Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Friday, February 22, 2008
Francisco Rodriguez Case - Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg

The case for and against Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels was presented yesterday to the panel of Stephen Goldberg, Elizabeth Neumeier, and Steven Wolf. Prior to this hearing, Goldberg’s panel and individual record was 24-17 in favor of the team.

Goldberg’s decisions prior to three-arbitrator panels included the cases of:

Dann Billardello (1992-Padres-team won)
Jose Lind (1992-Pirates-player won)
Barry Bonds (1991-Pirates-team won)
Paul Gibson (1991-Tigers-player won)
Greg Swindell (1991-Indians-player won)
Shawon Dunston (1990-Cubs-player won)
Billy Hatcher (1990-Pirates-player won)
Bo Jackson (1990-Royals-team won)
Steve Balboni (1989-Mariners-player won)
Glenn Davis (1989-Astros-player won)
Andre Dawson (1988-Cubs-team won)
Greg Harris (1987-Rangers-player won)
Charlie Leibrandt (1987-Royals-player won)
Bill Dawley (1986-Astros-team won)
Julio Franco (1986-Indians-team won)
Leon Durham (1985-Cubs-team won)
Juan Bonilla (1984-Padres-player won)

The record of these 17 cases is 7 for the team and 10 for the players.

I still continue to check and re-check my sources because of the many data elements. My spreadsheets and individual player templates for over 3,000 players who have filed for arbitration since the process began in 1974 are drawn from newspaper reports available on Westlaw and LexisNexis. So, for instance, I have Elizabeth Neumeier’s panel record from 1999 to 2007 as 11-7 in favor of the team. The New York Times reported that the panel of Richard Bloch, Roger Kaplan, and Jerome Ross heard the 1999 Midre Cummings case instead of the Shane Andrews case. Numerous reports listed Elizabeth Neumeier as hearing her first case on the Cummings panel. However, I was unable to locate another article that corrected this listing with respect to the Andrews panel. My sources included Murray Chass, "Baseball - Arbitration Hearings; Owners Win In New Format," New York Times, February 10, 1999 (1999 WLNR 3029431). This is an important historical note because Elizabeth Neumeier was the first female baseball salary arbitrator in 1999. My complete record of newspaper sources for arbitrators stops with the 1984 season. My information for the first decade is incomplete. I hope that I will someday be able to complete and verify everything that I have. I do not expect, however, that MLB or MLBPA will want to assist me in this. It would be great for Stephen Goldberg to write about some the cases that he has handled because it would be interesting to read his reflections on some of the really interesting cases that he has heard and decided.

Steven Wolf’s panel record (2005-2008) was 2-2 after he sided with the Nationals in the Lopez decision earlier this month.

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times offered an interesting analysis in an article entitled "Moreno Still Hopes to Sign Rodriguez." He quoted owner Arte Moreno as wanting to reach a multiyear deal with Rodriguez. Rodriquez and the Angels are $2,500,000 apart in their figures of $10,000,000 and $12,500,000. Francisco Cordero’s 4-year, $46,000,000 deal and Mariano Rivera’s 3-year, $45,000,000 deal are factors in an analysis of the Rodriguez case. DiGiovanna offers a number of comments about the 2007 second half performance that I am sure the arbitrators heard about yesterday. I still think the Angels will win this case when the announcement comes out today.


Goldberg ruled for Steve Trout over the White Sox for the 1980 season.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 2/23/2008 4:51 PM  

Thanks for adding another case to my Goldberg list. I actually stopped at 1984 on my spreadsheet when I was composing my post. I will go back and check what pre-1984 information I have.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/23/2008 5:06 PM  

I pulled my files from work this afternoon, and I have Richard Mittenthal as the arbitrator for the Steve Trout-White Sox case in 1982 won by Trout.

I do have only one pre-1984 listings for Stephen Goldberg -
Jack Morris - 1982-Tigers-Team won. My records are really incomplete for 1983. According to the biography for Stephen Goldberg at the Mediation Research & Education Project, Inc. at, he has been a salary arbitrator from 1982-1992 and 1998 to date.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/24/2008 6:03 PM  

Post a Comment