MLB players are playing a game they have loved since their days in Little League. They’d rather be on the field now, and those voices will soon be heard.
The MLB players we see at the ballpark or on television are the finished product of a journey that began in their early years when a love affair with baseball took over their lives.
For some, like Todd Frazier, the journey began during his days as a member of the Toms River, New Jersey team that won the Little League World Series in 1998 (video here)
Frazier went on as a 2007 draftee of the Cincinnati Reds to zoom through the minor leagues, making his debut in 2011.
He’s now in his tenth big league season with the Texas Rangers and can count $46 million in the bank, together with a host of cherished relationships he’s gathered – all for playing a game he loves.
For others, the journey was more arduous and frustrating, as in the case of John William Lindsey, who is a former professional baseball first baseman.
Lindsey is known for having spent the most time in the minor leagues (sixteen years) before making his major league debut, which he did in 2010 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But whatever the circumstances, these MLB ballplayers are all bound together by a single thread.
1) Recognizes how hard it’s been to get to where they are now 2) How fortunate they are to go to work every day, love what they are doing, and to be paid handsomely for their work.
I surmise that if it were up to the players alone, without the MLBPA, MLB, and the media, there would be a 2020 MLB season in a matter of weeks, if not days.
MLB Players: A New Day Or A False Alarm
Finally, we’re here, says New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos from Port St. Lucie, where the Mets will hold their abbreviated Spring Training if and when the season gets re-ignited.
“Finally, we’re here — doing what we love to do,” Ramos said, wearing a mask strapped to his ears and pulled down under his chin.
Countless other players have been making the adjustments necessary to be ready when the bell rings. Gerrit Cole found his neighbor, Yankees Manager Aaron Boone, as a battery mate in his backyard.
Cole also kicked it up a notch throwing real live stuff (video here) to his wife Amy, who is herself an acclaimed athlete having pitched in the women’s college world series while at UCLA.
Enter The Elephant In The Room
You can take a baseball from the hand of a MLB ballplayer as this current work stoppage is doing, but you can never take the ball from the heart of these players.
Conflict enters the picture, though, when we consider these same players have not only a heart but a conscience.
Some major league ballplayers are more mindful than others of the history and legacy they represent in their sport.
Current negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA are not only about today, but tomorrow as well, and the hundreds and thousands of future MLB players who will follow them.
Thus, issues like a Salary Cap, Revenue Sharing, the number of players on a team’s roster, etc. all have repercussions beyond the careers of current players.
And that does not mention the current agreement that expires in 2021 with its attending consequences to both sides.
Baseball Is In Ours And The Players Blood – Hence The Triumph
But in the main and even with the pressures on MLB players today, there is hope we will have baseball in 2020.
That hope is based on the genuine love these guys have to play baseball, pure and straightforward since almost to the day they were born.
What’s missing now as the ingredient in the stew to make “Play Ball” reality is for these players to make their voices known to their union gently.
We want to play baseball – now! It’s the message that has yet to be delivered to MLBPA President Tony Clark.
Who himself has been receiving negative reviews on his performance, needs to be told to save his posturing for the next round of negotiations, and with as little pain as possible, forge an agreement now with those bastards on the other side.
MLB Players: At Heart, A Very Simple Bunch
It may appear as melancholy or naive, but I genuinely believe nearly all major league players are in the game of baseball for one reason – they love to play the game competitively and on the field.
They’ve been attached to baseball since the first whiskers grew on their face. They see no evil, and they fear no evil.
All they want to do is step into the batter’s box to face Jacob deGrom in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tied game in front of a roaring home field crowd.
Soon, that energy will trump the posturing and politics in the charade they are calling negotiations to get the season underway.
Wilson Ramos spoke to the media (above). His message is powerful, but it, and other similar voices, need to be heard loud and clear by Tony Clark and his posse.
Till then, my love, your love, or major league players’ love for baseball – means nothing.