Whatever avenue or angle we seem to be looking at these days, it seems that — inevitably (and mercifully) — baseball will return soon. Perhaps soonish is a better word here. In fact, the road appears paved healthwise, and any stay at home restrictions could soon be lifted around the country.
So what’s standing in the way?
Owners and players appear to be digging in their heels over a previous agreement that had players set to make a prorated percentage of their salaries in 2020. However, the fine print had language that protected the club owners in the event that the season is played without fans in the stands.
Now, if you ask ESPN’s Jeff Passan, he says baseball would be foolish to not return over money. The journalist caught up with sports personality Rich Eisen about this topic.
The money quote…
If you’re gonna lose a baseball season because you can’t figure out how to split up a few billion dollars… you deserve everything that is coming your way.
And it’s 100% accurate.
After nearly three decades of labor disputes and work stoppages in the game throughout the 70s into the 90s, club owners have had a perfectly imperfect relationship with the players union since play resumed for the 1995 season. The 1994 season saw a major work stoppage that ultimately cost the league a World Series for the first time since its inception.
While the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire after the 2021 season, tensions were already high over a myriad of issues in said agreement. Now, if all parties can’t find a semi-unhappy medium soon, MLB could head down a path it may never recover from.
But, like Passan said, “who’s going to be the adult in the room?” One side will take a hit, but it’s a small price to pay for an industry that made a record $10.7B in 2019.
Assuredly, not all players are millionaires, but when you look at it from the outside, billionaires arguing with millionaires is an absolutely ridiculous concept standing in the way of something positive for fans and the nation… And absolutely not the way the game should crumble.