The saddest (and funniest) thing about the ultimatum Major League Baseball (owners and commissioner) gave the players yesterday about cancelling regular season games if there is no deal by Monday, February 28 is that I had to dig to find news mentions of it. I found it buried in ESPN’s MLB page which is not even listed in the main menu on the sports website. Here is a list of sports listed ahead of Major League Baseball on the official ESPN Website menu: NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAAM, NCAAW, Soccer (?!), Boxing, CFL, Chalk (I have no idea what that is), College Sports, Cricket, F1, Golf, Little League World Series.
My point is that with every passing season and day, Major League Baseball becomes less and less relevant in the American consciousness, the sports landscape and the entertainment culture in general. You would think with this cold, hard, ugly realty of the American Pastime become relegated to an afterthought (a highly decorated plastic surgeon literally said to me once: “People still watch baseball?”) you would think the owners would have the compulsion to find a fair labor pact with their players. You would think both parties would be interested in making the game more accessible to fans everywhere.
The sad reality is with the current Lockout MLB is simply showing the world that its owners care not a whit about the integrity or history of the game. With Commissioner Pete Manfred a mouthpiece for the owners the position of Commissioner is no longer a steward of the game. It is simply a spokesperson, like Jen Psaki and Sarah Huckabee.
The game of Major League Baseball is in deep shit.
A few reminders:
- Minor League player do not get paid during Spring Training
- The Major League minimum salary is less than the NHL and NBA minimums
- World Series games end around midnight to 1 am eastern routinely
- Wold Series games garner lower tv ratings than third tier College Football bowl games
- The game of baseball has disappeared from the consciousness of African Americans
- More than half of the MLB teams now tank for prospects
- More MLB revenue is generated from TV deals and the sale of jerseys and such than from the attendance of games
I could go on and on but we all know the deal. Our beloved game of baseball is in peril and Rob Manfred is the captain on the sinking ship complaining about the comportment of the crew.
Take it away Alex Wood:
It’s fascinating MLB setting a hard deadline to play a full season for Monday. They locked us out. Had barely any contact for two months post lockout. Have yet to make a single good faith offer to even initiate real conversations to get a deal done. Just make a real offer 🤷🏻.
— Alex Wood (@Awood45) February 24, 2022