The London Series That Wasn't, the Negotiations That Aren't, and Other Cubs Bullets

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The London Series That Wasn’t, the Negotiations That Aren’t, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Currently listening to a fascinating podcast on the feud between rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur in the mid-90s (‘Slow Burn,’ Season 3), and all the cultural elements surrounding and informing what happened. I remember that time, but I was a young teenager, so my context was pretty different from what it is today. It’s been eye-popping how much relevance there is to this moment in time, even for these events that happened 25 years ago. Highly recommend if it at all sounds interesting to you.

•   This weekend was supposed to be the London Series, with the Cubs facing the Cardinals in a fun, unique, world-expanding way. Not to be. At this moment in time, it feels like one of the few things we can be wistful about in relation to the pandemic causing havoc, as opposed to something to be angry about because MLB is more concerned with incremental dollars and future bargaining positions than doing something good.

•   If you care enough to follow the back and forth on returning to play (and I have only affection for those who’ve been able to just tune it all out), then you already know how every single offer goes. I really don’t feel like digging back in this morning, and I don’t know that you, as a reader, are benefited by it. You can read about yesterday’s new offer from the owners here, and it’s pretty clear the ways that it moves the ball forward ever so slightly, but fails to just step up to a range where this can be finished. Still, I have to update/comment on a few things.

•   The offer was reportedly accompanied by more angry letter-writing – that’s literally the way the sides are communicating, which would have been an insane process 30 years ago – and you can read about that here and here if you really want. But again, I’m really not sure how much it will benefit you or your psyche to see the exact same pissing that we’ve seen for a month, coming from lawyers who are doing their typical hostile lawyer thing, rather than engaging in any real efforts to find a solution. They’re just setting themselves up with purported documentation for the inevitable grievance that is coming later. The only things you actually need to know? The players have said all along that they do not *have* to negotiate a lower pay. The owners have said all along that they do not *have* to start the season. The end.

•   One other thing, with some hypothetical math and compromising on the length of the season to achieve a nice number:

•   I probably don’t do a good enough job acknowledging that 30 different owners have 30 different agendas here, but if the majority of them just wanted to get a deal done to set up a brighter future, then it would be done by now. So, sorry, I can’t give them all the benefit of the doubt. By all outward appearances, as a group, it appears that the owners care more about beating the players into the ground in a negotiation, again, than they do about “losing” a little right now in order to win for the whole sport in the longer term.

•   Multiple reports, from Jeff Passan and Jon Heyman, by the way, suggest there are groups of players now preparing for the mandated shortened season, and happy about it: they want to be able to file the best grievance possible, and in so doing, get a chance to finally look at the owners’ books. Seems like something the owners would really want to avoid a year before a new CBA, but hey, I’m just a dope with a keyboard.

•   Michael has fun:

•   Was talking with some friends last night, reminiscing about times we could actually hang out and play Mexican Train Dominoes. Sometime soon we can do that again. That got me looking at dominoes sets on Amazon, so I’m sharing them now. #ad

•   Heck yeah, D-Lee:

•   This was a MOMENT. I miss those:


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.