Why am I not Excited About Major League Baseball's Agreement to Play?
So after all the hemming and hawing, the huffing and puffing Major League Baseball and it's players have come to an agreement to "Play Ball".
Yet somehow it appears they've done it in a way that completely has sucked every last breath of good will out of the air and has what appears to be nobody outside maybe some sportswriters excited.
By now, we all know the long and absolutely aggravating negotiations between the two sides where they pretty much came to little to no compromise. A lot of the ill will is on the feet of the mega-billionaire owners, though the players haven't come off smelling like roses either.
July 24th will be the first pitch for a 60-game season that will theoretically begin with a training camp of sorts beginning at the beginning of July. MLB and the MLBPA both finally said "Fine, okay" and have agreed on it.
The regular season will end at the end of September and the playoffs are scheduled to take place on their normally scheduled timeline. Players will get a pro-rated salary for the season and aren't getting playoff shares should their team make it.
No, in this Coronavirus spiking world in which we live, fans will not be at the games and there will be a myriad of testing procedures put in place in an attempt to protect players, coaches, front office personnel and those needed for game day operations.
Which means if you want to follow your favorite team, you'll be watching TV/online or listening to the radio---that's it.
Will I watch the games? Yes, I probably will. Do I feel dirty and like I'm betraying my belief system? Absolutely. But I'm a sucker for my Atlanta Braves and admittedly, I've missed my summer tradition of watching them play.
Much like the baseball labor wars of the 1990's, the game will take a hit and it will slowly bounce back. It's the nature of the sport. What's worse is we are definitely going to see things get ugly AFTER the 2021 season (assuming COVID allows it to be played). The Labor Agreement between the two sides expires and we should fully expect the MLBPA to file a grievance against the owners for not negotiating in good faith and the argument is likely going to get nasty.
So congratulations Baseball fan. As of right now your game is (or will be) back. You won't get to watch in person--but hey, you'll get to at least watch. So there's that.
If you're a fan like me, you'll watch. You'll likely feel dirty about it and slightly guilty--but you'll watch. You...and me will also cringe and shake our heads this time next year when we head towards the next pissing match.
That match will be much, much worse....