A Plan to Bring Back Baseball
“Greed is good, greed is right, greed works.” Those words were uttered and made famous by Gordon Gecko, played by Michael Douglas in the 1987 film Wall Street.
They have been used plenty of times in business dealings since and yes probably sum up the feelings of many in professional sports. They should not be used when it comes to the possible return of Major League Baseball.
If health and safety issues can be worked out there is a proposal that would find the baseball season starting with spring training in mid-June and a regular season of about 82 games in the first week of July. The proposal was approved by the 30 team owners on Monday and will go to the Players Association today.
It is expected to find teams playing only in their division and the same regional division in the other league. For example, the Yankees would only play their AL East rivals (Red Sox, Orioles, Rays & Blue Jays) and those from the NL East including the Mets and Phillies as well as the Nationals, Braves, and Marlins.
Among other reported parts of the plan is the use of the designated hitter in both leagues, expanded rosters, and expanded playoffs from 10 to 14 teams. All of that can likely be worked out rather easily but what is not going to be easy is agreeing on how to keep players and their families safe.
Not only will that be challenging but there would still need to be cooperation and agreements with local, state, and federal health officials to play baseball in 30 cities this summer. Let’s assume that is worked out which would leave one major issue: MONEY.
There was a basic agreement in late March whereby the players would receive a pro-rated portion of their salaries based on how many regular season games are played. So assuming there is an 82-game regular season they would get just over half of their 2020 salaries.
However, the owners insist that as part of that agreement there would be additional discussions if games were played without fans who account for about 40% of team revenues. The current proposal indeed would find the season starting in July without fans in the seats which means no ticket revenue, no parking, no concessions, and no cash.
As it stands now players want what they’ve already agreed to while owners want to negotiate. As fans we just want baseball and if the season does not start because of money issues there will be bitter feelings for both sides.
In this case, greed is not good.
STAY HEALTHY MY FRIENDS