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Tuesday 27th Jun 2017

Way back in 1994, as the major leagues prepared to strike, there were a bunch of Class-AAAA guys that clubs signed as replacement players, should the spring labor dispute spill into the actual season.

One of those players was then 23-year old Ron Mahay, whom the Red Sox drafted in the 18th round of the 1991 amateur draft.

Actually, Mahay was already in the Red Sox system, but he went to work at Spring Training, essentially crossing the major league picket line, and that was enough so that when Mahay was called up for real in 1995, he was excluded from joining the Player's Association.

There were actually around 38 of these Replacement Players, as they would be referred to forever on, who actually made the majors, including some notable names, like Kevin Millar, Brian Daubach, Matt Herges, and Rick Reed.

Needless to say, those who were locked out during the spring of '94 were never particularly gracious to the Replacement Players, which is really just another example of the true empathy professional athletes feel for the rest of the world.

For, it is easy enough to champion a kid sick with a dangerous disease, but, to use Rick Reed as an example, the right-hander had been in the Reds chain for a decade, and was paying the bills for his ill mother. The Reds basically told Reed to report to spring camp, or be released. So, the reward for toiling in the minors that long, and then getting a chance at the Show, was ostracization.

So, while it is easier to sympathize with the players over the owners most of the time, in this case the players were just as arrogant in dismissing the reality of their would-be peers. In fact there were also stories about how the Replacement Players were left out and dismissed for years after the affair.

Well, somehow Mahay has strung out the longest career of them all, playing for Boston, Oakland, Florida, San Diego, Chicago (NL), Texas, Atlanta, Kansas City, Minnesota, Los Angeles (NL), and Arizona.

The situational lefty, who was released by the Diamondbacks last week, compiled a career 27-12, 3.83 record over the years, ideally putting the entire sad story of that long labor dispute, and much of the terrible behavior exhibited by those in the baseball business at the time.

Although I am not totally sure I want to forget it all, despite how much I love the game.

For the only way to transcend bad behavior is to embrace it, whether that is a difficult thing or not.

 

 

 

 

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Way back in 1994, as the major leagues prepared to strike, there were a bunch of Class-AAAA guys that clubs signed as replacement players, should the spring labor dispute spill into the actual season.

One of those players was then 23-year old Ron Mahay, whom the Red Sox drafted in the 18th round of the 1991 amateur draft.

Actually, Mahay was already in the Red Sox system, but he went to work at Spring Training, essentially crossing the major league picket line, and that was enough so that when Mahay was called up for real in 1995, he was excluded from joining the Player's Association.

There were actually around 38 of these Replacement Players, as they would be referred to forever on, who actually made the majors, including some notable names, like Kevin Millar, Brian Daubach, Matt Herges, and Rick Reed.

Needless to say, those who were locked out during the spring of '94 were never particularly gracious to the Replacement Players, which is really just another example of the true empathy professional athletes feel for the rest of the world.

For, it is easy enough to champion a kid sick with a dangerous disease, but, to use Rick Reed as an example, the right-hander had been in the Reds chain for a decade, and was paying the bills for his ill mother. The Reds basically told Reed to report to spring camp, or be released. So, the reward for toiling in the minors that long, and then getting a chance at the Show, was ostracization.

So, while it is easier to sympathize with the players over the owners most of the time, in this case the players were just as arrogant in dismissing the reality of their would-be peers. In fact there were also stories about how the Replacement Players were left out and dismissed for years after the affair.

Well, somehow Mahay has strung out the longest career of them all, playing for Boston, Oakland, Florida, San Diego, Chicago (NL), Texas, Atlanta, Kansas City, Minnesota, Los Angeles (NL), and Arizona.

The situational lefty, who was released by the Diamondbacks last week, compiled a career 27-12, 3.83 record over the years, ideally putting the entire sad story of that long labor dispute, and much of the terrible behavior exhibited by those in the baseball business at the time.

Although I am not totally sure I want to forget it all, despite how much I love the game.

For the only way to transcend bad behavior is to embrace it, whether that is a difficult thing or not.

 

 

 

 

Comments   

0 #3 John Verdello 2011-05-19 13:50
I agree ... I think that is why Flood deserves to be in the Hall of Fame - never mind the Messersmith decision - if Flood doesn't do what he does, baseball would not resemble the game we have today - same with Marvin Miller. Some sacrifice! Everyone of these chumps should be forced to look up Ted Turner and Claudell Washington ... and then find that definitive Oscar Gamble quote!

And, as an aside, it amazes me how may of these owners have "long memories" when it comes to Flood and Miller - yet who was really an active owner back then? Can hardly wait to see Frank Mc Court shown the door.
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0 #2 Lawr Michaels 2011-05-19 13:35
hey kid. i believe that it is indeed truth: none are in the mlbpa.

i cracked up to see some players criticize the replacements by suggesting the struggle and sacrifice made by the players and union.

for, were the shoe on the other foot everyone of those guys would have jumped at the chance to play.

not to mention those players really sacrificed very little. it was guys like curt flood (a hero of mine, as well as an all-time favorite player), catfish hunter (who took on charlie finley) and andy messersmith (who took on the dodgers and won) and such men who really put themselves out there, publicly, and risked being blacklisted.

in flood's case, it was true as his career ended while the fine center fielder was in his prime.

in fact i extrapolated his average numbers out to the age of 38 and he was borderline to cop 3000 hits which meant the hall.

toast thanks to the owners.

i will bet most of the replacement critics don't even know who flood was.
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0 #1 John Verdello 2011-05-17 21:05
Is this urban legend or truth, if you know, Lawr? I believe that no replacement player was ever proposed for membership in the MLBPA - I seem to have heard/read this in several places but can't verify. Do you know if this is a truism?
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