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Thursday, December 18, 2003

Union Halts A-Rod Deal: The Major League Baseball Player's union has refused to approve a deal that would send Alex Rodriguez to the Red Sox in exchange for Manny Ramirez. In a statement, a spokesman for the union said the deal "crossed the line separating restructuring from reduction, and by a huge margin." The labor agreement prevents players from reducing the amount of current deals unless they receive an added benefit. In the union's eyes, this means a pecuniary benefit, which is unfortunate, because obviously there is a great deal of benefit in leaving a last-place team for a World Series contender. But in the sports world today, winning often takes a back seat to money.

It is important to note, however, that often it is not always the players, but often is the agents and the union, driving these deals focusing on money rather than winning. There is no doubt that A-Rod wants to move to Boston and the union should remember the reason it was formed in the first place-- protecting the interests of players and ensuring that players can move around on an open market.

Major League Baseball has stepped in, with Commissioner Bud Selig indicating that he may approve the deal, which would then send the matter to arbitration for a final decision. Baseball officials have criticized the union's actions, saying that union official Gene Orza does not have the last word on whether trades go through.


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