A Depressing Editorial

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

This week Major League Baseball sent the Players’ Association a plan to start the season if the health officials will allow them to restart the season.

Of course, the owners have already agreed to the plan. The Players’ Association would be idiotic if they agreed to the proposed plan, particularly when their current agreement ends after 2021.

The plan does not have anything about the current pandemic situation, except baseball will have only three divisions and each team will play games only within its division. COVID-19 is highly contagious, so the likelihood of a player getting the dangerous virus, even though baseball will play without fans, is great. If a player does, what does MLB plan to do to contain the virus?

Under the proposed plan, nothing! Baseball is played with humans and not robots. Although the United States needs a diversion to take our minds off the depressing situation with deaths and widespread economic hardship and baseball would be the perfect diversion, players and coaches must be safe when they take the field. Both Joe Maddon, the manager of the Angels, and Dusty Baker, the manager of the Astros, are in the high-risk group.

Since the owners, who are mostly billionaires, have lost money due to the pandemic (nearly all Americans have), they want the players to take a pay cut. The players have already lost money when the season has been decreased from 162 to 81 games. Particularly the rookies and the players who haven’t achieved the right to go to arbitration, they don’t have much money to spare. The owners need to suck up their business losses and do the right thing for the players who spend their lives becoming the most elite baseball players in the world.

Although the proposed plan gives the 50-50 profit sharing to the players for this year, it is a disguise to ask for a dreaded un-American salary cap after the 2021 season. The owners want a salary cap to promote competitive balance in baseball. This is nonsense. In 1994, baseball had a lengthy work stoppage that canceled the World Series over this point. Baseball doesn’t need a salary cap. Revenue sharing with the players will not make up for guaranteed salaries. A salary cap will not restore competitive balance since there always will be cheap owners who will desire to keep their teams’ payrolls at rock bottom to maximize their profits.

In my gut, I know we will not have baseball in 2020. It is a shame because baseball could play a huge role in our nation’s COVID-19 tragedy, but the owners’ greed and shortsightedness will prevent Major League Baseball from being played if the health officials will allow it. This adds to the misery of 2020.

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