We catch up on MLB labor news this week on the podcast, with seemingly none of the news encouraging. Owners asked for federal mediation for a negotiation they’ve minimally participated in, a request that was denied by the players.
An offer from the owners did come last week, but was more of the incremental variety, showing none of the urgency that commissioner Rob Manfred stressed two days earlier.
In addition to super scintillating labor talk, we recap where the Dodgers are at with Trevor Bauer in light of recent news (spoiler: not much clarity yet!), and Eric gets absolutely skewered by Craig in Dodger Stadium opponent trivia.
Thanks as always to to producer Brian Salvatore for making us sound listenable.
We look back at Bobby Darwin, a Dodgers scout for over 30 years who signed a number of players to reach the major leagues, including James McDonald, Kyle Garlick, Nick Buss, and more.
But what is more fascinating about Darwin was his playing career. A high school star from Watts in the Los Angeles area, Darwin was signed by the Angels and made his debut on the mound in the final game of the 1962 season at age 19.
He bounced around for years in the minors as a pitcher, but while rehabbing elbow surgery in 1966, Darwin played the outfield while in the Orioles system. Darwin drove a tow truck during the offseason in Los Angeles, and in November 1968 happened to pick up Dodgers general manager Al Campanis. A month later, the Dodgers took Darwin in the Rule 5 Draft.
At the end of the 1969 season, Triple-A Spokane manager Tommy Lasorda tried to convince Darwin to give up pitching and focus full-time on playing the outfield, a transition that was cemented with the help of Hermosillo manager Maury Wills in the Mexican winter league that offseason.
Darwin made the majors as an outfielder in 1971 just shy of his 29th birthday, after nearly a decade as a pitcher. He was traded to the Twins that winter, and hit 65 home runs in three seasons for Minnesota. During his career, which again came after nine minor league seasons as a pitcher, Darwin hit .251/.311/.412, a 104 OPS+, with 83 home runs in 2,436 plate appearances.
- MLBPA rejects owners request for federal mediation
- Minor leaguers are only seen as costs to MLB
- Dodgers players optioned a bunch in 2021
- MLB lawyer argues minor leaguers shouldn’t be paid during spring training, from Evan Drellich at The Athletic
- MLB looking to cut minor league player limits, from Jeff Passan at ESPN
- Tweet thread from labor lawyer Eugene Freedman on MLB asking to reduce minor league player limits
- No criminal charges filed against Trevor Bauer in Los Angeles County
- Video response from Bauer
- Bauer FAQ from Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times
- Bauer FAQ from Jeff Passan at ESPN
- Bobby Darwin’s SABR bio, written by Ryan O’Connor and Paul Motyka.
Episode link (time: 1:07:05)