UNPOPULAR OPINION BUT IT NEEDS TO BE SAID
The MLB Lockout is still ongoing! It has been reported on and discussed at loathing levels to this point. All the downs, then all the promising hope just have another collapse. The emotional swings have been very turbulent and energy draining. The positivity around MLB is very low. It is March and we should be discussing free agent signings, trades, impactful players, and how teams stack up for the 2022 season. However, we are talking about NFL QB trades, the NFL draft, how bad the Lakers are, and the NCAA hoops conference championships. The focus is solely on how bad MLB is, the owners are greedy, and we don’t have baseball due to their want to make money as opposed to making a fair deal to the players.
The players are seemingly coming away as the public darlings as they are the ones who have been slighted and are fighting for years of abuse. The national media coverage only facilitates this angle with every report they write. It is natural for the little guy to be the one most people root for, in fact, it is almost how things stand for any position on any subject. Public opinion though is swayed and easily convinced to take a side when all that is heard is constant rhetoric about equality with broad statements from media (who are being represented as fact/truth sayers) which have slanted facts, assumptions, or even total misrepresentations all together.
As I agree the game needed an on-field solution, and I am in favor of the players not being subjected to unfair working conditions, I also believe this stalemate is now a power struggle over the game where the players and their agents are going too far. It has been many years that these negotiations have been “won” by the owners and the rules that have been implemented to create more fairness have been utilized by teams to actually do something else where the players take the brunt of the utilizations. This creates a nontrustworthy culture and one that certainly is not conducive to good faith negotiation. However, let’s look at some major real facts here!
This is a tweet from a former MLB GM (who would side with MLB) Jim Bowden where he describes what has been accomplished in these negotiations.
As you can clearly see, the on-field game will not be in a better spot. The negotiations have clearly made the sport a better and more competitive environment. Teams trying to tank have been derailed. Players getting to play earlier (no service time manipulation) creates excitement and better pay for the young stars of the league. The rule changes are geared to create more action and athleticism which are good for attracting new MLB viewers and making the game more enjoyable to watch. The higher CBT creates a more competitive arena and provides younger players more pay. The higher minimum salary helps everyone. An expanded postseason brings excitement to more cities and fan bases across the country. As you can see, there are plenty of great things in this CBA. Yet, we still do not have an agreement.
A new agreement between MLB and streaming services such as Apple TV is now getting spun negatively as well. Here is a clip of the narrative of what the media is reporting.
Again, the media is suggesting the owners are in a bad way and have no money, thus they are treating the players unfairly. Let’s be very clear about the truth! Media members are making mistakes here. They are making broad statements about issues they have had no access to, yet make claims that MLB owners have money and are not willing to be fair to their employees. That is a very dangerous assumption and you see it made daily! Here is a paraphrased comment from a former team president (Davis Sampson). He does have access and is in the room. He does know the nuances and ongoing MLB profits and losses of the teams.
I trust a firsthand account of what goes on in the sport. I do not rely on hearsay, assumption, or hype to get a click to have someone read an article. We only know what is disclosed to us. Media spins assumptions and have done so in their competitive arena for too long now to get readers to read their stories. Look, firsthand knowledge, knowledge from former presidents and general managers of the sport are significantly better than the opinions spewed by media members.
We are at the point now where the agents and players want to go down as the “winner” of these negotiations instead of taking the field and playing the game. It has become a need for them to “stick it” to the owners and win this negotiation. I can’t blame them but I do blame them for not getting on the field at this point. We even have owners conceding they won. Now we need the game to move on. This bravado seems to be more agent-driven and if the players were given a chance to vote on the CBA today, they agree. They weren’t. We need the guys in the room to stop the chest swelling and get to the signing. This is getting to be a bad look on the players now for which I find it hard for the media to spin any other way!