View Poll Results: How effectively could a player bargain under the Reserve Clause, as opposed to now?

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  • 100% effectively.

    0 0%
  • 75% effectively

    0 0%
  • 50% effectively

    4 9.09%
  • 25% effectively

    6 13.64%
  • 10% effectively

    27 61.36%
  • 0 % effectively

    7 15.91%
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Thread: Reserve Clause: Bargaining

  1. #81
    Yes, I guess "radical" is in the eye of the beholder. I think of the current system as radically restricted because I have lived my entire working life in an essentially free and unrestricted labor market. In my experience, pretty much everybody is a free agent, all the time. But if you think of the baseball system as normal (and we're all so used to it that we do, even though it's really very, very peculiar), then it's a free labor market that would be radical. But what's in a name?

    I don't know that much about the circumstances of Miller's meeting with this group. I have been told it occurred, but I don't know when or where. My understanding is that it certainly was not a large group of players, and I doubt there was ever a concerted effort to push for an unrestricted system.

    It makes perfect sense that Miller would have wanted to limit free agency , though. The reserve clause regime virtually stopped the free circulation of playing talent on the open market and thus created an artificial seller's market for labor in an industry where, as we all know, clubs have a particular and constant need for supplies of fresh talent. That put anybody with talent to sell in an enormously advantageous position. Of course, it was always mostly club who were the sellers, which no doubt is one reason the clubs as a group were willing to live with the system. But sometimes the sellers were players, either individuals or classes of players, and then those players paradoxically got the benefit of the reserve system's restrictions on (other) players' movement.

    To give a couple of examples that were close in time to the Messersmith decision and would have been familiar to everyone involved, there were the bonus war for amateur players that prompted the institution of the amateur draft and Finley's unconditional release of Ken Harrelson into the middle of a hot AL pennant race, which garnered a very superstar salary by the standards of the times for a decent journeyman player.

    The system that came out of the negotiations after the Messersmith decision has essentially institutionalized situations like this, assuring that every year a healthy number of players will be able to put their services on a market, yet their numbers remain sufficiently restricted that they don't flood the market and therefor they do enjoy the advantages of operating in a seller's market. Finley understood this, and it seems reasonable that Miller would have, too.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    Can anyone give an example of the last time a franchise tried to blackmail a city into building them a ballpark, for interest-free loans or bonds, or they'd leave for greener pastures?
    i remember the Minnesota teams tried when Ventura was governor....he didn't bite.
    "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

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  3. #83
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    In another thread on Committed Opinions, I was asked when an owner ever tore up a contract and gave a player a better one.

    I can think of 2 cases. John McGraw and Babe Ruth.

    John McGraw's owner would give him a multi-year contract and almost never waited for it to expire before he'd give John a raise and new contract.

    Also, Babe Ruth. I believe that Ruth demanded more than his contract entitled him to several times. 1919, 1920 and 1923. Something like that.

    So, while rare, it happened. So, Charles Comiskey could have done the same thing for Joe Jackson, but he'd have rathered stick needles in his eyes. He would use whatever possible, including lies, to hold down a players' standard of living. Charles Comiskey was simply an embarrassment to a sport, as were Landis and Ban Johnson. Smart immoral people who left a wide swath of damaged lives behind them.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    When the FL existed the reserve clause did not exist the way you think it does. Every single player was a FA.
    Starting to get that old feeling that it will never make any difference in what I say or show. Your mind is set long ago and you casually brush aside excellent debate points that undercut your position.

    The FL did not make anyone able to shop their services to the other 15 baseball teams in the MLs. What you call 'free agency' was a terribly risky proposition. The only ML stars that jumped were Hal Chase and Edd Roush. Plank, Bender and Brown were washed up.

    And if a lot of ML stars had jumped, the probable result might have been that the FL survived and either the NL or the AL might have folded.

    OR . . . only some FL teams that had successful recruiting campaigns did well and some of the ML teams might have been driven to the brink of bankruptcy.

    In either case, it was doubtful that the game could have supported 3 MLs indefinitely.

    Does anyone really believe that each of the ML cities could have supported 3 teams? Highly doubtful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Not that much? Tremendous increases in a player's salary and multi-year contracts? That seems like a lot to me.
    Not really. One cannot just point to the top 5 ML stars to prove that the FL caused ALL ML players to make more money.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Here we go again with lingo that I don't think you fully understand.
    Starting to get annoyed. What are you talking about? If you get what I mean, just take it from there and discuss.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Scarecrow meet the strawman. The problem with your false argument is that nobody is making that argument for Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Walter Johnson, or anybody else.
    Afraid not. You called Joe Jackson stupid for not jumping and making more money. As usual, because you simply don't care for him as a person or a player, you ascribe negative qualities to him that don't apply.

