… Miller said things about Bowie Kuhn that were unfair and personal, but the fact is that Busch, Charles Oscar Finley and several other owners created Miller with their arrogance and 19th-century thinking. But what he, Moss and eventually Donald Fehr and Gene Orza did for the players was historic and has a rightful place in Cooperstown, N.Y., because Marvin was a giant figure in the game’s history and evolution, which the museum so brilliantly details.
The barons who so hated Miller and all that he represented were so consumed with maintaining their control over players that they never envisioned what would happen when, finally, the Messersmith-McNally Decision was handed down in January 1976 and the business changed forever. Until a new collective bargaining agreement was negotiated at the All-Star break in Philadelphia during the summer of ’76, most Major League players were going to be free agents at the end of the season; the newly created system allowed for the six-year waiting period before a player is free to play where and for whom he wants.
What happened was that the attention on baseball completely changed. It became a 12-month business. Free agency was on the front pages of sports sections from November until Spring Training, beginning with that first free-agent class, which included Reggie Jackson, Don Gullett, Bobby Grich, et al.
So what Miller did for baseball and owners was take it out of what players referred to as “the plantation cocoon” and make it a ton of money. Free agency made baseball a far different entertainment entity. Oh, it seemed as if management forever kept trying to turn back the clock, hiring Ray Grebey, Dick Ravitch and all kinds of hired guns to set the Players Association back on its heels. …
December 5, 2010
[Kyle] Cofield has an ideal frame for a righthanded starter and when in sync he has two potentially plus pitches. His low-90s fastball tops out at 95 mph with heavy sink and his sharp curveball buckles the knees of righthanded batters at its best. Yet for all his strengths, Cofield has not been able to show any sustained consistency during his career. He made tremendous strides in 2008 and ’09, but was not able to maintain his strong performance during the 2010 slate, in part because of a two-month stint on the disabled list with an elbow injury. He returned in the starting rotation shortly after his return to Double-A Mississippi in early July, but found himself in the bullpen for the final two weeks after going 0-2, 6.75 in six starts. Despite ranking among the circuit leaders in walks, Cofield led the high Class A Carolina League with a 3.26 ERA in ’08. He struggles with his control, which stems from his lack of consistent feel for his pitches and falling behind in the count by being too fine. He also needs to add more depth and fade to his changeup.
[Paul] Konerko scheduled to meet with chisox chairman reinsdorf tomorrow. Once they hug, thatll be a deal. Very close. Should be $13 mil per.
[Paul] Konerko not meeting White Sox tomorrow. Just his agent, Craig Landis, will. Agree with SI_Jon Heyman deal will get done. But not close yet.
Sources: Deal between CWS and [Paul] Konerko probably will happen, but report that the two sides are close is “pure speculation;” not close now.
There is a mystery team in on Cliff Lee.
I don’t know this for sure, but I’m guessing there is one team — maybe even more than one — making a stealth run at the free-agent left-hander, refusing to accept the conventional wisdom that he will sign with the Yankees or Rangers. …
WHITE SOX: You put anything past GM Ken Williams? Or, for that matter, owner Jerry Reinsdorf?
Williams, after signing Adam Dunn, acknowledged that the White Sox are operating with an “all-in” budget, whatever that might be.
If the Sox, as expected, re-sign free-agent first baseman Paul Konerko, forget Lee. If not, Williams will at least start tapping his calculator, examining the numbers.
If he hasn’t already.
A.J. Pierzynski was “a minute away” from signing with the Dodgers when Jerry Reinsdorf stepped in
UPDATE: Jackson @ ESPN says the Dodgers offer was a 1 year deal worth more than $4 million.