Union head Michael Weiner treated for brain tumor
Michael Weiner, who succeeded Donald Fehr as head of the
baseball players’ union three years ago and negotiated a labor deal
last fall in a seamless transition, is undergoing treatment for a
The union said Tuesday that he began treatments on Monday and
that they are expected to last about one month. The union said it
anticipates he will continue to work from its New York office on a
daily basis during the treatments.
”It’s shocking,” Toronto pitcher Carlos Villaneuva said. ”We
told him, take care of himself first, which is the most important
part of it all. I know he’s going to want to go into the office
every day and keep track of everything.
”It’s just the way his brain is wired. He was more concerned
about us when we had our discussion about it. There were maybe 100
players on that phone call, and nobody said a word. We were all
shocked. But he never buries the lead. He came right out with
The 50-year-old Weiner succeeded Fehr in December 2009 to become
just the fourth head of the union since 1966. He is widely liked
and respected among players and management, and he has been
credited for an improved relationship between sides.
”I have great respect and admiration for Michael, with whom we
have had a very constructive relationship both professionally and
personally,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.
”This relationship has been a great benefit to baseball and has
led to the tremendous success the game now enjoys. All of us look
forward to Michael’s full recovery and to his continued
contributions to our game.”
Following his graduation from Williams College and Harvard Law
School, Weiner clerked for a federal judge and was hired by Fehr in
1988 as a union staff lawyer.
Under Weiner’s watch, the union signed an agreement in November
for a five-year contract running until December 2016, which ensures
21 consecutive years of labor peace in Major League Baseball. The
agreement allowed for blood testing for human growth hormone,
introduced restraints on bonuses for amateur draft picks and
international signings, and restored salary arbitration eligibility
for part of a class of players that lost it in the 1980s.
”He’s ultra-prepared and smart,” Chicago White Sox player
representative Paul Konerko said. ”I mean I think everybody is
happy with the last agreement that got done.”
Under Weiner, the union also succeeded in a grievance
overturning a positive drug test against NL MVP Ryan Braun, who
avoided a 50-game suspension.
”He’s upbeat about everything and he’s looking forward to
hopefully beating this,” San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain
said. ”Obviously, it’s going to be a process. We hope he can keep
his strength and motivation up to make it through it.”
AP Sports Writers Rick Gano and Noah Trister contributed to this