Michael Weiner begins union rounds in Arizona

Updated: February 26, 2010, 9:20 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- New baseball players' union head Michael Weiner may speak with management officials during spring training to discuss possible changes to the postseason schedule.

Following criticism by Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia and others last fall, baseball commissioner Bud Selig said he would like to tighten the schedule. Four extra days off were added in 2007 at the request of baseball's television broadcasters.

"I expect that we'll have discussions at some point during the month on that," Weiner said by telephone Friday after meeting with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, the start of his first spring training tour since replacing Donald Fehr in December.

Weiner said there was a small amount of discussion about baseball's drug policy. A rugby player was suspended for two years Monday by after the United Kingdom Anti-Doping authority said he tested positive for using human growth hormone.

Weiner said the players' association and management must consult with their science advisers to determine whether the testing community accepts the validity of the HGH blood test that was used.

"I think we're probably still at that stage," he said.

Only after that would the sides bargain with each other over potential blood testing for major leaguers. Urine testing has been in place since 2003.

Weiner also spoke with players about collective bargaining, player representative elections scheduled for June and the need to form a negotiating committee. Baseball's labor contract, along with its drug agreement, is due to expire in December 2011.

"It's time to talk about preparation for bargaining in terms of players setting priorities and thinking through what's important to them," he said.

Weiner was hired by Fehr as a union staff lawyer in 1988, five years after Fehr became union head. Fehr retired in December.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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