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Tony Clark gets contract extension, to lead the union through at least 2022

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Tony Clark took over as Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association since 2013. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that he just got a contract extension that will keep him in the post through at least 2022. That puts him in the position beyond the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement which expires on December 1, 2021.

Having certainty and security in the role is important for everyone involved at this point. As noted, we are three years out from the expiration of the current CBA and, based on general dissatisfaction by many players and agents with it, there will be a lot of work to do in the very short term to get the large and dispersed union membership all on the same page and ready to bargain for a better one. The union simply cannot be in the business of messing with its leadership structure in 2019 and 2020. It’d be a waste of valuable time.

That said, it was Clark who was responsible for the negotiation of the current bad CBA and there are many around the game who speculated that his job could be in jeopardy as a result. Based on the MLBPA board voting to extend Clark, those doing the speculating and those in charge of his job security are apparently a different group of people.

Zack Wheeler hits first career homer

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Mets starter Zack Wheeler wasn’t content with just dominating the Phillies on the mound Tuesday night in Queens. The 28-year-old decided to have himself a three-RBI night at the plate, too, including his first career home run.

With the Mets already leading 3-0 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Wheeler lifted a first-pitch Zach Eflin fastball out to left-center field, landing well beyond the 370-foot sign on the wall. Wheeler had previously helped his own cause, lacing a two-run double down the right field line off of Eflin in the second inning.

Wheeler entered the night with 22 hits in 194 career trips to the plate. Of his 22 hits, five went for extra bases (all doubles). On the mound, through six innings, Wheeler has held the Phillies scoreless on five hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts.

Todd Frazier broke the game open in the fifth inning, hitting a grand slam off of Drew Anderson to push the Mets’ lead to 8-0. If the Phillies lose tonight, they will have lost five of their last six games.