Thank goodness baseball is here. And while there will be plenty written about players and teams throughout the next several months (hell, even I might muster the strength to write about the Mariners once in a while) I've been thinking about something, or rather someone who was instrumental off the diamond.
This is the first full season since 1984 where Donald Fehr will not be the executive director of the MLBPA. And while his tenure was far from perfect (1994 strike comes to mind) no one can say he didn't excel at his job. Here are some of the benefits Fehr negotiated for his union:
* fully guaranteed salary
* $400,000 minimum league salary
* no salary restrictions on amateur and international drafts
* no salary or yearly restrictions on player salary
* no hard salary cap
* no steroid testing until the early-2000s
NBA and NFL players are scratching and clawing for whatever leverage they can gain in the face of looming work stoppages. Meanwhile baseball players flourished under Fehr's reign. Maybe he didn't always do things in the best interest of baseball but you can't knock the man for not doing his job.