Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022
The lockout continues, and the sides are far apart. The owners have said that they will begin canceling games during the regular season if an agreement has not been reached by Monday.
The owners do not seem to understand the popularity of baseball has decreased since 1950s. If baseball must have another abbreviated season, the sport will lose more fans. Most fans do not care about the business end of baseball. Fans want an exciting product on the field and do not want to hear about the labor dispute between billionaires and millionaires.
Over the last fifteen years, the Players’ Association has felt the owners have taken advantage of the players to make themselves richer. Major League Baseball has the lowest minimum wage of all professional sports. The Players’ Association wants to stop teams trying to lose so that they can build a winner cheaply. Also, they do not like the collective bargaining tax serving as a “payroll cap.”
Since 2002, many baseball teams have manipulated young players’ service time postponing their arbitration and free agency. Most baseball fans think every baseball player makes millions, and this is false. The game views both Mookie Betts and Corey Seager as superstars, and their lucrative longtime contracts are an aberration. Most Major Leaguers do not play long enough to reach either arbitration or free agency. Since a Major Leaguer must have ten years of service time to earn his pension, the majority of Major Leaguers never get a pension, safety net. Now, the Players’ Association wants to make lives of the ordinary players better and increasing the competitive balance. With inflation increasing at an alarming rate, most baseball fans must understand the concepts that the Players’ Association wants.
While the owners have adopted the draft lottery, the universal DH, and the expanded playoffs, they want to maintain the status quo. To own a baseball team, a group or a corporation must be worth billions. They must be great businessmen to make enough money to purchase a Major-League franchise. There is no such a small-market team.
Although I am a lifelong Los Angeles Dodger fan, I live close to where the Colorado Rockies play. The Rockies do not know how to generate excitement about their team. They do not know how to build a winning team. Yes, the Rockies face unique challenges to win a world championship. While the Rocky organization blame its lack of money for its losing ways, it does not have adequate knowledge what takes to have a winner.
I will never quit being a baseball fan, but I am disappointed about this labor dispute. To me, baseball will not return until when both sides lose money. This labor dispute, started by the owners, should have been resolved before February, but the sides did not begin talking seriously until this week. Hopefully, baseball will return soon and thrive.