    He chose to remain loyal to the Cleveland team. He was probably leery that the FL might not make it. But he had signed a contract and his signature was not irrelevant to him that he would just disavow it and walk away.

    He wasn't stupid, Ubi. He was smart to not jump. If you are calling him stupid for not using the FL to get more from his Cleveland team, how do you know that he didn't try and was rebuffed? How can anyone know this. You seem to presume to know things that we cannot know.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Actually salaries did collapse after the FL collapsed.
    For Cobb, no. For Collins, no. For Speaker, yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Joe could always threaten to shop his services elsewhere the problem is that MLB paid the best.
    Right. And that's the problem, wasn't it. The lack of a market economy in baseball made his negotiating position with Comiskey an impossible position.

    You still can't deal with the problem, Ubi. If a player demands what he thinks he's worth, and his owner says no, what could the player do?

    Hold out? Quit? Play in semi-pro? Offer to play in the Mexican league, or Negro Leagues?

    The reason you can't deal with the problem is because the problem has become to tough for you. The player found himself in an impossible position.

    In 1929, Edd Roush held out all season. Didn't make the Giants offer him more.

    But I understand your isolated position. You can't answer a question that has no good answer.

    Ty Cobb was not only the smartest baseball player ever to lace 'em up, but one of the most aggressive and brazen. When his owner tried to stonewall his salary demands, he'd think outside the box.

    He went to his Georgian political pals in Congress. They would craft legislation to remove baseball's exemption to the National Sherman anti-trust law. The Georgians would introduce this legislation and Cobb would make damn sure that both his owner, Frank Navin and Ban Johnson knew exactly what was about to befall their little fiefdom of baseball. It scared the bejeeshas out of them and all of the other owners to where they'd all threaten to beat Navin to death if he didn't get Cobb and the Georgian delegation to back off their assess.

    As far as they were concerned, that exemption was their Holy Grail, and they'd go to Hell and back to protect it. So, Cobb knew where to attack them where it hurt. Their pocketbooks.

    But like I said, Cobb was the most crazed, most competitive, most aggressive cuss there was. There was only one Cobb. Not another remotely close to him in chutzpah. Not even Speaker or Collins would have gone that far to achieve their ends. Certainly not a milktoast like Jackson.

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    Can anyone give an example of the last time a franchise tried to blackmail a city into building them a ballpark, using interest-free loans or bonds, or they'd leave for greener pastures?

    Comiskey didn't do that in Chicago, maybe in St. Paul or Des Moines?

    He did manage to get into Chicago for the 1900 season without "invading", as the newspapers said of American League clubs in Boston and Philly 1901, St Louis 1902, and New York 1903. One might say that he did Chicago a favor or two, getting another top ballclub and a league headquarters into the city.

  6. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Beady View Post
    Yes, I guess "radical" is in the eye of the beholder. I think of the current system as radically restricted because I have lived my entire working life in an essentially free and unrestricted labor market. In my experience, pretty much everybody is a free agent, all the time. But if you think of the baseball system as normal (and we're all so used to it that we do, even though it's really very, very peculiar), then it's a free labor market that would be radical. But what's in a name?
    I would term the new system "radically limited" if it seemed to me that at least a large minority of players had at least presumed they would immediately move to a relatively unlimited system. The old regime designed by the owners had been tossed out. One to replace it must be designed by the major league owners and the major league players jointly, or designed by their representatives or their hirelings and approved by them. What would they do? What alternatives were "in the air", or presumptions in the heads, if not "on the table"?

    Suppose most players agreed with Organized Baseball that the market must be heavily regulated, either because individual mlb clubs deserved some return on their investment in the minor leagues or because too many of those 24 clubs would freely go out of business without some right to profit from the players trained in their own organizations. Then the agreed system wouldn't be radically limited, except with reference to a dissident minority. The minority presumption in caricature, I imagine, would have been that the system has been overthrown; hell no, we won't set up a new system.
    (I mean the onerous "system" governing major league players and "radically limited" market for major league players. That was the object of the arbitration case or grievance and that was the concern of the MLBPA, jointly with Baseball.)

