Major League Baseball is trying to craft a plan for a possible 2020 season. There have been a lot of obstacles in the world to overcome, the one fans, and the media didn’t expect to be an issue was the way ownership is trying to treat the players.
I give Tony Clark and the MLBPA a lot of credit. Early on, they signed on for a pro-rated pay cut, instead of receiving 100% of their salaries, which they could have demanded based on the CBA. Now in the last few weeks, they want the players to take deeper cuts. After years of never offering players a 50-50 split, now at a time, there aren’t fans in the stands, they want the players to now accept that and they turned that down before they even got into the meeting.
Major League Baseball is now forcing the universal DH into play, based on the weird divisions and claiming this because there are more interleague games. Baloney, this is Rob Manfred trying to push more of his agenda including changing the landscape of minor league baseball forever.
When I wrote my book “Strike Three” Nikco Riesgo and I talked about how minor league players weren’t valued unless they are bonus babies. Now with a diminished draft and a 100k check upfront to their top future players, asking them to wait until next year for the rest, this will send the amateur portion of baseball in distress. If you are growing up and wanted to play baseball because it was safer than football as an example, now you won’t play because the up-front pay is bad and the path to the major leagues just got harder. Draftees from the 4th round on will only make $20k a year, that’s it. Baseball is going to lose out on a lot of future elite athletes.
Just because people are at home, major league baseball could lose a lot of National League viewers because of the DH rule. Fans have been living without the sport for months, if they don’t like what they see or feel like it’s being bastardized, they won’t tune in at all. Trust me, this is going to happen. There are still a ton of things people can watch and baseball is now risking losing a chunk of their audience. They already lost most kids in their 20’s and now they might lose many in their 50’s and older.
There is still a great chance we never see a 2020 season. I’ve heard a lot of fans say, eh, if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen because the NFL is coming back. Baseball lost its place as the national pastime and I think it could soon be the fourth most popular sport in the United States behind the NFL, NBA, and NHL. Baseball has been losing its hardcore base for a few years and that trend is likely to continue.
Forbes Field photo by del Tufo
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