I can’t believe I’m having to continue writing about what big dummies the MLB owners are being. They are crying poor and pretending that they can’t afford to lose a few million dollars each. The A’s even took away the $400/week stipend that they were giving to their minor leaguers. This saves them a grand total of $1 million for the year. $1 million. For an owner whose net work is $2.2 billion. That’s a joke. And now the owners want their proposed 48 game season to go through so everyone can break even? It’s pathetic.
People complain every year about the MLB season being too long. Personally, I think 162 games is great. It’s a season-long grind that plays on team’s toughness and mental fortitude. But if you want to shorten it to somewhere around 140, I can live with that. But I think even the owners would agree that that is a stretch for a normal year. So, the audacity of playing out close to a fourth of a normal season in under two months is an insulting offer to the players. 48 games is less than 10 times through the rotation for a starting pitcher. Even the NBA played 66 games in their lockout shortened season in 2011-2012. What about their season that almost didn’t happen in 1998-99? 50 games.
If the 2019 MLB season had ended after 48 games, the playoff teams would have been all the same in the American League except the Indians would have made it instead of the A’s. But the National League? Remove playoff berths for the Braves, Nationals, and Cardinals to make room for the Phillies, Cubs, and Pirates. The Nationals won the World Series last year but wouldn’t have ever sniffed a playoff berth in this outrageous format because they were sitting at 19-29 after 48 games.
The point is that 48 games is clearly not enough to tell which teams are good and which teams are bad in the MLB. Is the players’ proposal of 82 games perfect? No, definitely not. In last year’s season, the Cubs and Rockies still would have made the playoffs over the Nationals and Cardinals. But those two teams were a combined 4 games out of a playoff spot which is a much more realistic scenario for a World Series winner than second to last in the league after 48 games.
The owners are greedy. They don’t want to lose money. But it’s ONE season. The MLB will likely be back with fans next season and the world will be back to normal and a couple of years from now they’ll all forget about losing money in 2020. But, if they stand firm and keep offering ridiculous proposals to the players, the league is going to end up with a lost season which benefits nobody.
The MLB has a chance right now to accept the MLBPA’s offer of 82 games and be right in the thick of things this summer when the NBA and NHL are playing their awesome playoff tournaments. Or they have the chance to be the laughing stock of professional sports this summer and further alienate themselves from the younger demographic of sports fans. It should be an easy decision; don’t screw this up, owners…even though I’m sure you will.