Texas Liger. Perfect game. Catch the ice-cone.
Don’t break your tongue like other favorite baseball rules? Yet this bizarre baseball season seems to be heading toward a very uncomfortable conclusion, which is so bizarre, you wonder if owners and players canceled the whole thing in March or April and spent 2020 doing good to good. By the coronavirus.
On Monday night, Rob Manfred announced his intention to unilaterally run a season – which is 60 games – and players will get their prorated lice until owners and players sign health and safety protocols by Tuesday afternoon. Spring training starts early next week and the opening day is July 20th.
The commissioner was less selective – his other move this season was to keep kibosh – once the Major League Baseball Players’ Association’s executive board rejected his latest offer, which featured 60 regular-season games, including a 33-5 count. With that, the players’ voting body sent a strong message to the commissioner: go ahead and use your hammer. And fasten your seat belts.
It is a nuclear option, full of economic landmines and general sickness. Yet here we stand.
When it comes to games, the biggest adjustments come from implementing health and safety protocols that seek to protect players and each other and the general community from players on the COVID-19 front, rather than implementing them. You don’t see fans in the ballpark, social distance in excavations and, as we all know, no spitting. Perhaps they put runner up in second place in tie games and extra innings, the conditions agreed by both sides during financial negotiations, limiting running time on the field, and the universal hitter hired earlier this season to put less pressure on ramp-up pitchers.
On the other hand, in these areas, the extremes of execution are often felt with the long-term viability of the game:
1. Legal Wars: Both players and owners have the right to sue each other for failing to bargain in good faith. Contrary to season 48 of season 48 games, Manfred is further motivated by this potential litigation. Beyond the grievances, Heck does not speak well of the two sides’ compatibility as the preliminary deal expires next season.
2. No Extended Post Season: Bad news is not necessary for those who oppose highly saturated playoffs, but it does close the income door at a time when owners need it most. You can expect it to be mentioned next winter as they are wondering why free agents don’t pay as well as they should.
3. Are there no players? It ranks third on our list because it is so powerful. We have seen two players deviate from the NBA’s re-start. As has been theorized for weeks, some star players lose their pay if they don’t compete because they don’t feel the spirit of things. This makes the already compromised campaign even worse.
4. No Fun Facts: Remember the mic-up players in Spring Training 1.0? Not happening now. Not even a post-World-Series All-Star Game or Home Run Derby.
5. There are no advertising patches on the uniform: Each square has a silver edge.
Add to all this, as Manfred said last week, it would be a disaster. One that affects all parties and does not create winners and all losers.
If this is my one-sided opinion, then many people who are wondering how the heck baseball is in such an unrealistic position are shared.