His philosophy as a negotiator is similar to Miller's. "The best way to solve a problem," Gaherin says, "is to solve it as early as possible, before it has the effect of any other forces on it."
Maybe so, but there are some things baseball owners will not negotiate, and two of these will be laid on the table by Miller. One is a "reexamination" of the reserve clause. The other is Miller's desire to set up a system whereby disputes between owners and players—including fines—can be referred to impartial arbitration. As things stand now the baseball commissioner has the final word. And the commissioner. Miller points out, is an employee of the owners.
Still, an eruption appears unlikely now. It seemed more probable right at the beginning, when the baseball establishment reacted with panic to the hiring of Miller. First the owners attempted to cut off funds that were to be used to pay Miller. He, however, worked out a new and, for the players, cheaper method. Then, when the players asked for a voice in negotiating TV contracts, the owners rushed into a three-year pact that does not begin until 1969.
"They cut off their noses to spite their faces," Miller says. "In a rising market to rush into a three-year contract effective in 1969, and to do it in 1967, almost certainly means you are getting less than you could have gotten in 1969. I think it demonstrates what poor negotiators they are. And they have hurt the players by this precipitous action."
Once the owners understand what Miller's kind of negotiation means, Gaherin should be able to do a good job of keeping the peace for them. Says Miller: "Gaherin is an intelligent and capable gentleman." And says Gaherin: "Miller is highly intelligent and a very competent and dedicated trade unionist."
Having such capable and intelligent men doing the negotiations should, in the long run, be a good thing for baseball. It certainly would be something new.