Former player, labor lawyer lead MLB into 9th work stoppage

Tony Clark was a minor league prospect in the Detroit Tigers’ system and Rob Manfred a junior lawyer on Major League Baseball management’s legal team during the sport’s last work stoppage, AP reports.

Now, they lead billion-dollar factions of a fractured sport that is headed toward a lockout that would start when the collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. EST Wednesday.

“His voice of being a player resonates with fellow players,” leading player agent Scott Boras said this week of Clark, who leads the players’ union. “That communication branch is a very important part of the union leadership. And I also think that Tony has now armed himself with a strong legal staff.”

Barring unexpected progress during talks at the union’s executive board meeting in Irving, Texas, it would be baseball’s ninth work stoppage and first since the 7 1/2-month strike of 1994-95 that wiped out the World Series for the first time in 90 years. It also would be the first stoppage since the death of Marvin Miller, who led the players’ union through the first five stoppages and was a consultant to Donald Fehr during the next three.

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