Players optimistic that labor strife will be avoided

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – While NFL and NBA labor talks have been rocky and the possibility of work stoppages loom in both sports, baseball’s  situation is far more optimistic.

The sport’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire in December, but neither the Players Association nor baseball owners seem overly concerned about potential obstacles preventing them from working out a new agreement.

Braves players had a 90-minute meeting Wednesday morning with union head Michael Weiner and some of his assistants, who’ll travel to each training camp in Florida and Arizona to meet with players.

“Basically it was an informational thing telling us now’s not the time to go buy a 5,000-acre ranch or a $2 million house or a $100,000 car,” Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said. “Now’s the time to start preparing for the future if there is a work stoppage in the near future. You hope it doesn’t come to that.

“We’re certainly going to do our part from a players association standpoint to get [a new agreement] done.”

Unlike during the final year of some previous CBAs, there haven’t been threats or hardened stances taken by either side on the issues expected to come up in negotiations.

“Realignment, another round of the playoffs — there’s a bunch of things that need to be talked about,” Jones said. “But I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to put us in a lockout situation.”

Compared to the NFL and NBA, baseball’s labor situation is running smoothly.

“That’s the way we want to keep it,” said catcher Brian McCann, the Braves’ elected union representative.

“I didn’t get a sense that it was dire, let’s put it that way,” Jones said of Wednesday’s meeting. “I’ve been in a work stoppage before, and the tone [before that] was completely different.”

16 comments Add your comment


February 23rd, 2011
3:21 pm

Of course the players are optimistic. They don’t want it to change. It’s the owners who are pissed off. Won’t be surprised one bit if there is a lockout.


February 23rd, 2011
3:36 pm

DOB – my apologies if you’ve written about this before, but how likely are owners to push for either revenue-sharing or a salary cap? The players wouldn’t want it, of course, but how much of the NBA/NFL issues are related to these types of things? What potential hiccups are there in MLB CBA negotiations versus the NBA/NFL?


February 23rd, 2011
3:47 pm

The MLB is in much better shape than the NFL.

Thank goodness.

Freeman Says Hey

February 23rd, 2011
3:49 pm

At this point everyone is playing nice as it is 10 months away. As the window narrows that is when the true colors begin to show. Look how it has unfolded with the NFL. Take a look at what is going on in Wisconsin and the players might be mindful in all sports just how sensitive the American public can become and turn on the players who are making 60 times more than the average American.


February 23rd, 2011
4:00 pm

I wish that MLB would go to the Franchise designation. This would give lower market teams at least a chance to retain their star players in Free Agency. You get one tag a year, and must pay them an average of the top 5 at that position.

eric the elder

February 23rd, 2011
4:08 pm

I thought we were doing away with collective bargaining.


February 23rd, 2011
4:18 pm

the reason behind the nfl and nba situations is because of the salary cap. no one ever talked about how much the owners make in tv deals and they always brought up the reason for revenue was through attendence and merchanidise, which isnt the case. and the players are saying, what the heck? same with baseball, but the reasons for it not being a bigger situation is, there is no salary cap and the lockout did hurt baseball the last time and the players know it

Crooks Bonrad

February 23rd, 2011
4:22 pm

No 5,000-acre ranch: CHECK
No $2 million house: CHECK
No $100,000 car: CHECK
Start preparing if there is no work in the very near future: CHECK

Just Pat

February 23rd, 2011
4:42 pm


thank you for explaining the Franchise designation to me. Read about two football players the other day who were Franchise designees and had NO idea what they were talking about. I don’t even CARE about football but like to semi-understand all these different terms, so thanks.


February 23rd, 2011
5:05 pm

The baseball owners have learned their lesson. Everytime there is a work stoppage or strike, they lose. The baseball players are strongly united. The last strike did so much public relations damage to both sides–with the cancellation of the playoffs and World Series—neither side wants to do that again.
They’ll get a deal done without too much trouble.

Barack O'Drama

February 23rd, 2011
5:15 pm

don’t get me wrong I like Chipper, but its kinda disgusting to hear him talk about planning ahead to not spend millions of dollars due to the possibility of a lockout when the Great Recession this economy is sputtering out of has severely cost millions of Americans the ability to put enough food on the table, or the ability pay mortgages on time. It just shows how real the gap between the super rich and the average American is, not to mention the poor and how absurdly overpaid athletes, CEO’s and GM’s are in this day and age. Still, go Braves!!

South Africa Bravo

February 23rd, 2011
5:25 pm

“Now’s not the time to go buy a 5,000-acre ranch or a $2 million house or a $100,000 car,” Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said, “Now’s the time to start preparing for the future if there is a work stoppage in the near future.”

Wow. That Chipper, he really has his finger on the pulse of the common man.

How I pity the poor guys suffering over the delay of their next $2 million house, or 5,000 acre spread. They really have it bad in today’s America (rolls eyes vigorously).


February 23rd, 2011
5:47 pm

The way things are going in this country all the sports player’s unions are a dying breed.


February 23rd, 2011
6:33 pm

One would think that the baseball owners would be far more apt to be more aggressive sincemany clubs are losing people.

maybe… the talk now is cheap,but it could be different as the talks get closer to the deadline.

the small market clubs are at a huge disadvantage.

This Gets Old!

February 23rd, 2011
7:45 pm

“Now’s not the time to go buy a 5,000-acre ranch or a $2 million house or a $100,000 car,” Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said, “Now’s the time to start preparing for the future if there is a work stoppage in the near future.”

Wow. That Chipper, he really has his finger on the pulse of the common man.

Chipper was REPEATING and paraphrasing what the union told the players. This message was intended primarily for younger players. You guys collective bargaining made the middle class in this country. Players by and large are “one of us” grew up like us, played baseball like us. Well better than us. They honed their talents and made the majors. How many owners share that? Stop siding with them. It’s sounds stupid.


February 24th, 2011
11:30 am

The same situation is playing out in the major sports that always does. The NFL owners are united and looking for a better deal. This could get ugly as the players have consistently lost to the owners in football and don’t want to just roll over. (I mean, NFL contracts aren’t guaranteed; what kind of joke is that? The player has to honor the contract but the team doesn’t.) Baseball has always been different because the owners are not united. The Yankees, to take the obvious example, but this applies to all the big market teams, want less revenue sharing and no salary cap. The small market teams want a salary cap and more revenue sharing. The players know the divisions in the owners’s camp and steamroll the owners every time because of it. At this point, it looks like the owners are not going to try to really fight much in the next baseball CBA, so there should be smooth sailing, relatively.

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