Re: The Restarting of Major League Baseball Activites for the 2020 Season
Attention Commissioner Robert Manfred, MLB Owners, and the MLBPA:
On behalf of the fans of Major League Baseball, I felt compelled to relay our feelings regarding your inability to make any progress whatsoever in regards to starting the 2020 Regular Season. For weeks, bordering on months, fans have been exposed to leaks from both sides through their favorable media outlets with no resolution in sight to the negotiations. The fans are developing whiplash as we respond to each and every counter offer made in an attempt to damage the credibility of the other side.
Baseball is by nature, the most “socially distant” of the four major American sports. The opportunities to be within six feet of another person are obvious. Holding a runner on first, the shortstop sneaking in behind a runner on second, breaking up a double play, and the batter-catcher-umpire battery at home plate. Despite this, sports with greater interaction are closer to returning than baseball. The National Hockey League is moving forward with a plan to play in two host cities, and the National Basketball Association is restarting the season at the Wide World of Sports in Walt Disney World. Both had already started their seasons, and were in a much more difficult position than Major League Baseball.
Major League Baseball has been in a position to lead the major sports back through the Coronavirus national crisis. Instead, all three parties have chosen to abandon their posts and squabble over differences. Each and every one of you is to blame for the predicament that we all find ourselves.
To Commissioner Rob Manfred, you are at a position where National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, is in a position of better labor peace than you are? Gary Bettman had two work stoppages in a decade. People would joke around about Bettman, a former NBA official, being so incompetent that he accepted the job to be a double agent to sabotage the league’s nightly competitor. That guy is doing better than you! Your colleagues are Roger Goodell and Gary Bettman and you are the worst one at it! That’s remarkable!
From attempting to eliminate full minor league teams, to over saturating the playoffs with a third Wild Card team, you have been the kind of cutthroat, and domineering commissioner that the fans will hate regardless of success. You do not need to make it so easy for us! You completely botched the Astros punishment. The Red Sox punishments. The very least you can do after this year is make some effort to the fans as it pertains to this season! Bottom-line Bob is not a nickname you want. If you choose to continue down this path, I would expect Goodell level boos for as long as you hold the position.
To the owners, we know that profits will be down and you will miss concession and parking fees in your bottom line. However, as billionaires, I am sure that your several other income streams will help to make up for the costs of owning a Major League team. You also have been afforded the opportunity to not pay minor leaguers, which is bad, but you have all made the choice to pay them pennies on the dollar going into this letter. Your side has also taken a major hit in signing a billion dollar contract to host the LCS series on TBS. In the middle of these negotiations. You cannot cry poor, unless you’re the Wilpon’s during a once-in-a-century Ponzi scheme, while signing a billion dollar contract. If you have to take a bath on one season, you might as well do it, otherwise, there will likely be no season next year with the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.
Would you rather lose one season or two? Maybe even three?
To the players, while the billionaires will look bad for being cheap rich folks whose monocles fall out with each MLBPA counter offer, do you know how bad it looks for people being paid millions of dollars to turn down every offer when fans have been laid off by the millions and are subsisting solely off of stimulus dollars for months? You know what looks even worse? Openly laughing at the counter offers! Is this your first time waging a public relations battle? In an era where people are predisposed to hating one percenters? FIGURE IT OUT.
All we want is to look to you, the players, for some sense of normalcy! Baseball has given us so much, and that is because of you! Baseball gives us hope and comfort. It is there for us every single day. On good days and bad. When the country is successful or in mourning. You players have worked through this with us. Please do not abandon us now.
For those of us who love professional baseball. The dying breed who watch every single night. Who hope to rain your children on the sport the same way we were raised on it. The three of you are letting us down. I am too young to remember the strike in 1994. I remember your revival in 1998. I don’t ever want to experience Major League Baseball failing me. Please figure this out and give us fans the season we deserve.
This is all we have right now, and we could all use a sense of normalcy.
Thank you for your time,