MLBPA Moving Forward On Succession Plan For Ill Exec Dir Michael Weiner
MLBPA officials are trying to "carve time out of the regular-season schedule either this week or next where they could convene a conference call of the 38 players" who make up the MLPBA Exec Board to devise a succession plan for Exec Dir Michael Weiner, who has an inoperable brain tumor, according to Liz Mullen of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The board is "made up of one player rep from each of the 30 clubs as well as eight other reps." MLBPA General Counsel David Prouty said, "We are going to have a conference call amongst the board to discuss the whole thing, and that is all I can really say." Prouty said that a deputy exec dir would "not run the MLBPA unless Weiner were unable to do so." Prouty: “(Michael) is going to keep running it as long as he can. Hopefully that will be for another 10 years." Former MLBPA COO Gene Orza said that "talk that he might return to the MLBPA was false." He said, “This talk about succession at the Players Association would be unseemly even it were informed." Orza: "You do the best you can. You are not going to replace Michael. You will have someone who will succeed him, eventually. But you won’t replace him. You can’t replace him" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/22 issue).
WORKING MAN: Tigers RF Torii Hunter said of Weiner, “I have known him since I have been 21. That man is a true man. He will work until the day he dies. Michael Weiner is not going to back down. He inspires. That’s a man right there." In N.Y., Ken Davidoff wrote Weiner while "dealing with such profound adversity ... has stayed true to himself, displaying the same attributes -- humility, humor and above all decency -- that have won the admiration of foes and friends alike." The players have "loved working with Weiner." They "insisted he be on the field during Monday’s workouts prior to the Home Run Derby" (N.Y. POST, 7/21). In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote Weiner "remains a passionate spokesman for the players" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/21). In Seattle, Larry Stone wrote, "I knew he had been battling brain cancer, but I still wasn't prepared for what I saw." Weiner's "courage in the face of this ordeal is remarkable." While his body "suffers the ravages of cancer, his mind remains keen" (SEATTLE TIMES, 7/21).
QUIETLY GETTING THE JOB DONE: In L.A., Bill Shaikin wrote Weiner is "not a household name among baseball fans," and for that, fans "can be grateful." On his "watch, there have been no strikes, no lockouts, no obstinate challenges to the reform of baseball's drug policy." MLBPA Player Services Dir Tony Clark said, "He has a combination of compassion, strength, respect and brilliance. Guys like Michael don't come around very often. There is not a day that goes by that I don't find myself trying to determine, 'If I was Michael, what direction would I take?'" Shaikin wrote in a game "played by young men, Weiner is bravely opening a window to mortality" (L.A. TIMES, 7/21).