    In other words, I have wondered whom did Miller need to convince?

    (I understand, your considered judgment is that he didn't need to convince many.)

    I don't know that much about the circumstances of Miller's meeting with this group. I have been told it occurred, but I don't know when or where. My understanding is that it certainly was not a large group of players, and I doubt there was ever a concerted effort to push for an unrestricted system.
    I was thinking that it must be a subset of the player representatives, and that Bouton must be one of them. Bouton was courageous, however; he may have met with Miller as an individual, even if that generally "wasn't done". Perhaps around the time he was hired, and again after the arbiter's ruling, Miller met with many players as individuals rather than representatives.

    Here I suppose that representatives typically hold majority views on fundamental matters. If the players who presumed a relative free system for major league players were a clear minority, I suppose that even fewer of them would be representatives. Some might even be objectors to the MLBPA or to any degree of labor union activity, who accepted it passively but would never run for office.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 12-17-2009 at 03:46 PM.

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    I would term the new system "radically limited" if it seemed to me that at least a large minority of players had at least presumed they would immediately move to a relatively unlimited system. The old regime designed by the owners had been tossed out. One to replace it must be designed by the major league owners and the major league players jointly, or designed by their representatives or their hirelings and approved by them. What would they do? What alternatives were "in the air", or presumptions in the heads, if not "on the table"?

    Suppose most players agreed with Organized Baseball that the market must be heavily regulated, either because individual mlb clubs deserved some return on their investment in the minor leagues or because too many of those 24 clubs would freely go out of business without some right to profit from the players trained in their own organizations. Then the agreed system wouldn't be radically limited, except with reference to a dissident minority. The minority presumption in caricature, I imagine, would have been that the system has been overthrown; hell no, we won't set up a new system.
    (I mean the onerous "system" governing major league players and "radically limited" market for major league players. That was the object of the arbitration case or grievance and that was the concern of the MLBPA, jointly with Baseball.)

    In other words, I have wondered whom did Miller need to convince?

    (I understand, your considered judgment is that he didn't need to convince many.)


    I was thinking that it must be a subset of the player representatives, and that Bouton must be one of them. Bouton was courageous, however; he may have met with Miller as an individual, even if that generally "wasn't done". Perhaps around the time he was hired, and again after the arbiter's ruling, Miller met with many players as individuals rather than representatives.

    Here I suppose that representatives typically hold majority views on fundamental matters. If the players who presumed a relative free system for major league players were a clear minority, I suppose that even fewer of them would be representatives. Some might even be objectors to the MLBPA or to any degree of labor union activity, who accepted it passively but would never run for office.
    I don't think Bouton was one of a group of player representatives here because I don't believe he was a player rep -- certainly he had been defeated for the office when he was with the Yankees, as I recall from "Ball Four." His views seem to have been pretty out of step with those of most of his peers, more radical (to use a word I can't seem to shake), I would think probably too much so for him to be representative in any sense. I certainly agree Bouton was someone who might have approached Miller on his own to speak his mind, even if nobody else was doing so.

    The MLPA had at any rate until pretty recently been quite conservative, publicly upholding the reserve as necessary to the health of the game and asking for no basic systemic changes. So it's plausible to assume that many players still felt it would be acting against the general welfare and best interests of all concerned to change the system in a fundamental way. They may have wanted some liberalization in the reserve clause but felt a drastic change would be dangerous.

    However, it's also clear that a system that severely restricted the free movement of talent created an artificial buyer's market that would greatly benefit the few valuable individuals eligible for free agency. Comparable situations actually had occurred occasionally throughout baseball history. When either individuals or a class of players would in some way be freed of the restraints of the reserve clause, their bargaining position would be paradoxically be strengthened by the reserve that hamstrung most players, since the freed players would benefit from the artificially created seller's market just as a club selling a player would. Think of the money (fabulous by the standards of the day) paid bonus babies of the post-WW II era, or Ken Harrelson, released in a fit of petulance by Charlie Finley into the middle of a hot AL pennant race. Harrelson was not really that good a player, but I think the big money Harrelson got did a lot to awaken people to the potential bonanza a loosening of the reserve clause might bring players.

