The case against ex-Yankee starter Shawn Chacon just keeps getting hairier and hairier; now the Major League Baseball Player's Union is getting involved (story from Associated Press):

NEW YORK -- The players' association filed a grievance Tuesday over the release of pitcher Shawn Chacon, saying the team's decision to terminate his contract was without just cause.

Chacon cleared waivers and was released Monday, five days after a physical altercation with Houston Astros general manager Ed Wade in the clubhouse.

Chacon had a $2 million salary this year, and the decision to terminate the contract meant $983,607 won't be paid. He also lost the chance to make up to $1 million in performance bonuses based on innings.

"The grievance alleges that he was unlawfully terminated and asked that he be made whole," said Michael Weiner, the union's general counsel.

The union alleged Chacon was disciplined without just cause under the collective bargaining agreement and terminated without just cause under the uniform player contract.

The Astros said Chacon violated a provision in the UPC that states the player may be terminated if he shall "fail, refuse, or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey to the club's training rules."

While its pretty clear that Chacon couldn't have been more wrong in this situation, the Union has to protect its players. If Chacon is released based on this situation, it could open up a floodgate for MLB General Managers looking for an excuse to dump an unmovable contract. Giambi looks at Cashman cross eyed? GONE! Milton Bradley steps on the foul line? CUT! Ol'Milton will be riding the slow boat to some backwater Independent League.

While some may question the Union's position to back Chacon up, realize its not Chacon their protecting.

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