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Say the words Major League Baseball today and it inspires fans, those who support the sport through souvenirs, television and ticket sales. The problem is that the reaction today is negative and that baseball can no longer afford to pay the negative. A sport that has barely recovered from the steroid era and the recent Houston Astros cheating scandal is already less popular than the NBA and NFL. Even the NHL is starting to gain popularity with fans.
We already know that football is the most popular sport in the world, but we will keep this great sport out of this equation for now. All these major sports are trying to come back from COVID-19 and restore a kind of normalcy. However, it seems that Major League Baseball cannot find a solution on how to do it and continues to fend for itself. Players accuse ownership. The owners blame the players. The league works for the owners, even if it tries to say that it is on the side of the players.
All this is played out publicly through declarations and on social networks.
And what does it all come down to?
You guessed it – money.
Hit one, baseball.
With what’s going on in the world today, it comes down to money on how baseball will return to diamond. In the United States alone, more than 40 million people are unemployed and looking for work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They do not have money. They find it difficult to pay the rent and buy food. According to 2018 Census Bureau data (the latest available data points), the average household income in the United States was $ 63,179. According to 2019 data, the average salary for an MLB player was $ 4.36 million. $ 63,000 compared to $ 4.36 million.
Baseball shouldn’t wonder why fan support drops when fans hear about money problems in the economy we are in today. The greed manifested by possession and the players is shocking, but perhaps even more shocking is the message of the league. On March 12, Major League Baseball announced that due to COVID-19, the league would delay the 2020 opening day “by at least two weeks”.
We are going to give baseball a full pass on this statement. We now know that as a nation and as a planet, we did not know exactly what COVID-19 was.
But let’s move quickly.
This section is being written in mid-June and the league does not yet know what it is doing.
Let me retype this. Three months later, the league does not yet know what it is doing. Three months. This is one of the many reasons why baseball goes its own way.
Hit two, baseball.
Just take the last week.
June 11: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says in an interview with the MLB network: “We are going to play baseball in 2020, 100%.”
June 13: The MLB Players Association states in part: “Players have accepted billions of monetary concessions for this purpose, and in the face of repeated media leaks and hijackings, we have made additional proposals to inject new revenue into the industry – proposals that benefit owners, players, broadcast partners and fans. It has now become evident that these efforts have fallen on deaf ears. “
June 15: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred tells ESPN that he is “not convinced” that there will be a baseball season in 2020.
June 17: MLB partially declares “… At my request, Tony Clark and I met for several hours yesterday in Phoenix. We left this meeting with a jointly developed framework which we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and be the subject of conversations with our respective constituents. ”
If your head turns not only because of the confusing message, but also by shaking it in disappointment, join the club.
Hit three, baseball. You are outside.
And there might not be another chance at batting.
By Charles Zinkowski (email@example.com; @thisischarlesz)