MLB Union Objects to Management Claims that ‘Players are NOT the Game’

Labor News

Third baseman Rafael Devers waves a flag during the Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship parade in Boston. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports) (Bob Dechiara/Usa Today Sports)

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Jacob Bogage on November 8, 2018.

Major League Baseball’s players union responded with outrage Thursday to a member of the Boston Red Sox front office who claimed the league could replace its players in the event of a labor dispute and “the game would go on.”

Bill James, an early adopter of the sabermetrics approach to scouting and a Red Sox special adviser, was debating with colleagues on Twitter about player salaries when he posted, “If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them, the game would go on; in three years it would make no difference whatsoever. The players are NOT the game, any more than the beer vendors are.”

The message has since been deleted, but it quickly fired up players and union representatives. …

Washington Post 11/8

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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