MLB Has Blown Its Chance to Return in Celebratory Fashion by July 4

Absolutely nothing should surprise you at this point, including the fact that MLB had upwards of two months to get its ducks in a row for a July 4 launch and because of pride, incompetence, and greed, they’ve blown it.

The latest on the steaming pile of shit that has become MLB’s “negotiation” efforts:

When you have 30 owners on one side, who don’t precisely all stand for the same thing, and you’ve got players, agents, and a union on the other side, who don’t precisely all stand for the same thing, you can understand how this moment might be challenging. How there would be fights. How the leadership on each side would struggle to deal with all the conflicting inputs.

And yet you’d also think, as we observe this situation from the outside, that everyone involved would appreciate that they and they alone are torching so much value for their industry right now. They are all standing around a house fire, each unwilling to be the one to turn on his hose first. So the house burns. And the rest of us watch, thinking, “But I could’ve stayed in that house … ”

The result, for now, is that the timeline won’t permit a deal to be finished in time for Spring Training Part Two begin early enough that a July 1-4 season launch is possible. They have effectively shredded that plan, despite how good it could have been for the sport and the fans.

Heck, the sides are still writing each other piss letters, a couple days apart. It’s just unbelievable that they are operating this way, holding the players and the fans hostage.

“CLEARLY your position is terrible and you’re an idiot for the following six reasons …. ” – “We appreciate that you ADMIT you work with terrible people, and that makes you unqualified to make the following three decisions …. ” – “Indeed your mama IS so fat that the following four things are true …. “

Read Rosenthal’s piece for the full rundown, including the history of the relations here that steel the players’ resolve, but the leadership on the players’ side that is undermining those efforts. You can see the why and the how of the deeply entrenched position each side now appears to be taking (despite in-fighting on both sides from more reasonable heads). As we sit here this morning, it seems owners are set and locked into holding out for their bullshit 48-game season, while players are locked into holding out for prorated pay, even if it means that bullshit season happens where they make less money overall.

“To some with the league, the PA’s unwillingness to yield on the prorated salaries the players accepted in March stems from union chief Tony Clark’s desire to start regaining what was lost in ’16. The point is not without merit. The union is something of a wounded animal. But the league at times resembles a big bear standing over that animal, poking and prodding and kicking away.”

To be quite clear, I don’t blame the sides equally here. More power – and more ability – has always rested with the owners to do the right thing. They are declining to do so, and their intransigence is costing the sport and the fans games at this moment in time (and worse if things get even more sour from here).

So, as we discussed yesterday, it remains likely that there is a baseball season. But the likelihood that it is (1) more than 48 games, and (2) a happy, well-timed, celebratory affair continues to shrink to almost nothing. It’s almost impressive how badly MLB has botched this so far.

Now we just have to hope they can get something in place where Spring Training Part Two could begin in about two weeks, which would permit the season to begin in mid-July.

Stay tuned for even more incredible botching, including how they wind up scratching the entire season because the players are so pissed that they insist on upping the ante in the health and safety protocols, and then the owners respond by being collective dicks, and then the whole thing falls apart!*

*(That isn’t me actually prognosticating, mind you! I’m just being chippy this morning! Woo! Anger!)

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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