How Did I Get Baseball Negotiations So Wrong?
As baseball started to ramp up their negotiations, people wanted you to take sides. That’s America in a nutshell. Were you on the players’ side of the owner’s side? While I didn’t exactly pick one, I did provide context as to why the owners might be trying to fight back. It was more pro-owner than my peers. The reason being is many did not factor in the financials of playing a season without fans when receiving boatloads of money from the gate. Secondly, many believed the owners were made of money. My stance was a bad one. After seeing what played out over the last few weeks, I cannot believe that I even went that route. The MLB owners tried to ignore what they said earlier this year, and the players didn’t budge.
The idea that the owners never took the promise that they will pay out their full prorated salaries is a significant issue. I should have looked into that more and discussed it more. Owners shouldn’t have said it if it wasn’t going to happen. If the owners didn’t use those words, are we playing baseball right now or training camps are underway? Part of me will wonder that. Baseball tried to go back on their promise time and again, and the players rejected it each time. That is why the owners let baseball down in this situation. They should have understood a mistake was made by offering full prorated salaries and putting them in a bind. Instead, they tried to fix their mistake with proposal after proposal.
It is not like Tony Clark looks like an All-Star during these debates either. That could have been part of my problem too. Clark took forever to start using the media to his advantage and did not meet with the media at all. Clark did not do enough to have his star players speak out. Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor all didn’t say a word to the media or social media. Max Scherzer was the only one. Scherzer does not move the needle with sports fans. If Yelich or Trout delivered a similar message, it could have spurned more actions. Instead, Scherzer’s words did next to nothing. He’s not that important. That falls on Clark.
Both sides suck in their own way, but the owners are the ones who made a promise and did nothing to figure out how to solve it. They preyed on the players being dumb and it did not work. Hopefully, this serves as a lesson for the 2022 CBA.