    Prior to the Messersmith decision, though, situations of this kind might affect isolated individuals, or if an entire class of players started to exploit their freedom from the reserve, the owners would act to plug the loophole, as they did with the bonus babies by instituting the amateur draft to limit competition for those players. After Messersmith, the clubs' ability to manage the system was severely compromised, however. Ever since then, free agency under all the forms in which it has been negotiated between the clubs and players has institutionalized and regularized a situation in which a relatively small number of relatively valuable players are released into a market in which talent remains tight because most of the players in baseball are tied up by the reserve clause (or continuing contracts, of course). The result is something like the Harrelson situation repeated every off season, with clubs ambitious to improve compelled to bid against one another for a small number of free agents, who are actually better off than they would be if they were competing on the market with all the other players.

    Obviously, only those free agents benefit directly, but in the long run (and with help from arbitration) the result has been to push up general salary levels. It seems to me that around 1975 anyone who knew baseball and had a basic understanding of the law of supply and demand could have guessed pretty well in general terms what would happen. Charlie Finley is said to have done so, and I can well believe Marvin Miller did, too.

  8. #88
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    I'm re-introducing some older threads, as insurance against them getting deleted due to age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian McKenna View Post
    you're overlooking the investment clubs put into their players and their farm system - mlb doesn't exist in a bubble like the nba and nfl - mlb has to develop and train their talent - that takes money (it is not a moneymaker) - for this opportunity afforded the players the clubs have a legitimate right to expect something in return - what is granted is rights to the player for a specific amount of time or a specific amount of options - seems reasonable and wholly appropriate

    in japan the options go too far but you don't get professional training and the ability to advance your skills for nothing - someone needs to be in that business to make money - in football and basketball the universities make a lot of cake from that sport and thus become the de facto minor leagues

    baseball is the foremost skilled sport in the world - even if the universities could make money off of it (which they don't), mlb would still need to train and further develop the young men within a professional environment by professionals with the company's goals and objectives in mind

    laissez-faire is one thing but the players are getting a valuable service by the parent club while they are young - it is not free - it is not done out of the goodness of the company's heart - they company expects (and should expect) some type of payoff at the end of the rainbow

    at this time in a player's career they are merely apprentices - they willingly (and very much hope to) become apprentices and they trade this training for future consideration - seems wholly logical - quid pro quo
    Are you sure that AAA ball is a loser? It seems to me that all minor league ball has come up in the world in the last 20 years as evidenced by the independent Long Island Ducks, Bridgeport Bluefish...et al.

    Furthermore, a player who becomes a long-term big leaguer returns far more than the club's investment in him and that partially compensates the parent club's investments in prospects who don't pan out.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian McKenna View Post
    miller most definitely did not want unlimited free agency in the beginning - it would water down the market and potentially negate any advances - it would then become an owner's market (at their price)
    Marvin Miller's A WHOLE DIFFERENT BALL GAME on page 370 details how Charlie Finley wanted free agency for all players all of the time. Miller, "I held my breath." In 1976 the average career was 5 years so a 6 year veteran was a better than average player, at least in theory. By allowing this limited # of upper level players on to the market a strong "pull" was created.

    I think allowing 1 year for free agency, to be determined by time on the active in-season roster, and eliminating arbitration would offer players more freedom AND slow inflation.

    However, there will always be a George Steinbrenner/Mark Cuban/Jerry Jones who puts winning ahead of profits. No system can adjust for owners who eagerly pay more than market by bidding against themselves.

    For more on this topic go to GRANTLAND on espn.com and read malcolm Barnwell PSYCHIC BENEFITS which compares owning a team to being an art collector.

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Gallanter View Post
    Are you sure that AAA ball is a loser? It seems to me that all minor league ball has come up in the world in the last 20 years as evidenced by the independent Long Island Ducks, Bridgeport Bluefish...et al.
    I don't know a great deal about it, but my sense is that in recent decades minor league baseball has tended to alternate between periods when it's been thriving and those when it stagnates. Whether minor clubs are significantly profitable even during the bullish times I don't know.

    Over the long haul it's certainly been the case that minor league baseball was generally not a self-sustaining enterprise, and the minor clubs gradually became more and more dependent on major league subsidy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Gallanter View Post
    However, there will always be a George Steinbrenner/Mark Cuban/Jerry Jones who puts winning ahead of profits. No system can adjust for owners who eagerly pay more than market by bidding against themselves.
    That's a valid point, no doubt, but I don't know that we can assume it's not justifiable from a standpoint of pure economic calculation for the Yankees to bid prices up. If they are to use their economic superiority effectively, they need an open system that requires and allows everybody to pay more for talented players. And they may as well pay the players as spend big money on purchase prices in order to buy them from small market clubs, which is what used to happen under the full-roster reserve clause regime.

