Fantasy Baseball, 2020:
On April 1, Rob Manfred and Tony Clark (imaginary) held this joint Zoom press conference.
Manfred: Tony and I have decided to cancel the 2020 Major League Baseball season today. We see too many obstacles to overcome, too many logistical dilemmas to reflect on, too many people suffering.
All tickets purchased for the year will be immediately refunded. The CEOs and Presidents of the 30 teams and I will give up our salaries to make sure that our lowest paying employees, including our minor league players and game day workers, are covered.
Clark: I will lose my salary too, although I don’t earn as much as Rob (both men laugh), and this is what our players have decided: anyone who made more than $ 20 million last year will donate $ 1 million. Anyone who has earned between $ 10 million and $ 20 million will give $ 500,000. That’s a total of $ 61.5 million.
Manfred: Our owners will match that $ 61.5 million, and that $ 123 million fund, to be jointly supervised, will help families affected by COVID-19, personal protective equipment, struggling businesses, and everything in between. Our players, managers, coaches and members of the main office will spend the year visiting the planet from their homes, drawing attention where necessary, providing virtual hugs and hopefully creating some smiles. God willing, we’ll see you at your favorite stadium in 2021.
It would have been great, right? Now she becomes what she could have been, like when Diane Lane imagines getting into a taxi and never entering Olivier Martínez’s apartment in “Infiel”.
Perhaps Manfred, Clark and their deputies can emerge from this impasse of collective bargaining in the coming week. Work through your mutual contempt to uncover common financial ground, resolve health and safety issues, and begin spring training in two weeks to start the season in early July.
However, even if that happens, the scars from these past two months will persist. Because during a time of unprecedented pain, sacrifice and division, MLB has not honored its declared role as a social institution.
Start with the discussion, which has intensified in recent weeks and becomes terribly deaf. The MLB Players Association did not sufficiently alert its members that the owners would ask for another pay cut if the games could be held alone without paying fans and has wasted time on the ridiculous argument that the deal in late March settled the issue of player payment. Meanwhile, MLB itself proposed a sliding scale formula to players that works perfectly well for a team’s headquarters and not for a union to approve by vote. How such an accomplished labor attorney like Manfred would offer such confusion confuses and confuses.
For those who haven’t followed the chapter and verse of these toxic talks, the good news is that MLB has found other ways to poison your product. The teams have taken their time serving customers for game tickets that, at best, won’t be played with anyone in the stands, and the worst criminals, including the Yankees and Mets, have forced their clientele to jump through the hoops rather than simply process a refund.
Also, the future of the game has suffered with myopic decision to cut this year’s amateur draft to five rounds, as well as individual clubs that free minor league players en masse, or, in the case of Athletics, no They get paid, and they cut employees’ wages by making five figures.
These bad acts diminish the good work done by people like Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, who gave up his $ 5 million salary, or players like Giancarlo Stanton, David Price, and Pete Alonso), who donated their money and / or Time reflectively, or teams like the Royals, who have kept all of their minor league players. Too bad a chain pulls as hard as its weakest link.
Choosing to play, while not the best path, could have strengthened the industry if the two sides had done it quite differently. And baseball can still return to the field first, before hockey or basketball.
However, it is too late for this sport to lead. He really dropped the ball.