Baseball is at a crossroads right now, not just in labor negotiations, but in the public eye. You look at the public reaction to all the backstabbing and crocodile tears from the owners and players and it’s hard to get behind any of it. Even though I know the owners are trying to squeeze every dollar they can in a season that hasn’t started yet, and the players reasonably don’t want around 80% of their salaries cut, I can’t even defend it. There are no adults in the room for the sport I love, a sport that has so much to offer. Baseball seems to stumble over itself because it lacks the self-awareness to realize it’s not as important as it may think.
As baseball fans, we complain that the game doesn’t seem to want to build the game and all the focus is on their bottom line. For example, the Oakland Athletics owner, John J. Fisher, furloughed his entire minor league system and said: “sorry guys, I can’t pay you your 400 dollars a week, but I’m sure Home Depot is hiring.” It is just plain insulting. You wonder why Kyler Murray didn’t choose baseball when you don’t even respect the future of your franchise. The MLB is the only league that doesn’t have a salary cap, so a lot of the money that teams made is pretty much-kept secret. The part that makes me irrationally angry is that the league made 10 Billion dollars in revenue last year and a lot of teams are worth north of the billion-dollar mark, SHOW US THE BOOKS SO WE KNOW WHATS GOING ON INSTEAD OF CRYING POOR!
The players also need to stop talking, or at least need to not say the quiet part out loud. Even though I understand these players have abilities that I can only dream of, talking money at this very moment when close to 30 million people are in unemployment is just going to fall on deaf ears. You are making it easy for people to call you greedy and tone-deaf. These players probably don’t deserve it, but when most of the league isn’t represented by contracts as large as Gerrit Coles 9 years 324 million, guys like Oscar Mercado, who only makes 573,400 dollars, seem just as guilty when they are barely making the league minimum. You are supposed to not just help the league’s biggest stars, but the middle class and young players that haven’t hit arbitration yet! When players speak, it makes the union look bad, do better!
I am speaking as a frustrated baseball fan that wants to see games this summer in some capacity. I don’t want to hear about squabbling or money, I want to have a bit of normalcy during this trying time and if the owners don’t see it and the players don’t seem to get it either, then I don’t know what most of these idiots are going to do. There were whispers about a possible strike after the 2021 season and this honestly could be the precursor to it and honestly, I am not at all surprised that the league is dropping the ball on this one. The MLB has no idea how to market itself and is alienating its die-hard fan base in the process. Having owners who only seem to care about the bottom line and trying to get an upper hand on the union are not just turning away fans, but their best opportunity to grow the game, and I’m not mad I’m just disappointed.
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