ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan talked about the 2020 MLB season during an appearance on The Ringer Ryen Russillo’s podcast this week to share his perspective on the ongoing negotiations between the players and owners for the 2020 MLB season.
” …it’s going to come down to money. And, man, if this comes down to money, and it doesn’t happen, they have nobody to blame but themselves [owners and players]. And, the way that they will lose baseball fans and put themselves…I mean, I said it’s like 1994, I think this would be worse than 1994. I think this would be way worse than 1994 actually.”
Passan continued to elaborate on the impact that a cancelled 2020 MLB season would have on a sport that’s been hemorrhaging tv ratings and struggling to cultivate a young fanbase.
“It would take a decade plus to get people plus, to get people…you would need a whole new generation of fans and even then, what are you going to sell them on? You’re the sport that could have come back during the pandemic and couldn’t figure out how to divvy up billions of dollars. That’s what you are.”
Major League Baseball has a golden opportunity to begin the 2020 season as the first major sports league to play in COVID-19 era, but like all things, money is standing in the way. There are no simple answers to the challenging revenue or compensation questions. The owners and players who want to play the 2020 season will continue to push for compromise while the owners and players who don’t, will continue to roadblock.
NEW: We spoke to 85 sources about the @MLB plan to start the season. Even with 14,500 #coronavirus tests a week, someone will get sick. Is this plan enough to handle it? Experts have a lot of questions…https://t.co/IvHuGt4gOw
— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) May 19, 2020
A failure to come to an agreement and begin the season solidifies baseball’s current status as an antiquated institution. The Ford Model T to the NFL and NBA’s Telsa Model X.
As Passan points out, the MLB would be the league that couldn’t find a way to provide people with a welcome distraction when they needed it most.