Giants are playing the Brewers tough tonight, but I’m not sure that justifies a new post. Maybe the Biogenesis story does. Maybe not. But here goes.
I worked as a RR brakeman for about a decade, member of a pretty strong union, but I never had firsthand experience with the union grievance process. Other guys I worked with weren’t so lucky.
In 79-81, before the Reagan recession, the RR was booming. During the summer, we’d get called to take a train to Roseville or Watsonville, get called in 6 hours to take one back to Oakland, and then 6 hours later get called to start over again. Money was flowing, and so was the coke in the caboose and the liquor at the end of the line. The RR honchos didn’t care. They just wanted to keep the freight rolling.
One guy went off the deep end. His behavior on trains got weird. He finally got so loaded one weekend he called in sick, then went to the roundhouse in San Jose, climbed up onto an idling locomotive and took off down the line toward Gilroy. He soon split a switch and put the engine on the ground, so nobody got hurt. The union grieved his case, and he was back at work six months later.
The mlb union has now appealed ARod’s suspension by invoking the union grievance procedures. The mlb union, however, earlier cooperated every step of the way with mlb in developing the case against ARod. I really don’t understand how the union can argue the case. ARod’s own lawyers will probably carry the weight. Strange situation.
But to the point: ARod is exactly the opposite of the fuckup I knew on the RR. The fuckup wasn’t using PEDs, he was using drugs to try to cope with being treated like a machine. As outrageous as his conduct became, he still deserved a defense, and he got one. Some rehab, some counseling—he was probably primed to start over. ARod, however, deserves no such sympathy or defense. Personally, I’m fine with seeing the union assist mlb in giving ARod the shaft.