MLBPA's Michael Weiner Remembered As Caring And Straightforward
Funeral services for late MLBPA Exec Dir MICHAEL WEINER were held yesterday in Paramus, N.J. MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG, Red Sox Chair TOM WERNER, Marlins Owner JEFFREY LORIA, incoming MLBPA Exec Dir TONY CLARK and former union head DONALD FEHR were "among the hundreds of people" at the service. Weiner was eulogized by his wife, DIANE MARGOLIN (AP, 11/24). The service was open to the public and "streamed live over the Internet" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 11/22). In N.Y., Bill Madden writes the funeral was the "only place on the baseball planet you could find" Selig and Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ "feeling the same sorrow." MLB people from "all elements of the game ... shed collective tears for a man who had touched them with his grace, dignity, honesty, humor, good will and, ultimately, his courage." Rodriguez was the "only active player to attend the service." YES Network commentator and former MLBer DAVID CONE said, "Michael was the MVP of the '94 strike. ... He was the guy a lot of us went to because he was able to break down all the issues and explain them to the players in a way that Donald couldn’t do. He’d go down the list of all the owners’ proposals and check-mark the ones that weren’t going to be acceptable and then outline why" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/25).
REMEMBERANCES CONTINUE TO POUR IN: In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes Weiner "handled the worst days in a fashion we hope to handle the finest." Sherman: "For more than two decades, he did for me what he did for his players -- he made the intricate understandable. He never made me feel dumb. He accepted my devil’s advocate counterpoints not with hostility, but with a fertile mind ... and offered responses from two, three, five, seven different angles" (N.Y. POST, 11/25). In Boston, Nick Cafardo writes Weiner was a "wonderful guy who explained complicated things in a straightforward way" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/24). In Toronto, Richard Griffin wrote Weiner was "a baseball hero." He was the "most inherently caring person" in MLB (TORONTO STAR, 11/24). ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote, "My god, how he will be missed. The bulk of my conversations with Michael seems to come in the worst of times, when baseball and the work of baseball was never mentioned. ... We talked about his decision to continue his work. We talked about how this column ends ... and the human need, the instinct, to push ahead in the face of terrible tragedy. Like Michael's death. And today will be better than yesterday" (ESPN.com, 11/23).