    Steinbrenner was always a moderate in negotiating with the players' union, and the hawks have generally been found among the small market clubs. If we go way, way back to the 1880's we'll find John B. Day controlling the same New York market with the same advantages of population base and other resources. Day's personality was utterly unlike Steinbrenner's, yet he likewise took a soft line in negotiations with the players of his day, while the small market clubs were the hawks. From a standpoint of rational economic calculation, it was to the advantage of Day's Giants to allow a more fluid talent market, and to let the prices for talent rise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    The FL did not make anyone able to shop their services to the other 15 baseball teams in the MLs...The only ML stars that jumped were Hal Chase and Edd Roush. Plank, Bender and Brown were washed up....[Joe Jackson]He chose to remain loyal to the Cleveland team. He was probably leery that the FL might not make it. But he had signed a contract and his signature was not irrelevant to him that he would just disavow it and walk away.
    By the way, I've just been reading about this. In 1915 Jackson was under a multi-year contract. I'm not sure when he had signed it. The Federal League did not respect ML clubs' reserve rights, but they did refrain from signing players under contract, so Jackson could not have signed with the Feds at that point, whatever the situation may have been earlier, when he first negotiated the deal.

    In Ring Lardner's You Know Me Al, the always impressionable protagonist Jack Keefe become convinced Comiskey is not paying him enough and goes in to talk to Joe Tinker of the Chicago Federals. Tinker shows some interest, then discovers that Keefe is under contract and throws him out of the office. But the essential point of You Know Me Al is that Jack Keefe was an idiot. Everybody knew you couldn't sign with the Federals if you were under contract.

    At the time Jackson was sold to Chicago, however, there was much talk that he would jump to Tinker's ChiFeds. It appears that Cleveland was behind in his salary payments, which would have invalidated the contract, but that was taken care of at the time of the Chicago deal.

    According to Sporting Life reports at the time, Jackson was actually making $6,500 to start with, and by the time the negotiating was done with he was getting $9,000 or $10,000 a year under the long-term contract that famously bound him through 1919. I don't know whether that's more reliable than the usual claim that he was getting $6,000 in 1919.
    “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes

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    Well, the majors didn't really have any players under multi-year contracts before the FL came around. So at the end of every season all the players had no contracts and the FL would pursue anyone they could get. Cobb, Speaker, Jackson, and others were approached by the FL and they used that leverage to get multi-year contracts out of their MLB teams. Once the FL shut down the majors stopped handing out multi-year contracts for a long time.

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Well, the majors didn't really have any players under multi-year contracts before the FL came around. So at the end of every season all the players had no contracts and the FL would pursue anyone they could get. Cobb, Speaker, Jackson, and others were approached by the FL and they used that leverage to get multi-year contracts out of their MLB teams. Once the FL shut down the majors stopped handing out multi-year contracts for a long time.
    That is only generally true. Once the stars had used the FL to gain leverage, they never went back to single year contracts. The Feds were done at the end of 1915, but Cobb, Speaker, Collins, W. Johnson, Jackson never went back to single year contracts. And after a while, neither did Ruth.

  14. #94
    It certainly was extremely rare, if not entirely unheard of later on, but weren't a number of White Sox players still signing multiyear agreements around 1920? If you're saying Jackson "never went back," I take it that means the contract the signed in the spring of 1920 must have been for more than one year?
    “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beady View Post
    It certainly was extremely rare, if not entirely unheard of later on, but weren't a number of White Sox players still signing multiyear agreements around 1920? If you're saying Jackson "never went back," I take it that means the contract the signed in the spring of 1920 must have been for more than one year?
    Buck Weaver sulked all through the 1920 season because he signed a multi-year contract in 1919 (making him the games highest paid thirdbaseman) and Comiskey wouldn't renegotiate his contract after the White Sox won the 1919 pennant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beady View Post
    It certainly was extremely rare, if not entirely unheard of later on, but weren't a number of White Sox players still signing multiyear agreements around 1920? If you're saying Jackson "never went back," I take it that means the contract the signed in the spring of 1920 must have been for more than one year?
    In the spring of 1920, White Sox owner, Charles Comiskey dispatched his chief guy, Harry Grabiner to visit Joe Jackson at his home in Greenville, SC. Harry negotiated a 3-year deal with the illiterate Joe. Joe signed an X on a piece of paper he could not read.

