New York Yankees fans just want to watch some baseball in whatever form they offer. But MLB and the players dropped the ball. The two sides, extravagantly paid said they just couldn’t come to a compromise on how much each side of the negotiations would lose. So who is the loser in all of this? My friends, it’s everybody! The owners, the players, the fans, and yes, all of baseball.
All of baseball has a giant black eye that will not soon fade. So whose fault is it? It’s surely not the fans that pay $65 for a seat and buy $8 hot dogs. It’s not the fans that watch every game on TV and increase the Nielson ratings that bring in billions for owners and players alike. It’s the fault of the heavy hand of Commissioner Rob Manfred, and how he overplayed his hand, and the players who failed to compromise, some that earn more to play one three hour game than most Americans make in one year.
So who are the losers? Everybody! The fans lose that love baseball and are suffering from the coronavirus scare, those that are unemployed, and all of us that are viewing political and racial unrest in the streets. If as threatened, there is no season the players and the owners will lose more than they would have in any compromise. And this writer loses. As a writer, I want to write about that mammoth home run by Aaron Judge, or that fantastic stretch that Urshela made for the out, or that DJ LeMahieu always seems to get on base. I don’t want to write about this crap, it sucks.
What few realize is the damage that is being done to a sport that is a perennial summer pastime. The last super high Nielson ratings for MLB were in 1978. The 2019 season was one of the least viewed in years. So who is listening, surely not Rob Manfred or players union head Tony Clark? Baseball as a sport is drifting away and nobody seems to care except the fans. And, even the fans are disgusted and starting to turn away in droves.
All you have to do is view the Twitter and Instagram accounts. According to who you read, fans are crucifying Rob Manfred and to a lesser degree the players and the union.
Ken Rosenthal of The Atlantic had this to say:
The players are going to get what they wanted most, 100 percent of their prorated salaries. Barring a last-minute surprise, they also will get a 2020 season that is too short for anyone who loves the sport, and less money than they could have earned if they had agreed to pay cuts in a greater number of games.
I do not blame the players for objecting to cuts or taking a stand in response to years of perceived slights by Major League Baseball and its clubs. If commissioner Rob Manfred imposes a season of 50-odd games, that decision will reflect poorly on him and his owners. But still it’s fair to wonder: Where exactly is the Players Association going with this?
Jess Passan of ESPN reported:
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN on Monday that he is “not confident” there will be a 2020 baseball season and that “as long as there’s no dialogue” with the MLB Players Association, “that real risk is going to continue.”
Commissioner Rob Manfred said:
“It’s just a disaster for our game, absolutely no question about it. It shouldn’t be happening, and it’s important that we find a way to get past it and get the game back on the field for the benefit of our fans,” he said.
Players union head Tony Clark said:
“Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told Players and fans that there would ‘100%’ be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season. “This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning. This has always been about extracting additional pay cuts from Players and this is just another day and another bad faith tactic in their ongoing campaign.”
Meanwhile, New York Yankees fans sit back and have no clue if there will be a baseball season or not. If social media means anything, all fans are beginning to care less and less as this dog and pony show goes on and on. If MLB and MLBPA are listening, you need to get your act together and think of the fans for once and less about yourselves or you will have fewer and fewer fans and less and less pay and revenue than you are quibbling about now.