitted Elmer Fudd has such a maneuver been used with so much at stake.

When asked for comment, Miller's arch rival, former commissioner Bowie Kuhn posthumously said "Ooh, I'll show that wascawy Miller. I'll put him in the Hall so fast it'll make his head spin." Kuhn then rolled over in his grave.


Marc said...

brilliant as first glance, i hate free agency as much as the next guy, but when you really look at it, baseball is not the game that WE love NOW [regardless] if it is not for free agency. It's debateable wether it's better or worse, but considering the popularity of the game overall, and the quality of play etc., free agency has surely been a boon to players AS WELL as the viewing experience (individuals' enjoyment of the game). Sure, our tix are more expensive, but so is everything. Sure, players are egotistical assholes, but who says they haven't always been? It's not like before free agency they were all writing blogs on their days off (wink, and now they actually do). Look, somebody was getting the money, and it was the owners...clearly the players deserve it more! They are entitled to it- they create it, labor theory of value and so forth. Let's all get over the good veterans signing (deservedly) huge contracts (and making way more money than three generations of thier families ever need) and embrace Marvin Miller for positively and permanently changing the game forever...last time I checked those 2 criteria were sufficient conditions, without even ever logging a major league game played.


Soxlosophy said...

marc, thanks for your insightful commments, as always...

if there are jerk owners in the Hall who never did anything for The Game except for contribute to segregation and move teams from their loyal fan bases, I don't see how Miller isn't a shoe-in.

Besides, the Hall of Fame needs more Jewish lawyers.:)

Marc said...

doesn't the world need more jewish lawyers? or jewish experts on stuff?

anyhow, there's a point i was about to touch on, and I see you have commented since (apparently i don't get auto-emails everytime?). Well, it's more like a list...

This is where I'd insert Miller in relation to other HOF'ers that are there not for being players:

Branch Rickey (de-segregation)
Alexander Cartwright (inventor of modern organized game)
Henry Chadwick (inventor of box-score, stats)
Judge Landis (1st commissioner)
Rube Foster (took control of the Negro Leagues, turned it into the most successful Black business in US hitherto it's time (and source of athletic and commercial pride for its culture) and paved the way for it to be impossible to overlook by MLB which fostered integration)
Marvin Miller (orchestrator of free agency, creator of MLBPA- the strongest labor union in our specie's history)

honorable mentions in this class:
Hulbert and Spalding (creators of N.L.)
Ban Johnson (creator A.L.)
Happy Chandler (commissioner during de-segregation)
Abner Doubleday (every religion needs a santa claus in its pantheon)
Vin Scully (because I could enjoy hearing him read the phonebook)

who am i missing?

Soxlosophy said...

wow, marc. that's a pretty good list. I don't think i can add anything off the top of my head... (there's enough missing up there as it is.)