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By The Sports Xchange November 22, 2013 3:54 PM
Reaction to the death of baseball players' union head Michael Weiner continued to flow in Friday. Weiner died Thursday at his home in Mansfield Township, N.J., after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. Weiner, who took over as executive director of the Major League Baseball Players' Association in 2009, was 51. An inoperable brain tumor was found in August 2012, but he continued to work until his death. Several major-league players took to Twitter in reacting to Weiner's passing. --Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols: "Sending prayers to Michael Weiner's family tonight. Words can't describe the kind of man he was. I will miss you, my friend." --New York Yankees outfielder Vernon Wells: "Michael was first and foremost a great man. He truly cared about each and everyone one us personally and professionally. The battle that he faced was insurmountable, but the leadership and heart that he showed during his fight will never be forgotten. He will be missed by our entire MLB family." --Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista: "Sad to hear news about Michael Weiner, deepest condolences to his loved ones. His sacrifices as head of players union will not be forgotten." --Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler: "Lost a great friend (Thursday). Michael Weiner's body finally succumbed to cancer. One of the best leaders and men I knew. Prayers for his family." Other reactions included: --Commissioner Bud Selig: "All of Major League Baseball mourns the loss of Michael Weiner, a gentleman, a family man, and an extraordinarily talented professional who earned the trust of his membership and his peers throughout the national pastime. Our strong professional relationship was built on a foundation of respect and a shared commitment to finding fair solutions for our industry. I appreciated Michael's tireless, thoughtful leadership of the players and his pivotal role in the prosperous state of baseball today. Michael was a courageous human being, and the final year of his remarkable life inspired so many people in our profession. On behalf of Major League Baseball and our 30 clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Michael's wife Diane, their three daughters, his colleagues at the MLBPA and his many friends and admirers throughout the game he served with excellence." --NHL players' association executive director Donald Fehr: "Mike was an extraordinary individual in so many ways -- as a loving husband and father, as an exceptional union leader and lawyer, and as a great friend to so many. He was an indispensable part of the MLBPA staff for more than two decades, and was the right man to lead the union." --Los Angeles Dodgers president Stan Kasten: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Michael Weiner, with whom I had the pleasure of working for many years. I had so much respect for him and admired his leadership of the players and Players Association. He was truly a great individual, a brilliant lawyer and a thoroughly decent person. All of baseball, labor and management, has suffered a great loss. Michael was always viewed as the path to a reasonable resolution. He will be missed. The Dodgers and I send our deepest condolences to Michael's family." --New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman: "Michael was tremendous human being, one of the smartest people I've ever met and will be dearly missed by everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him. He was a special person." Weiner began working with the MLBPA in 1988 and moved up the ladder to general counsel in 2004. He replaced Fehr as executive director on Dec. 2, 2009. A Harvard Law School graduate, Weiner was responsible for overseeing the collective bargaining negotiations in 2011 that resulted in a five-year contract. He also was instrumental in the addition of a second wild-card team for each league in the playoffs, the creation of two 15-team leagues, approval of expanded replay and the implementation of baseball's drug policy.