Baseball Needs to Return

Monday, June 1, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

As many American cities have rioting, looting, and burning, the baseball owners and the Players’ Association still bicker about their piece of the pie. By the end of this week, we will know if we will have a 2020 baseball season.

Since 1994 when the labor dispute canceled the last two months of the season, the playoffs, and the World Series, there has been mistrust between the owners and the players. The owners still want a salary cap, and the Players’ Association will never agree to it no matter if both NHL and NBA have one.

No American should have a salary cap. This country was founded on hard work and limitless opportunities. The owners have worked hard in some other field to earn enough money to purchase and own a Major League Baseball team. The players who are considered the most elite baseball players in the world deserve the same opportunity to make money as the owners had.

While many owners rather have no season and recoup their losses than give in to the Players’ Association demands, America needs baseball to provide a much-needed diversion. Let’s face it, 2020 has been an awful year for most Americans. The stock market crashed, making many people lose money. COVID-19 has made us stay at home for months without much to do. At least 20 million Americans have lost their jobs. The unnecessary homicide of George Floyd by the hands of bad cops in Minnesota has sparked violence and looting in many large American cities.

We need something to take our minds off the daily terrible and depressing news. Baseball would be perfect. I long for the days when I worried about Cody Bellinger’s strikeouts or Kenley Jansen’s cutter not moving enough to baffle the opposing hitter. Now, I worry if I can find a job to pay for my family’s electric bill. I am not the only American who has that worry.

I remember in 1992 when Los Angeles erupted in violent riots after the innocent verdict in the Rodney King police brutality case. The Dodgers were an awful team in 1992, and they played at Dodger Stadium when the riots broke out. Thankfully, no incident occurred at the stadium on Wednesday night, but the city of Los Angeles and Major League Baseball canceled the weekend series against the Montreal Expos for public safety.

When the Dodgers began playing again, I felt a sense of normalcy returning to my life. Sure, the Dodgers were forced to play three consecutive doubleheaders against the Expos later in the summer. I don’t remember the outcome of the doubleheaders, but like before, the 1992 Dodger team was simply awful. The only time in my life, I rooted for a last-place club.

Normally, I would like to see the federal government get involved in the negotiations between the owners and the Players’ Association. However, the federal government has more important things to resolve than a baseball labor dispute. Both the owners and the Players’ Association must compromise to assure America will have its pastime in 2020. I am afraid we will have no baseball to watch this year because of the selfishness of both parties.

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