While we finally have a plan for the resumption of Major League Baseball in 2020, the damage to the sport has already been done.
Everyone understands the difficult circumstances we are dealing with in 2020 related to the COVID-19 virus. While it was highly disappointing when baseball was stopped in March, I think we all understood why it was necessary.
But it seems like ever since that happened the league and the players have done nothing but make a terrible situation even worse.
As the two sides started to work out the framework for a new season, the players tried to use this opportunity to wage a war.
And I single out the players here because they were gearing up for a fight in the new collective bargaining agreement that was to take place after the 2021 season.
But instead of waiting until then, they chose to start that fight now during a global pandemic.
I don’t always agree with what Trevor Bauer says, but he was on point with his Tweets Monday night, this one included.
Look, the MLBPA got pantsed in the last CBA and they know it. That’s why they’re so headstrong about not “getting beat” again.
But they chose the wrong time for that fight during a pandemic when thousands of people are either out of a job or taking big pay cuts.
For me, any way you try to look at this from a player’s standpoint just looks bad.
And don’t get it wrong, the owners have been just as terrible in these “negotiations.” There is the thought that some owners didn’t want a season and others wanted the season to be as short as possible to avoid paying the players so much money with no fans in attendance to increase revenue.
That’s why when the players came up with their #WhenAndWhere slogan they backed the owners into a corner. At that point, the players had “won” and called the bluff of the owners who acted in bad faith by trying to delay the negotiations to play fewer games.
But then the owners gave the players want they wanted — more games and full-prorated salaries — and the players still rejected the proposal!
And the main reason the players rejected the latest proposal from the owners is so they’d have the right to file a grievance — more public fighting.
Now the sport is in the worst shape I’ve seen it in during my lifetime — I was too young to know much about the strike in 1994.
And baseball had the opportunity to grow exponentially by being the first sport to return during the pandemic and giving our country something to gather around amid so much chaos and anger.
MLB could have been the leader, instead they’ve turned off a lot of the casual fans and even some of the diehard fans like myself.
When baseball does return, and I wouldn’t hold my breath on that July 24 start date, a lot of fans just simply aren’t going to care. And a lot of fans won’t even put much stock in a 60-game season.
I get that the players need to fight for what they believe in, but now was not the time for that fight to take place. And now they’ve helped ruin the sport that pays them.
I’ll gladly watch baseball when/if it does resume in 2020 because I love the game, but it will take a while for these wounds to heal and for baseball to recoup all the fans they’ve lost.