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Justin Morneau calls Donald Fehr a “perfect union boss”

Sep 16, 2012, 8:38 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins Getty Images

Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau provides The Pioneer Press with rave reviews for NHLPA leader Donald Fehr, who ran baseball’s union from 1986 to 2009.

“He’s a great communicator. He’s up-front, he puts it out there — what he thinks is best for the union — and he’s just a great leader,” Morneau said.

“He’s just a perfect union boss, I think.”

Morneau began playing in the big leagues in 2003, so he gained quite a bit of exposure to the way Fehr works.

Like many other onlookers, the British Columbia native (and Vancouver Canucks fan) doesn’t have much of an idea about when pucks will drop again.

“When? I don’t know,” Morneau said. “I’m a fan. It gives me something to do in the winter. Who knows? It’s not good for anybody, I know that.”

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

  1. paledevil - Sep 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Don Brazzini ,Darth Vader , J Edgar Hoover , the guy who made that film and Gary Bettman walk into a bar…….

  2. nolockoutpricks - Sep 16, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    shut your mouth puke just worry about your last place twins and your run for 100 (losses)

  3. ducksk - Sep 16, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Eat crap morneau and mind ur own business. Unions are destroying sports and education just like the auto industry. Looser. Twinkies suck and so do u.

    • paperlions - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:54 AM

      Yeah, the world was much better when the people that owned things could just offer pay cuts and either you take it or they hire someone else…and they didn’t have to offer any kind of benefits or pension. Oh, the glory days of dying penniless after helping to make a rich guy richer all your life.

      FYI, what has ruined education is that since the early 80s, education budgets have been slashed repeatedly at all levels. You see, there is no real “education lobby”, so that is what gets cut to further support pet projects of powerful lobbyists. The most important think in any society is the education of its populace, and in the US we fund it like it doesn’t matter. Teachers are paid so poorly for the work they do, that most people that are good teachers and can do something else, quit and do something else.

      • phillyphanatic76 - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        You are right on the money. If we got rid of unions we’d have no 40-hour work week, no minimum wage, no benefits. It would be like working during the industrial revolution, where if you lost an arm you’d be fired and lose your earning power for life. And NO workers comp for that so have fun starving. People just hear Fox News demonize unions so they take it as gospel and think they’re causing all of America’s problems. When the problem is really unregulated big business sending jobs overseas and cutting corners where they don’t have to. And greedy owners like we have in the NHL.

  4. getadealdonealready - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Maybe a few too many concussions for that guy, as a MN sports fan, I’d rather he not worry about the NHL and focus more on hitting consistently night in and night out!

  5. scionofflame - Sep 16, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Holy crap…a baseball player has some thoughts and he’s awful and horrible? Calm down.

    He’s got experience with Fehr and it’s good that he shares it.

    Also pretty sure that almost all the accounts commenting above me are the same guy with different e-mails. Because man, the amount of trolls on PHT is astounding. 😛

  6. firemarshal1 - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Wow! Justin Morneau, an over paid baseball player giving a recommendation. As a fan, I’m insulted. MLB is exactly what’s wrong with professional sports. Guaranteed contracts to players who don’t live up to their contracts.

    Justin, stick with baseball. The Minnesota fans already have to pay higher ticket prices for your 200 million plus salary.

    • paperlions - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:56 AM

      Wow, an overpaid fireman trolling on PHT. Don’t you have a card game waiting for you, or maybe some grilling to do?

  7. rgledz - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Hey Firemarshal…….your stupidity is overflowing. First of all, newsflash, NHL contracts are guaranteed just like MLB contracts, so what in the hell is your point?? Secondly, you have the wrong guy as far as the 200 million dollar contract is concerned, but I bet you’re used to being wrong. Get a clue and calm down. By the way, he was interviewed for an article and asked the question about Fehr, who he has experience dealing with. so it’s completely relevant because he’s just answering a question… any of you understand how interviews work? interviewer asks a question…..interviewee answers, said interview is published for the public. I know, real anger inducing stuff there.

  8. firemarshal1 - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Rgledz and Paperlion,

    Why don’t you identify yourselves, as former or current players? Your rebuttal would have credence. Justin Morneau is currently on a six year contract making 80 million dollars, his final (2013) year, he’s making 19 million dollars for the year. A non-Allstate, making 19 million dollars. Why don’t you guys pay his salary on behalf of the Minnesota baseball fans? Do you own a business? Ask the Minnesota tax payer if their happy subsidizing sports facilities for millionaire players and billionaire owners?

    Someone mentioned supporting education, well here is your opportunity. All hockey revenue shall set aside 2 percent total gross revenue to finance ALL stadium upkeep and renovations.

    This way the local taxpayer will redistribute our local tax dollars back into our education system. Along, with supporting our public infrastructure. I.e. highways, bridges, and police/firefighters.

    Well, well, what do you have to say now? How about them apples? LMAO

    • tatdue - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      First off let me congratulate you for finally typing something and not just using your regular copy and paste comment that you have put up on every other article on this site….Now that that is out of the way, why don’t you identify yourself as not a hockey fan (or baseball fan) at all but a blogger hired by ownership to create rhetoric against the players (since they cannot create any for themselves for their ridiculous cash grab!) or maybe you have a different agenda, but either way you are no fan. First you say that Morneau is making 200 million then you correct yourself (with a quick internet search) and say he’s on a 6 year 80 million dollar contract….then you use your wonderful math skills to determine that he is making 19 million for the 2013 season…yet another fail (He’s actually making 14 million) but none of that matters since a family of 4 can still go to a twins game without taking out a bank loan! The average ticket price for a Twins game is $40 or less….No matter how low salaries get to in hockey the owners keep raising ticket prices! Bettman promised lower ticket prices the last time the owners slashed the players salaries but instead they have gone up every year since then. As for the rest of your rubbish take that up with your congressmen a-hole this is a sports website and while I’m at it….Do you really think that by calling yourself firemarshal1 that people will give your blog more credence?….Get your facts straight and get a life while you are at it….

