It seems a little ridiculous that we’re four days, maybe a couple more, from a possible lockout in MLB. Whether you can believe it or not, there hasn’t been a work stoppage in baseball in 22 years. We came close in 2002, but didn’t get there. And a lockout doesn’t seem like much in December, but people don’t want to hear that word. Sure, you and I aren’t going to be too fussed until spring training approaches, but the casual fan will hear the word “lockout” and they’ll stop paying attention.
It seems completely reckless that we could be here. MLB is coming off a World Series that more people watched in a long time. What they need to do is stay in the headlines. Ok, it’s not the league’s fault the free agent class pretty much sucks and there aren’t going to be signings that make heads turn. But there could be trades. Whatever there are, baseball wants to keep pumping out news about what’s on the field to hold the attention of all those who tuned into Games 6 and 7. That’s what a smart league does.
It was a long time ago, but maybe Rob Manfred has forgotten just how long it took baseball to recover from 1994. And it needed what turned out to be a home run race we kind of think as a farce now. Baseball has a real chance here, with football ratings dragging and such. It will never be “The National Pastime” again, but behind the Cubs it can achieve a place in the sports scene it hasn’t seen in a long time. There’s going to be more buzz heading into spring training since the 2004 season when A-Rod was traded to the Yankees. You may recall ESPN being live at the first Red Sox-Yankees spring training game that year. Baseball could lose that with a lockout.
-I wouldn’t pretend to know the ins and outs of all the issues, but it seems to me if the dumbest of all leagues, the NHL, can manage an international draft, then baseball can too. The union won’t be happy about the players from other countries not being able to make the money they are now, but then again the union hasn’t really been paying attention to the rest of minor leaguers who don’t make a living wage. And I’ve always thought it was a little strange that players from here have to be 18 to be part of a major league organization yet ones from elsewhere can be 16. It seems a uniform rule would make the most sense.
It at least seems like something you’d trade in to get the draft pick compensation off of free agents, who have seen their value neutered at times. Also, it was just a tool to keep more teams from signing free agents, not a way to equal out talent. That’s what revenue sharing is for.
There will be more things we find out. I’m sure the union would love more off-days in the schedule, maybe starting a week earlier to get them. We’ll find out, but baseball has more momentum than it’s had in a very long time, and it would be a real shame for them to waste it. Once you pull the stoppage trigger, things change in a hurry. Says someone who has lived through three NHL lockouts since baseball had its last one.
-Music time. Do not get the new Helmet, if you were a Helmet fan back in the day. If you are looking for the fast, raucous riffs that made you fall in love with Helmet when you first heard them, then this is not for you. If you like Filter or something, then it might be.