Swings and Misses: Moribund Labor Relations in Professional Baseball

Swings and Misses: Moribund Labor Relations in Professional Baseball

Swings and Misses: Moribund Labor Relations in Professional Baseball

Swings and Misses: Moribund Labor Relations in Professional Baseball

Synopsis

In this follow-up to Balls and Strikes: The Money Game in Professional Baseball (Praeger, 1990), Jennings examines the state of professional baseball's labor relations during a nearly 25 year period, focusing on the background and the outcome of the 1994 baseball strike. Jennings concludes by suggesting ways to improve future labor relations in the sport.

While the entire professional sports industry generates less revenue than sales of Fruit of the Loom underwear, a lengthy strike in professional baseball assures a national notoriety far beyond its economic impact. When the 1994 strike was underway, scores of members of Congress were involved in related investigations and legislation, while President Clinton invoked the public interest in his efforts to resolve the dispute.

Excerpt

Peter Gammons once labeled professional baseball fans’ smallest subgroup as “labor relations nerdnics.” Many are angry and tired of media accounts of related activities such as strikes, lockouts, and individual player salary contract negotiations that transform the national pastime’s essence into an ego- and greed-infested battle between whiny, self-interested millionaire players and billionaire owners.

Several reasons for writing a book on this subject still remain, fans’ apathy and antipathy notwithstanding. a lengthy strike in professional baseball assures a national prominence/notoriety far beyond indicated objective considerations like number of employees involved and national emergency possibilities. the entire professional sports industry generates fewer annual revenue than Fruit of the Loom underwear; however, the 1994 baseball strike involved scores of congresspersons in related investigations and legislation, even President Clinton’s invoking “the public interest” in his efforts to resolve the dispute.

This possibly pseudosignificance is reflected in the most extensive, 30-year media coverage of any labor relations situation. the more than 3,000 documents reviewed between 1992 and 1996 helped clarify concepts and ensure figures herein were consistent, if not totally accurate, and generated many different perspectives as well. These data, along with several thousand earlier documents used in a companion book, Balls and Strikes: the Money Game in Professional Baseball (Praeger, 1990), let me approach often urged yet seldom enacted labor relations research requisites; namely, longitudinal analysis with interdisciplinary considerations.

Chapter 1 summarizes nearly 25 years of professional baseball’s labor relations efforts and provides labor relations “lessons” that should have been learned after the 1990 labor agreement was reopened in December, 1992 and . . .

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