This is Boring

This is Boring

With a rapidly moving job hunt underway, I haven’t had much time to do anything, but then again, there hasn’t been that much to report in terms of baseball. Other than an announcement of the Minor League Baseball schedules and some workout videos, MLB has been at a standstill ever since the owners locked out the players last December 2. So I guess it’s a small bit of “good” fortune that I haven’t had to cover much (not that we do more than everyone else out there, but this is still a fun hobby when I can make time). Although, if you know how much I love the sport of baseball, particularly Major League Baseball, you know that I’d rather have plenty of stories to share that don’t involve how badly MLB has screwed the pooch on this one.

Take a look at the timeline of events. Again, the lockout started on December 2, after the previous collective bargaining agreement expired. Between that date and January 13, nothing happened since the last counter offer by the MLB Players Association. It was like the owners were just hoping that the union would flinch and just accept whatever crappy deal they could get, but I don’t think the owners understood how much the players were standing in solidarity, how educated baseball fans are now in the age of social media, and given the labor movements that stemmed from how much we realized how truly essential the workforce was, how many of us would side with labor. Seize the means of production, indeed! For reference, here is a mini-poll we did soon after some very, uh, let’s just say misinformed comments on our Facebook group:

We discussed this somewhat on our last Dreamcast just after the lockout started, but the players are the product, we as fans pay to see them play at a high level, and they deserve fair compensation relative to revenues. Here are a couple of very interesting bits of information that might help you put things in perspective:

Please note that it’s pretty boring for everyone involved if one side doesn’t seem to want to negotiate; rather, they’re just at the point where it’s “take it or leave it” when the offer is fairly damaging for the other side.

The players have been very unified in their message in sound bytes to media and on social media too, including about why mediation doesn’t make sense when MLB has not been exactly negotiating in good faith:

*nods*

I think what Max Scherzer, very good baseball player who made a lot of money yet is pulling for the little guy anyway, proposes on behalf of his brethren is fair. More of the revenue should be used to compensate the work force that generated the bulk of that revenue. More money should be spent to compensate the younger players, who are being prioritized for team building by the modern analytically-minded front offices, rather than lowballing them from the start (we’ll talk about the minor league players some other time, but there has been some movement on that front as well, which is good!). And mandating fair competition rather than the hoarding of profits is good for the sport overall. Alas, as pitcher Trevor May outlined in a live stream, the owners side is not exactly interested in fair competition:

While predicting that spring training will be lost, the reliever said Rob Manfred has not negotiated in good faith with the players, and is instead doing what he can to win the labor battle, rather than provide fair opportunities for both parties.

Via SNY via Yahoo Sports

At this point we can’t really expect a deal to be hammered out before the scheduled start of spring training, and we can probably also wager that the regular season will likely be truncated again. I think, however, that despite some dissension, most fans realize that it makes more sense for teams to try harder, which requires them to provide fair (again, relative to the revenues of the sport, we are well aware that teachers don’t get paid nearly enough for what they do!) compensation to the players that can help generate wins. And those salaries don’t actually directly affect how much it costs to go to a baseball game these days, especially not if they’re actually going down:

*ponders*

I get the resentment that these folks are getting paid so much to play what amounts to a kid’s game, but

  • we, and the media outlets, are willing to use a good portion of our disposable income to be entertained by them (similar to actors, musicians, and other artists and entertainers);
  • we are not capable of doing the things that they do nearly as well, which is why we don’t get that level of compensation;
  • and if someone is going to get all that money, it might as well be the people we paid to see.

Allegedly, the owners are going to meet this week and then send a new counterproposal to the players, so let’s see if this full MLB season can be salvaged. In the meantime, curling looks like a ton of fun and I’m waiting on more luge, bobsled, and skeleton events.

And now, as Deadpool would say, all caught up! See you next time, when hopefully there be some baseball action going on.

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