Analysis: the NFL proposal for the "enhanced season"


Note: Tuesday we will have a projection of the NBA Draft

I have some good news and some bad news about a possible CBA. For the first time in 4 months, the NFL management council reps met with DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA team yesterday. The proposal that the NFL put on the table is an 18 game regular season that would eliminate 2 preseason games.

On the league side, the preseason games are very profitable. The teams generally require season ticket buyers to also pay full price for the 2 preseason games in their stadium. That has been a bone of contention between the Union and the league for several negotiation cycles. The last agreement solved the problem when the union won a percentage of TOTAL REVENUE in the last CBA.

NFL players currently get a “daily stipend” for their work in the preseason. Under the NFL proposal they would get full salary shares for the 2 games that become part of the regular season. That would add 12.5% of their salary to their gross pay. With the addition to individual players pay, the league is hoping that the players will accept a lower total percentage of revenues. That … Read more at FryingPanSports

Pressure grows on NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith


The hard line former candidates for the post of NFLPA Executive Director that were defeated by DeMaurice Smith in vote of the Executive Committee last year are clambering again. Former NFLPA President Troy Vincent was one candidate that is reportedly active again in the annual meeting of the union this year. Rumors are that Vincent’s immediate target is current NFLPA President Kevin Mawae. Originally, Mawae was not expected to have any opposition for reelection. Now he will from the hard line group. Mawae is known to be less hard line than his likely opponents. The President must be an active NFL player. If Vincent can get Mawae replaced by a hard line guy, that will put more pressure on Smith to take a more aggressive stance against the owners. It will also put another hard liner on the negotiating team.

There are 4 players that are stepping down 10-man Executive Committee. Those players are Keenan McCardell, Donovin Darius, Mark Bruener, and Kevin Carter. If those 4 are replaced by hard liners, Smith’s position could be in jeopardy. A change at the top of the union’s negotiating team would insure a 2011 lockout.

What restarted the attempted coup is an … Read more at FryingPanSports

NFLPA Exec. Dir. DeMaurice Smith faces some tough choices.


Smith is in the middle of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. According to several sources, the bargaining will continue during the Combine. Here is the problem for Smith. On one side he has to get a deal done that will prevent the loss of paychecks for the players because they are not nearly as financially secure as the owners. But also he has to play politics. He was elected by the executive board almost a year ago as a moderate candidate while the others running were taking a much harder stand against the league. But recent statements from Smith have been much harder in tone than when he was first elected. At the same time his positions on several issues have changed.

Prior to the election, he mentioned that he would be opposed to the reinstatement of a salary cap if 2010 was an uncapped year. There is almost no chance that the two sides will come to agreement prior to Mar. 5. Therefore, 2010 will be uncapped. However, we have seen a number of teams cut expensive older players. We are going to see a lot more of that after the 5th when all cap ramifications disappear. … Read more at FryingPanSports

Major League Baseball shoots itself in the foot again.


It’s bad enough if you shoot your friend in the foot. When you intentionally shoot yourself in the foot, you deserve whatever pain results. That is exactly what the pinhead owners of MLB did in signing a new contract with the Umpire’s union without mandating more use of technology for calling balls and strikes.

Until a couple of years ago, the fans were convinced that the umps were blind but recent developments in TV coverage have removed all doubt. Fox and other networks provide a pitch by pitch analysis of the missed calls using computer technology. We can clearly see a ball that is way low being called a strike and a ball just below the letters being called a ball. The union has run the game for years. They have prevented any use of instant replay or other technology that has even been instituted in college football. The reason is simple. The union does not want to allow their dues paying members to look as bad as they are.

The problem is that it doesn’t matter how good the players are, it will be the umpires and their bad calls that will determine as many games in 2010 as … Read more at FryingPanSports

Baseball needs to upgrade Umpires NOW!


                       MLB Umpire Foster

MLB’s reputation has taken major hits from the steroid scandal, missing the playoffs because of a strike and leadership of the some times blind but always intellectually challenged Bud Selig. But there is a bigger problem with the game—the ineptness of some of its umpires.

Umpire Marty Foster covered 3rd base last night sort of. At least he was paid to do that. In the first inning he called Derek Jeter attempting to steal 3rd. The ball got there in time but Jeter was never tagged. Jeter complained to Foster and was reportedly told that he didn’t have to be tagged to be out. When Jeter told Yankee manager Joe Girardi what Foster had said, Girardi exploded and got thrown out of the game for arguing the call. Maybe someone should buy Foster a copy of the MLB rule book. Even if they did, I doubt he would read it.

The umpires were already under the gun for inaccurate ball and strike counts. New technology has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that umpires are not able to tell a strike from a ground hog. Baseball has always said that it can live … Read more at FryingPanSports

Don Fehr was a blessing and a curse to baseball.


Don Fehr, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, is stepping down. Very few people in the history of sports have had such a massive impact on their profession. Some insist that Fehr was a blessing to the sport. Others are just as aliment that he was a curse on baseball.

Fehr was a blessing:

There is little doubt that Fehr has been the most powerful man in baseball since Bud “I see nothing” Selig took over as acting Commissioner and then had the acting removed. Someone had to run baseball. There is also no doubt that Fehr has been the most powerful sports union leader in the US. He has overseen the largest increase in earnings ever seen in baseball. He also has helped increase the guaranteed minimum baseball salary by a factor of nearly 5.

He has also strengthened the position of the MLBPA to the point that an owner can not sneeze without his permission. Selig couldn’t suspend a ball without first checking with the Union. But from the last strike in 94, there has been labor peace and great revenue growth.

Fehr was a curse:

Three things fall into the curse category. First and … Read more at FryingPanSports