As MLB owners and players continue to tell us they want a full 2022 season; their actions speak louder than words. Their greed stops me cold…
When MLB owners elected to adopt a lockout of players in early December, I lost all interest in continuing my writing for Reflections On Baseball.
Since then, followers of my columns have contacted me inquiring about my health, and I am grateful for those concerns – but the truth is I’ve lost interest in MLB – a game I have followed for six-plus decades.
I am warped perhaps by my coverage of the negotiations between MLB owners and players during the leadup to the shortened 2020 season as they grappled with the COVID virus.
Unlike writers for daily newspapers and embedded reporters tied to MLB for their livelihood, I’ve elected to embark on a writing hiatus until the first pitch of the 2022 season is scheduled in concrete.
I empathize with these journalists who are bound by their editors to provide X number of words each day, even when it takes 500+ words to report that nothing has happened in the current meetings (Exhibit A in today’s New York Daily News).
I wonder why full columns are devoted to hyping minor league players who have reported to major league camps (the lockout does not bind them) – when knowledgeable fans know if Spring Training was in full swing, these players would be overshadowed by “real” MLB players (Exhibit B)
I observe newly signed Mets starter Max Scherzer emerging as a prime spokesman for the MLBPA in the absence of their president Tony Clark as he arrives for a new round of talks today, embarking from his Porche, and I wonder…who’s side is he on?
Players, owners, batboys…it makes no difference. There is a disruption to the MLB season, and that’s all that matters to fans who have been battered, bamboozled, and berated into thinking MLB is about us – the fan.
MLB: There Is No Santa Claus
Fans who plan annual visits to spring training locales to follow their favorite teams, booking flights, rental cars, hotels, and tickets to games that will not be played.
Fans like myself who for years has engaged in a hobby from a distance – wishing only for the wherewithal to join the legions of those trekking to Florida and Arizona.
I wish only we, as fans, had the power to thwart the greed and mobilize to turn the tables, but we cannot. If we could, it would only be to spite ourselves from enjoying a game we have come to love and cherish. And both MLB owners and players know that. So be it.
All will be forgotten at the moment the MLB season is underway, no matter what team you root for, and I will put aside all of my misgivings when the MLB season begins.
But at the same time, each crack in the facade of what MLB proclaims this game to be representing yet another black moment in baseball history.
From the Black Sox Scandal in 1919 to the MLB induced debacle of the Steroid Era to the more recent Houston Astro cheating scandal, the mystique about athletes who play the game at a level we only dreamed about as kids, we forgive all and ask only there be the harkened call of “Play Ball.”
MLB: Damn Me But I’m Hooked
Whenever MLB games begin again, I’ll be there, and I suspect many of you will be as well. There will be scars that remember the greed and the times of the weeks that lead up to that moment – but nothing will forget nor forgive the reality we have come to know – MLB is a business and not a sport.
Forgive me for being so naive as to suggest it should be anything different – but until then, this fan will not be a participant in the charade that suggests owners and players have your or mine interests at heart.
Hope to be back in writing mode soon…