  9. rgledz - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Firemarshal….You’ve just proven my point as related to your intelligence. First, you have clearly proven that Morneau is NOT making anywhere near 200 million. Thanks for that, also, just so you are aware, there is a little thing called injuries that have greatly affected Morneau’s career. When he received that contract he had previously won a little thing called the AL MVP….heard of it? He was very deserving of it and continued his excellence by putting up MVP numbers until he suffered a concussion and his career was derailed. It’s a risk taken in all sports and injuries are a part of the games. You’re a smart guy, you get that……right? Secondly, you never addressed my main point about NHL contracts being guaranteed just like MLB contracts……what do you have to say about them apples??? Why don’t you identify the city that you live in so we can all start to scrutinize your state’s spending habits. I’m sure that all of your sports venues were 100% private, right? Don’t choke on them apples Firemarshal.

  10. ducksk - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    When contracts of any CBA…teachers, athletes, police etc…are quote “negotiated” it is never in good faith on either side. The problem with the government side is we have no more $! 2 year educated police and fireman making $100k and teachers making half that with a Masters Degree? R u kidding me? So, yea, NHL owners r rich, are gov. Is not. If owners or citizens want to dictate what they can or are willing to pay. That’s that. It’s America, it’s capitalism. U don’t like the way it move to Russia. Whiner.

  11. firemarshal1 - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM






    • tatdue - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      Capital letters doesn’t make your response any more correct….it just makes you look stupid! Verified by ap…does that mean “a person” because you are still wrong and $40 is for diamond box seats not nose bleeds…nose bleeds are $11-$13 and lastly no unfortunately not all fans have the same access if we did we would all be rich…they call them luxury for a reason, but in case you were wondering dug outs pretty much as close to the players and game as you can get are still only $72 a far cry cheaper then any hockey seats of the same caliber…hell cheaper than almost any hockey ticket! Give it a rest guy….

  12. firemarshal1 - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    I’m just looking out for the less fortunate. The average fan…..Are you??

    • lordfletcher - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      just stop

  13. firemarshal1 - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Truce! Rgledz, ducksks, paperlions


    Please understand your timing is not good. That’s all I have to say. Good luck!

  14. ducksk - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Hey I work 90 hours a week, have good years and bad. No union and if I have 2 bad years guess what? I get fired. Good years I get a raise. Unions do not belong in sports and government. In the NHL let the agents and gm’s fight over contracts….it’s called free market. And if your lazy after your CBA and contract make you a multi millionaire, or u get comfortable with your face in the government trough your fired! I am so pissed at CBA’s and the NHL I can’t see strait.

  15. firemarshal1 - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Brothers (ducksk, rgledz, paperlion, and tatdue)
    I’m in the same boat. I have no union protection. I’m in a management position. I work long hours just like you do. I haven’t had a raise in four years. They cut my benefits, I.e. health insurance and pension just to name a few. Also, teach at the College at night. I’m actually on the players side, but in these harsh economic times. It’s just bad timing on the player’s part. Preception is everything. The average American and Canadian is not going at look at the players in a positive way. That’s the hard truth. This lock out is going to hurt the stadium vendors (small guy) whose lives depend on it. I’m just very upset. Sorry!

  16. CapitalSpirit - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    1986 to 2009, eh? In other words, he presided over the 1994 strike that wiped out the World Series.

    As a Washingtonian, I suppose I should thank him for that: the Expos had their best shot that year, and the strike didn’t help their case for a new stadium. A decade later, the Expos bolted Montreal, and baseball returned to the District. Last I heard, the Nationals were the #1 team in the bigs, so we may see fall ball here for the first time in a VERY long time. But that’s another forum.

    So Fehr knows a thing or two about how to play bargaining hardball, and based on some of the comments I’m reading from Brooks Laich (the Caps’ union rep) in the papers Monday, this could go on for a while.

    I’m actually on the League’s side on this one. The players don’t have to worry about where the money comes from: they just want more of it. Owners, though, DO have to care about where the money comes from: sponsors can only afford so much, and ticket prices can only go so high, ESPECIALLY in this economy, before fans start re-thinking their ticket options. This is EXACTLY the wrong economy in which to be whining about seven-figure contracts while median household income is falling for everyday Americans.

    So, while I’m definitely going to miss hockey nights at Verizon Center for God only knows how long, I’m actually somewhat grateful that the owners opted to stand athwart the skyrocketing numbers yelling “Stop!”

    I get the players’ position: they earn most of their life’s income from playing days that can end at any time. But when the fans in the cheap seats are, on balance, falling behind economically, while the cheap seats are getting less and less cheap, something’s got to give, soon, before casual fans get priced out.

  17. csilojohnson - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    Getting rid of unions would NOT bring us back 100 yrs. Get real. Most of the work THAT ACTUALLY GETS DONE IN A TIMELY, COSTLY MANNER is done by non union companies. Ive been a non union licensed electrician for 10 yrs. Never felt like I was working during industrial revolution. Crazy. I go to work EVERYDAY. I get paid EVERY WEEK. I dont have to pay fees to overpaid goons only looking out for themselves. I dont have to strike because someone else has a problem. I do BETTER work FASTER and for a MORE COMPETITIVE price. Unions were needed 100 yrs ago. Not any more.

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