It’s millionaires versus billionaires. It’s players vs owners. It’s a farce, it’s terrible for the league, it’s infuriating for fans and players alike. Major League Baseball is embarrassing itself, airing its dirty laundry in an oh-so public manner.
The commissioner was confident the league would return. Now he isn’t. Players are mocking the offers being sent their way on social media. The owners don’t seem to like baseball or understand the concept of taking on risk.
Damage done so far perhaps cannot be quantified yet or even ever. The perception of MLB, of many of the people involved, is tumbling. A league that was hoping to broaden its horizons, playing games abroad, and grow into a more international organisation is alienating its most committed supporters, let alone those who are new to the sport.
The sense is that most fans are siding with the players. As they should be.
The League and players explained in Father/son duo titled “Juice vs Water.”
(Forgive my delayed voice) pic.twitter.com/9Zi8ncvpQW
— andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) June 12, 2020
That’s the most important thing here. The players signed contracts that should be honoured. The owners can afford to pay them. A compromise to their current deals would be a shortened season with full prorated pay; as anyone who has followed the ‘negotiations’ knows, that isn’t what’s been offered.
A lot of baseball players are wealthier than many of us can imagine. They are not going to starve, nor are they desperate for the money. What should never be lost in all this, though, is how much richer the owners are than the players.
It’s vast, grotesque, sums of money we’re talking about here, but there should still be a sense of fairness. Players signed contracts to get paid an amount of money from owners who can still afford it. Just because they might have to take a loss or two, that is no excuse for the way the owners have approached this disrupted season.
Being as wealthy as MLB owners are, having the resources to actually own a team, carries risk. That is part of the deal. A loss of gameday revenue because there will be no fans is no reason for the deals that the owners have offered thus far.
The MLB owners are obstructing any path to playing baseball in 2020 and doing unthinkable harm to the league in the longer-term. The players deserve the support of the fans, the high-profile media and other athletes through what is a bleak, humiliating time for the league.