Sep 15, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Schwimer (39) delivers to the plate during the tenth inning against the Florida Marlins during game two of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the marlins 2-1 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies Grieve Over Alleged Grievance Filed by Michael Schwimer

One current Phillie is making headlines, not for his imminent departure, but for a labor issue. Michael Schwimer has some beef with the Phillies brass over his demotion to the minors last year, not because he didn’t deserve it, but because Schwimer claims he was hurt and should have been placed on the DL instead. So what’s a boy to do when he thinks he’s been wronged by management?

File a grievance through the players union.

News about the story first broke when Jim Salisbury of CSNphilly reported the grievance. He has since amended his report, stating that the issue is merely “under investigation.” So what is really going on here if there was no official filing?

Cue Schwimer’s agent Jeff Boris,

I believed Michael could have been sent down while he was hurt so I turned the matter over to the union to investigate whether a potential grievance was there,” agent Jeff Borris said. “I haven’t heard anything since.”

The issue is under investigation, and may not lead to any further action. The interesting thing to watch is what this will do to Schimer’s status in the organization. The 6′ 8” right hander hasn’t dazzled in his two brief stints with the big club, so if the Phillies are feeling vengeful they could ship him out of town tomorrow. Coincidentally, wink wink, when the Michael Young trade was leaked Schwimer was on the short list of names rumored to be sent to Texas.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t think RAJ would make such an emotional decision about such a minor procedural matter, but then again stranger things have happened. From an outside perspective it seems like a lot of smoke and no fire. If the Phillies were unaware of Schwimer’s arm trouble, or if it didn’t start until he was sent down, then there’s no fault on their part. Even if they were aware of a sore arm, where’s the smoking gun for Schwimer and MLBPA to find? It’s not like they can tap Amaro’s phone or hack his email.

I hope the takeaway from this case is that the MLBPA did it’s due diligence and stood up to protect the rights of one of it’s members. In a time when unions across the country have come under fire, this is a perfect example of what they do right. Without the protection of the MLBPA Schwimer and other pitchers would have very little recourse against abuse  by their employers. Should an actual issue of negligence be found in this case Phillies fans should stand by Schwimer, because his right arm is his livelihood. If the MLBPA wasn’t there to back up its players, players like Schwimer wouldn’t have the ammo to investigate these issues.

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