MLB 2020: Boys Behaving Badly Is No Excuse – It’s A Blot On Baseball

MLB 2020: A Ballet At Second Base
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While the MLB 2020 season hinges on a group of adults agreeing to play in the same sandbox, boys misbehaving is cutting a knife through baseball.

Neither side gets it. Even while MLB 2020 season is on the line, owners and players continue to lob balls over the net in an endless volley leading only to next lob, and the genuine possibility there will be no baseball this year.

MLB Players - In Them We Trust??
MLB Players – In Them We Trust??

resurgence of COVID-19 in Florida and Arizona where teams have their Spring Training facilities is not helping.

But make no mistake, the excuses to reach an agreement between owners and players have run their course, and so has this fan’s patience.

We know we’ve reached the end of absurdity when the MLB 2020 season hinges on the regular season, having 60 or 70 games. Or maybe 65 or 66.

I want your shovel; it’s bigger than mine. Yeah, but you have the larger pail goes the “talks” in the sandbox. Boys, this is not a game of King On The Mountain.

Instead, both owners and players can be Queens on the same mountain. They already are, and a disjointed MLB 2020 season will not change much of anything.

MLB 2020: An Insignificant Blip On The Radar

MLB revenues continue their upward trend ($10.6 billion in 2019), and the average MLB player salary in 2020 is $4.36 million.

The MLB 2020 season is merely a blip on the radar screen, not a redline. Owners and players will “lose” money this year, but let’s get real. It’s still a win-win for both sides long-term.

David Glass - An Example of how money makes money in baseball (NY Times)
David Glass – An Example of how money makes money in baseball (NY Times)

When the small-market Kansas City Royals can complete the sale of their franchise for $1.1 billion, providing David Glass with a nifty one-billion-dollar profit (purchased by Glass for $96 million in 2000), everyone should shut up and count their blessings.

In baseball, no one loses. Even the stumbling bumbling Wilpons, who somehow can’t seem to make one and one equal three like other owners, will eventually sell the New York Mets for a minimum of $2 billion-plus.

This, while TV networks continue to go gaga over major league baseball, with TBS spilling out a renewal deal last week with MLB that guarantees MLB $2 billion in revenue from TV networks per year until 2028.

And yet, the boys in the sandbox, charged with getting the MLB 2020 season off the ground, can’t seem to learn how to play together, even though there are plenty of toys.

MLB 2020 – Nobody’s Right If Everyone Is Wrong

I used to think if I followed the two sides faithfully and without bias through the negotiations, either the owners or players would eventually emerge as the “winner” of my allegiance. Perhaps, you have done the same.

Don't Worry - Be Happy :MLB: Revenue continues on a record setting pace
Don’t Worry – Be Happy :MLB: Revenue continues on a record-setting pace

But now I see it differently. MLB and the MLBPA are the sums of its parts.

Rob Manfred (MLB) and Tony Clark (MLBPA) both have vested interests in how these negotiations for the MLB 2020 season pans out. This skews the playing field.

Manfred, who works at the pleasure of all thirty team owners, earns $11 million a year, and Tony Clark earns about $2 million as the representative of 660 major league players.

To maintain their jobs, however, all that either of them needs to do is gain the support of a majority of sixteen owners or 331 players, and they are home free.

And therein lies the problem with getting MLB 2020 off the ground.

Seeing The Trees Through The Forest

MLB has effectively kept the hard-line owners secret from us. But I’ll bet you anything Hal Steinbrenner, principal owner of the New York Yankees, Tom Ricketts (Chicago Cubs), or the philanthropist Guggenheim family (Los Angeles Dodgers), only have aspirations to move on and play ball.

Similarly, where are the protests from individual players who insist on a 70-game schedule instead of the MLB proposed 60-game regular-season? I hear no one.

Neither MLB nor the MLBPA is the sum of baseball, and thank God for that.

Both sides have succeeded in making it far too difficult to cast blame for the failure of the MLB 2020 season to come to light. Nobody’s right if everyone is wrong – Amen in this case.

MLB 2020: Never Forget The Ballet Of Baseball

When we break it down, though, looking at the parts that contain the whole, “baseball” still has a chance to win when the Boys Of Summer take the field, and play begins on a geometric diamond.

All that matters: The essential tools of baseball
All that matters: The essential tools of baseball

Because you see, the MLB 2020 season, under the auspices of MLB or the MLBPA, is divorced from the passion of those who are fans of the game of baseball,

Their agendas are hidden elsewhere and far removed from the energy produced by our National Pastime.

Sure, we have our teams and players to root for.

But all of that is separated from the ballet we see on a grounder to short, a flip to second, and then a jump over the oncoming runner with a perfect throw to first to complete an inning-ending double play.

Everything else is bullshit. Sorry, it took so long for me to say that. I don’t care who gets what – they’ll all have enough. I just want to see the game played…

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MLB 2020: Boys Behaving Badly Is No Excuse - It's A Blot On Baseball
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MLB 2020: Boys Behaving Badly Is No Excuse - It's A Blot On Baseball
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While the MLB 2020 season hinges on a group of adults agreeing to play in the same sandbox, boys misbehaving is cutting a knife through baseball.
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Reflections On Baseball
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.