A chorus of MLB players in the dispute with owners has risen to the top of their game. Others, not so much.
A small number of MLB players have chosen to do more than sitting at home, waiting to learn if they’ll be playing baseball in 2020.
Some have been more effective than others, and their ability to expressly communicate their opinions is welcome in an era when all is said in 250 words or less.
The players union (MLBPA), with Tony Clark as their primary mouthpiece, has not (opinion) been able to rally the troops or the public to come up with soundbites that are readymade for headlines.
MLB Players Step Up To The Mic
Superagent Scott Boras came up with a good one that seems to be sticking in an email he sent to the 71 MLB players he represents. “Don’t Bail Out The Owners” resonated with reasoning for many.
But then, there was also Blake Snell, whose bro filled, hip hop, good-ole-boy video interview left most of saying to ourselves – “Really?” Ironically, Snell had the same message as Boras and others, but as a spokesman, he fell flat.
Max Scherzer, on the other hand, put’s MLB players’ best foot forward in clear and concise terms.
Dubbed as the perfect spokesman for MLB players by USA Today, Scherzer avoids using inflammatory language a la Boras, but just as neatly gets his views across.
Adam Jones, who played 14 seasons in the big leagues and is currently with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, called on the game’s star players to speak out against the proposal in, you guessed it, a Tweet:
It’s time for the BIG GUYS in MLB to speak up. This is your time to speak. Stop holding your tongue. Ppl follow and listen to you. Not gonna name names cause there’s a lot of ppl. Who cares what you make. You earned it. Who cares about backlash!! TIME TO SPEAK THE F UP!
Again, Jones might have thought better about how he chose to deliver his message.
Then we come to someone like Mark Teixeira, who can’t quite make up his mind about which side he’s on.
Teixeira, who pulled in $213 million during his playing days, cajoled MLB player of today with the insinuation they were “Un-American” for not playing this year, as well as greedy for not taking substantial pay cuts.
That was two weeks ago, and seemingly Teixeira has repented for his sins against his brethren with a complete U-turn, now expressing support for MLB players.
Ironically, as laughable as the incident was then to everyone but Indians fans, the best Bauer can come up with now is to label the latest owners offer to MLB players – as “laughable”.
My reaction to the @Mlb return to play proposal. It’s laughable. @AgentRachelLuba makes some very good points here regarding the proposed revenue split and the problems with it. https://youtu.be/tQYYccMUCqA
MLB Players – Control Your Message!
It would all be laughable, of course except that every one of these messages gets out there to fans and the general public.
Imagine, for instance, if the only thing you saw or read about was Blake Snell‘s version of Bob Dylan’s “I Ain’t Gonna Work On Maggies Farm No More”. What would you think about MLB players?
Noticeably, MLB owners are remarkably quiet individually, choosing to let Commissioner Rob Manfred speak for them. Not one has gone off the reservation.
Again, this speaks to the lack of leadership at the top of the MLBPA in the name of Tony Clark.
MLB players are frustrated, and some are downright angry. But it’s Clark’s job to keep the troops in line – as a military general does in war – even in a country that touts the First Amendment to its Constitution.
Max Scherzer can be released to talk all day, and probably should be scheduled by Tony Clark for appearances on as many days and night cable and news formats as possible.
But as for the rest of those speaking out, measure carefully your opponent – team owners who speak through one voice and the advantage they have gained in doing so.
Tony Clark – A Failing Presidency
Tony Clark is failing his membership as a whole in two ways. First, the team rep system is not working if players like Bauer, Snell, and others feel the need to “go public” with their concerns.
And second, Clark himself is not matching his adversary (Commissioner Manfred) in seizing media to get the message of MLB players out there.
Don’t believe me? Do a YouTube search on both Clark and Manfred.
In the meantime, my campaign to install Scott Boras (if he opts to accept the mission) as the next President of the MLBPA is ongoing…