Somehow, the powers that be in the sport of baseball have been unable to come to an agreement for the 2020 regular season and us Brewers fans will suffer.
How did we get here? How could the owners and the MLBPA look at the situation in front of them and all the potential good that could come from reaching an agreement without any animosity and starting a season before any other sports league and botch it this horribly? Brewers baseball should have been back by now.
This is so stupid. It’s stupid for numerous reasons. No one wins in this situation where there’s no agreement, Commissioner Rob Manfred has to unilaterally implement a season, and the players file a grievance that will take us through a long, drawn out, legal battle. The owners lose money, the players lose money, and the fans lose baseball and their patience.
We are somehow at the point where Trevor Bauer is the most level-headed person in the room.
There is absolutely no justification for the 2020 to not be played due to economic disagreements. While Manfred is still going to implement a season at some point, this whole thing is a PR nightmare for the sport that’s going to cause MLB to lose a ton of fans.
Things have been festering under the surface since the last CBA negotiations in 2016 where the players were resoundingly defeated and the owners have reaped the rewards since. Players have since grown upset and have aimed their anger at MLB and team owners when they should have also put some attention on Tony Clark, the PA’s executive director.
Clark got smoked in those negotiations and, frankly, should have been fired already for how that went. Instead, he’s still there and is trying to show to his players that he isn’t weak and incompetent as their leader.
However, the large part of the blame for this goes on the team owners. They have continued to belittle the players union and put forth proposals that everyone knew made zero sense and would not get accepted.
The league has asked the players if they can report to camp by July 1st for the beginning of spring training 2.0. Owners do plan on implementing a 60 game regular season, which is better than the 48-54 game season that had been talked about before from MLB’s side. The Brewers plan to have their camp at Miller Park instead of in Arizona.
An Avoidable Outcome
Everyone saw this as a possibility from miles away. There were signs all leading up to this, saying that there was a huge cliff coming up to avoid, all they had to do was turn a little bit. Left, right, it didn’t matter which direction that they turned, as long as they moved a little bit somewhere to avoid the cliff and they didn’t. They couldn’t.
To make things worse, this wasn’t even the big fight. Things look awful now, and they are, but the big fight is still to come in 2021. This was just a little skirmish that was brought on by the pandemic. If the pandemic never even started and shut sports down to begin with, we’d be happily in the middle of the regular season and there would be no arguing between these sides happening at all.
Instead, here we are. If this was high school, Manfred and Clark would be arguing in 4th period and promising to meet up after school behind the gym. There is a much bigger fight ahead, and it’s gonna be uglier than any high school fight.
The good news is, as long as fans are able to go to games in 2021, there should be no issue with starting the season on time and playing 162 games. But after that, it’s expected that there will be a strike/lockout.
The biggest losers in this mess are baseball fans. Fans lose their sport and are forced to watch the ugly behind the scenes legal and financial battles instead of watching the beautiful battles between pitcher and hitter, second-guessing managerial decisions, and seeing majestic Christian Yelich home runs.
It’s a shame that things have come to this. Both Rob Manfred and Tony Clark need to lose their jobs over this. Manfred is “beholden” to the owners, sure, but it’s also his job to look after the long-term health and integrity of the game, and he has failed miserably in that regard. Clark is a former player and understands their needs in day-to-day life, but he’s awful at the labor law and negotiating part of the job, which is like, the major part of his job.
It’s going to take years, possibly even decades, for MLB to fully recover from this debacle. They still hadn’t recovered fans from the 1994 strike.
As a die-hard fan of baseball, I humbly ask those that are considering leaving baseball over this to not do so. The game of baseball itself is a beautiful game and doesn’t deserve the punishment it’s getting from the stupid people running it right now. Things will get better. But before they get better, unfortunately, they’re gonna get worse. Stick through the turbulence, it’s gonna get bumpy.
Spring Training 2.0 is currently slated to begin in early July and the season will start in late July. 60 Brewers games are better than no games, but this situation is still awful for everyone.
We’ll have Milwaukee Brewers baseball coming back soon, but not soon enough. We’ll have baseball games, but not enough.