Baseball once our national pastime is in danger of not being played in 2020 due to greedy owners and players.
Baseball fans are tired of the posturing and the back and forth between the owners and the players. Enough already. Play ball.
Baseball had a great opportunity to be the first sport back and have all the eyeballs focused on their game. They swung and missed at that opportunity.
It’s amazing to me that these three adults, Rob Manfred, Tony Clark, and Scott Boras can’t stay locked in a room and work out an agreement that is good for the players and the owners.
I include powerhouse agent Scott Boras as part of the solution because the players are more interested in following his lead and his advice and ignoring that of their union leader Tony Clark.
Clark has been reduced to a puppet on a string. Those strings are being pulled by Boras.
The one thing that is missing as these millionaires and billionaires negotiate over another million or two is the consideration of the fan.
No one is concerned about the fans. Everyone just thinks that the baseball fan will come back and embrace the sport and pick up where it left off.
Not so fast. Baseball is close to being relegated to the number four sport behind football, basketball, and hockey in popularity and could fall behind other niche sports in viewership.
Baseball has done a piss poor job of marketing its top talents like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.
There are a lot of their reasons why baseball has fallen off its lofty perch as America’s pastime, but poor marketing is reason number one.
These negotiations back forth over a few million dollars has also damaged the sport in the eyes of the fans, when you have everyday folks struggle to meet the basic necessities.
The owners this week proposed a 60 game schedule that Tony Clark and Rob Manfred negotiated and agreed upon. Manfred indicated that the framework was there for a deal.
Until…you guessed it, Mr. anti-everything, Scott Boras got involved. Manfred and Clark had agreed to a framework of a deal. But the next morning, Clark said there was no deal.
What happened? Scott Boras got involved that’s what happened. Instead of telling Boras to just shut up, negotiate contracts and mind his own business, Clark seems to bow down to Scott Boras to do his bidding.
This three-ring circus is not healthy for the game and this is going nowhere.
The hope was to have an agreement in place by June 23rd at the latest and start spring training on the 29th of June.
A deal could still happen, but CO-VID 19 has shut down all baseball training facilities until July 6th.
These facilities will undergo a deep cleaning before they will be allowed to reopen. Baseball has also stated that all training activities will be held at the team’s home ballpark.
With a minimum three-week spring training that would mean that July 28th at the earliest would be opening day for MLB.
With Manfred insistent that the regulars season ends on September 27th, that does not leave much more time than to play a 60 game season.
So what’s the problem?
The players say they just want to play baseball. The owners say they want a season.
Everyone losses if there is no season. the fans, the players, and the owners.
If everyone is committed to having a season, it shouldn’t be that hard to get an agreement.
Every day things change, there is something new that changes the dynamics of the negotiation.
At the end of the day, there will be no baseball.
When you have three of the most stubborn people in the world and no one is willing to budge one inch to make an agreement possible, this is what we the fans are left with.
No baseball. And that is a shame.