Blake Snell, in a Nation begun by rebels, has sounded an unpopular voice filled with greed. But take a closer look, because, like Thomas Paine, he makes Common Sense.
Blake Snell is the Lone Ranger who steps away from current thinking in Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), which is albeit to a lesser degree, ready to jump through hoops to have baseball in 2020.
Blake Snell, on the surface, stands alone in saying – Hell no, I won’t go. But as players watch the British tea being dumped into the Boston Harbor, just as it was then with others cheering from the safety of their boarded-up windows, is there another voice to be heard?
Blake Snell And The First Shot Fired Over The Bow
Because now, with the first shot fired over the bow by Blake Snell, others are emerging in support of their lone wolf. Always refreshing and outspoken, Bryce Harper entered the fray stating to CBS Sports:
Voices from another respected major league ballplayer, Nolan Arenado, added his perspective as well.
“I think he was being honest, just being real,” he told The Athletic. “He made a lot of good points. There are some points he made that were true, that are facts.
A lot of it gets misperceived. Trying to get the public to understand us, it’s not going to work very well in our favor.”
Arenado is probably right about that – Blake Snell’s stance that his signed contract entitles him to be paid a full year’s salary for 2020 rubs against the grain of American Culture today.
A number like $7 million is not likely to draw overwhelming if any, public support when we have 37 million citizens out of work and many on food lines seeking their next meal.
Blake Snell Asks – What Is A Contract?
Ken Davidoff, a sportswriter I hold in high respect, argues in today’s New York Post that Blake Snell was wrong to air his views in a public forum. In rebuttal, I submit no Boston Tea Party – no revolution and the United States of America.
Harper and Arenado are not lightweights. They’ve both earned their stripes over the years, as evidenced by the lucrative contracts awarded to them by their respective team.
And speaking of contracts, when you take a minute to look up words that are synonyms or mean the same, you find words like commitment, guarantee, obligation, and pledge.
Blake Snell signed a contract in good faith with the Tampa Bay Rays. A former Cy Young winner, he intends to fulfill his half of the bargain, regardless of a hurricane, earthquake, or coronavirus.
Baseball, after all, is his livelihood. His career can end tomorrow on the next pitch he throws, and he would hardly be the first if that happened. He sees the risks to return to baseball, and he asks – am I the gladiator or the lion – and he chooses to say neither – I am just me.
MLB And The Hidden Risks
So, if you look closer at the latest MLB plan to resume play on the Fourth of July, you’ll find, as the New York Daily News discovered, the testing of players will be conducted only three times a week – not daily.
Furthermore, the results of those tests will not be made available for 24 hours. In twenty-four hours, half a team can become infected, not to mention the coaches, clubhouse attendants, trainers, and the rest of the personnel it takes to play an MLB game.
I suspect, and you know I can’t prove it, that if Major League ballplayers, all 750 of them holding spots on team rosters, were asked in an up or down secret ballot vote to approve the latest MLB proposal for “revenue sharing” for 2020 – we’d be amazed at the support Blake Snell has.
This goes beyond greed and selfishness. Since when is it that a major league ballplayer has a civic duty to play?
Have we reached the point where it’s now become a patriotic measure of citizenship?
Look, like many of you, I am scheduled to earn less than one-percent of Blake Snell’s $7 million owed to him this season.
But just try to take my Social Security away from me, and I’ll show you a fight equal to or greater than anything Snell can muster.
Can MLB Measure Their Risk Against Blake Snell Et.Al.?
Blake Snell is a man, unlike you or me. It is he who will step on a field, dress, and change in a crowded clubhouse surrounded by teammates and assorted “essential” personnel – all of whom are there to stage a major league baseball game.
We’ll be sitting in the comfort of our home watching or listening to a game with a Bud in one hand and the remote in the other. It’s not a fair contest.
Would YOU Be The Catcher For The Red Sox Tomorrow?
But this is real, and when you peek beyond the veneer of MLB and the MLBPA, there are individuals and genuine people who stand to gain, or in this situation most likely to lose amidst a crisis, we’ve never encountered before.
The next chapter in the push to re-start the 2020 baseball season will be underway soon.
The MLBPA, like any other union, represents the players – it is not representative of individual players.
They have a voice of their own, and that includes the one expressed by Blake Snell, communicated and supported by some of his peers.
Put his case to a secret ballot vote among the 750 constituents of the MLBPA – so that we can escape from the rhetoric and the posturing…
Because then we’ll see and have to live with a sobering reckoning that it’s entirely possible – very few players want to risk playing baseball in 2020 – especially given the largely unknown and potentially grave risks they are being asked to walk into.
Blake Snell is a menace, but he is not to be written off and cast aside as a malcontent as some have labeled him.
He may not be Thomas Jefferson, but he sure as hell isn’t Benedict Arnold either…