MLB And The MLBPA: Do They Really Think They’re Fooling Us?

MLBPA and MLB Set To Tangle Again 2021

The arrogance of MLB and the MLBPA continues to amaze. Still inconclusive action on the NL DH and expanded playoffs? We see thru it and you.

Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) would like us to believe some issues drive them wide apart – to the point where either or both attempt to drive the fear of God in us fans with not so well-veiled threats of “No Baseball” if these issues can’t be resolved.

But let me tell you something – they lie through their teeth – just like Republicans and Democrats do in reaching pre-ordained “compromises” like the one that emerged out of thin air to put checks in the mail and just before unemployment benefits expired to spur a sick economy.

It happens every day. Start the clock, keep reminding everyone the clock is ticking, dick around with senseless and aimless “proposals” that go nowhere – and when all seems lost – voila, they swoop in to save us the nick of time.

MLB And The MLBPA – Here They Go Again

MLB and the MLBPA are at it again, folks. Rob Manfred, representing MLB and its owners, and Tony Clark, who somehow still has a job leading the MLBPA, continue to wind down the clock on two issues with Opening Day less than three weeks from today.

Interestingly, while both the universal DH and expanded playoffs happen to be in most fans’ best interests, the game between MLB and the MLBPA can’t be played that way – because using logic doesn’t allow for the drama yet to be played out. More on this so-called drama in a minute.

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

But first, the DH in the National League is as inevitable as the four phases of the moon, sex education in elementary grades, women barred from the priesthood in the Catholic Church, “White Christmas” being voted as the most popular noel song, and neither Aaron Judge nor Giancarlo Stanton appearing in a minimum of 140 games this season.

A portion of fans my age (73) elects to hold on as purists in opposition to the NL adopting the DH, ignoring the potential for injuries when pitchers bat and run the bases. We can also pretend that pitchers can bunt in support of strategies employed by NL managers.

Still, Mets manager Luis Rojas, for one, is waiting for definitive word from MLB and the MLBPA as being in or out. “We’ve been waiting to see if there’s going to be a DH, and that definitely would help with a lot of the things that are going on just to keep everyone healthy as we have a bubble,” Rojas told the New York Daily News.

Even pitchers like Noah Syndergaard, known for his ability to swing a good bat, can’t understand why the National League “refuses to enter the 21st Century”.

The issue of expanded playoffs is not as direct, but again one thing is certain. Fan interest boomed last year during the postseason, (ergo) TV revenues soared, and MLB and the MLBPA were able to recover a portion of their losses due to fan interest and viewership.

Gimme That Ole Time Drama…

Now, because it’s important, let’s revisit this drama thing.

In bed together - Senators Schumer and McConnell (NPR)
In bed together – Senators Schumer and McConnell (NPR)

Begin with this caveat – no one associated with baseball loses money. It’s a $10 billion business with arms that extend like an octopus to cover a wide range of participants, ensuring that everyone is guaranteed a piece of the pie.

Owners, players, coaches, TV announcers, newspapers, local and national television networks, medical staff, concession stand owners, parking garages, aw hell – you get the idea.

But again, without drama, there can’t be heroes and villains, winners and losers, saints and sinners. Will Chuck Schumer outduel Mitch McConnell, will Rob Manfred outwit Tony Clark?

Do you care? No one cares except the actors in the movie.

Now, here’s what they think we don’t see through. Each of these four players needs to justify their existence daily. If they can’t, they are subject to recall or removal from office by the electorate. Owners, for example, can remove Manfred at a minute’s notice, and players can do the same with Tony Clark.

The easiest way for these “players” to justify their existence is to make a splash in the media designed to ignite a near-riot from the other side. The hope is always that the so-called story will have “legs,” stretching on for days, eliminating the need to fabricate another story.

MLB And The MLBPA – The Emperors Have No Clothes

There used to be a simpler way of deciding things in baseball
There used to be a simpler way of deciding things in baseball

This is the way things stand now between MLB and the MLBPA. You can’t have “tit” if you don’t gimme “tat” – even though it’s in the best interests (and they know it) for each side to have both tit and tat end in the contract, that’s what we’ll have.

This is not life and death – it’s baseball. Yet, with the almighty dollar to be divided in only so many ways, some of the actors like Luis Rojas and other NL managers are caught in the crossfire of deception and greed.

This is not a new story, and I am not the first to write about it.

Perhaps even in time for this season, Rob Manfred will declare (because he can) that the universal DH is reinstituted for this year, and the playoffs will be re-extended from the current five teams in each league to six, eight, ten? – but nowhere near the sixteen, we saw last season.

In the meantime, though, believe nothing these scoundrels tell us. Their self-interest is not ours as fans, and as long as we remember that and refuse to take sides in a war that isn’t our war at all, it’ll be ours to enjoy America’s Pastime despite it all.


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Author: stevecontursi

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