Well, we all knew it was coming. Sad, but not surprised. Annoyed, but not shocked. The state of the MLB is not in jeopardy, but it is definitely not helping itself out. The first two series of the regular season have been canceled, and the MLBPA is not happy. They felt disrespected by the owners and MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred (Manclown – Marcus Stroman). So now that the owners and Manfred have shot down the possibility of a full season, what could the MLB season look like?
Spring Training has to start in order for the season to start and that looks bleak now. Every day that is missed because the owners are too prideful and the players are too strong is another day without baseball which also means the higher the chance the next couple series will be canceled as well.
We all know about the owners’ greediness and Manfred’s inability to be a leader. Let’s talk about the players for a second, though. The players have been an ideal example of unity and brotherhood throughout this whole process and have been scapegoated by the owners. There was never going to be a deal done before the deadline. Even when the deadline was extended, there was really nothing there. The players’ tone also never changed. They stayed realistic and the owners stayed greedy but hopeful. Derek Jeter even had enough of the lockout to resign as CEO of the Marlins. Who can really blame him? The players are the real and only victims here. Imagine your boss not appreciating the work you do and then locking you out of your job for four months and counting. That’s exactly what’s going on here. The strength of the players’ union is admirable and is setting an example for the next generation of baseball players. One perfect example of the players’ strength is Max Scherzer. One of the best pitchers in the game, world champion, multiple-time all-star, and Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, has done it all. From an outsider’s perspective, there is no real need for him to be there. He’s set for life and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He has been basically leading the charge for the players which is astounding because there is nothing more he can do in the game.
Also, remember the campaign the MLB launched a few years ago centered around letting the kids play? What happened to that? Not only are the kids not playing, but they are also making the league minimum, which is a huge reason why the lockout is still in effect. Baseball is the only sport where someone like Juan Soto will sleep on the ground in the minor leagues and then be offered a $300m-plus contract (true story, check it out). Soto making league minimum while leading the Nationals to the World Series is criminal, especially while being the best hitter on that team.
For Major League Baseball to return, the owners have to give. They are greedy. John Middleton is a perfect example of a guy who claims he wants to win as bad as he does, then won’t spend enough to get the bullpen over the top. He’s chasing his tail trying to spend as little as possible, while giving the go-ahead for trading prospects to keep the farm system empty (the young players even out the payroll), but blames the front office and manager for the lack of success.
Bottom line, it might be a while before the league comes back. In that time, I recommend starting to follow college baseball as that is some of the most entertaining sports you could find. The SEC is a great place to start, that’s the best conference as far as college baseball goes. Also, look around for local schools in your area as there is an abundance of talent at every Division level. If you know someone who plays college ball, you know they’re probably the best player from their hometown.