Whenever I talk about MLBPA stuff someone will comment about how the union needs a labor lawyer, not some ex-player in charge.
I get why people say that — we tend to only think about the public-facing elements of organizations in which we are’t personally invested — but dudes, the union has labor lawyers. Lots of them. I’ve met a few of them. They’re pretty sharp guys. I can assure you that Major League Baseball also has lawyers not named Rob Manfred. They are also sharp guys. When the league and the union talk it’s all these sharp guys doing most of it, not Rob Manfred and Tony Clark.
The most important one of these guys is Bruce Meyer, the MLBPA’s recently-hired chief negotiator. He’s a litigator with decades of experience arguing with people who really don’t feel like giving his clients what they want but, somehow, doing a pretty good job of getting his clients what they want. Some of those clients were athletes too as, for several years he represented the NHL Player’s Union under former MLBPA Executive Director Don Fehr. So, yeah, he knows what he’s doing. Whether that translates to a great Collective Bargaining Agreement for the players in 2021 is to be determined, but no, the players are not relying on just Tony Clark’s negotiating skills to get them that.
Today Tim Brown of Yahoo has a profile of Meyer. His is a name you’ll be reading a lot of on this site as we get closer and closer to the end of the current CBA, so if you care about that stuff, you should probably get to know him.