    Grabiner lied his ass off. He told Jackson the new salary would be for $8K for 3 years, when it was for only $7,000, with a $1,000. bonus. He also lied and said the contract struck out the 10-day release clause. Again, a damnable lie.
    Judge Landis hated Jackson so much that when the White Sox came in second place in 1920, Landis refused to release to Jackson his share of the White Sox second place money. Landis approved of Happy Felsch receiving his second place money, but refused Jackson. He really held him in contempt to do such a despicable act. And that might have been what prompted Jackson to sue baseball.

    Normally, Joe would have had his wife, Katie read him the contracts, but on this particular day, he trusted Mr. Grabiner. A fatal mistake. And that 3-year deal was the basis of the civil lawsuit that Jackson brought against the Chicago White Sox, and was conducted in Milwaukee in 1924.

    Joe Jackson retained attorney Ray Cannon & sued the White Sox for around $16,000. The 12-person jury found in favor of Jackson, and awarded him his 2 years of unpaid salary, $16,711.04 on February 16, 1924, but the infamous, notorious Judge John J. Gregory threw out the jury verdict, claiming Jackson lied and threw Mr. Jackson in jail for perjury!!!!!!

    For posterity, we should never refer to him simply as, 'the judge threw out'. We need to keep his name in mind, for no other purposes other than to blacken it, as it so richly deserves to be dragged through the mud.

    In the 1924 Milwaukee civil trial, the White Sox were represented by the law offices of George Hudnall, which had no criminal practice.

    Such is the untoward power of judges over juries!

    The Chicago White Sox settle out of court with Joe Jackson for an undisclosed amount.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-29-2011 at 01:58 PM.

  17. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by EdTarbusz View Post
    Buck Weaver sulked all through the 1920 season because he signed a multi-year contract in 1919 (making him the games highest paid thirdbaseman) and Comiskey wouldn't renegotiate his contract after the White Sox won the 1919 pennant.
    Yeah, I thought I remembered something like that about Weaver. Do you know if the ten-day clause was dropped from his contract?

    This is really a good illustration from the players' perspective of why multiyear contracts were a doubtful benefit under ordinary circumstances such as prevailed around 1920 (as opposed to the extraordinary ones of 1914 and 1915 or the entirely different situation in place today). Somebody like Weaver tied himself up for a period of several years and couldn't get a raise if he seemed to deserve, while the club still had a great deal of power over him, no matter how long the contract was. If the ten-day clause was retained, then the player was bound for longer and longer periods of time, while the club was still absolutely committed for a week and a half, no longer.

    It's difficult to believe Comiskey would have been willing to drop the ten-day clause, but he may have done it if he thought it was a nominal concession to players who were too good to receive releases. A ball club could hardly afford to give large numbers of players multi-year guaranteed contracts. Probably he would have protected himself in the event of career-ending injury, or added provision allowing him to void the contract if the player were guilty of gross acts of irresponsibility such as, I don't know, throwing the World Series. Not that anything like that would ever really happen, of course.
    “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beady View Post
    Yeah, I thought I remembered something like that about Weaver. Do you know if the ten-day clause was dropped from his contract?

    .
    I don't know but if I had to guess I'd say it probably wasn't. Most players in that era wanted the 10 day clause because they were guarenteed ten extra days pay in the event that they were released.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdTarbusz View Post
    I don't know but if I had to guess I'd say it probably wasn't. Most players in that era wanted the 10 day clause because they were guarenteed ten extra days pay in the event that they were released.
    Sometimes it takes a slave a transition period to freedom to realize just how enslaved they used to be.

    For example, some slaves were afraid of being liberated because they lacked the confidence to make their way and get along in the free world. Such was the plight of baseball players before Free Agency and many MMA fighters fighting in the UFC today. Some idiots are just too dumb to know they need a union to protect their rights.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    Sometimes it takes a slave a transition period to freedom to realize just how enslaved they used to be.

    For example, some slaves were afraid of being liberated because they lacked the confidence to make their way and get along in the free world. Such was the plight of baseball players before Free Agency and many MMA fighters fighting in the UFC today. Some idiots are just too dumb to know they need a union to protect their rights.
    No it wasn't. Compared to the average American worker of the period the 10 day clause was an advantage for the average ballplayer. If you polled players into the 1960s I would guess that most supported the reserve clause because of the security it afforded them.

    I think comparing ballplayers to slaves is an insult to people who really were slaves.

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