Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account
  • The Lockout Diaries: Week 8


    Nick Nelson

    Dear journal,

    It's been 56 days since darkness fell upon the world of baseball. We're seeing "signs" of "movement" in negotiations between the league and players. I'm experiencing a compulsion to use air quotes in a very sarcastic manner. 

    Image courtesy of Brock Beauchamp, Twins Daily

    Twins Video

    Reps from both sides met on Monday, and then again on Tuesday. This represents an exponential quickening of pace following a nearly two-month standstill. And yet, there's no real sense that palpable progress has been made.

    We only receive so much information publicly, but every leaked detail points to the same depressing reality: obstinate, greedy owners bargaining in bad faith against a players association that's trying to dig up toward an equitable situation. 

    Stories of billionaires crying poor, in the wake of hardships that destroyed careers and lives, strike a very sour note with me and others. 

    Last weekend I watched the greatest series of NFL playoff games in my lifetime. The Vikings weren't there, but are making waves with their front office and coaching shakeup. 

    The Wild are a true powerhouse. The Timberwolves are an emerging force. Every other prominent sports league is putting forth an excellent product, in my market, while Major League Baseball fritters away every shred of good will.

    They're shutting out legends from their Hall of Fame over subjective, inconsistently-applied moral standards. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens? Out. David Ortiz, owner of a positive PED test? In.

    Why? Because he's nice? 

    Don't get me wrong, I love Ortiz and am thrilled to see him recognized, despite the melancholy he evokes as a Twins fan. But the whole thing is so absurd at this point.

    Major League Baseball's commitment to disregarding an entire era of its history is like a slap in the face to fans like me, who came of age in the late '90s. I was captivated and enthralled by the McGwire/Sosa race. The name "Clemens" is synonymous to me with dominance on the mound. Barry Bonds is the greatest player I've ever witnessed in any sport.

    Baseball's position on the matter? "Forget about it. Didn't happen."

    Meanwhile, they can't get out of their own way and settle on a plan to move forward. The game's history is being erased alongside its future while sports fans turn their attention in other directions. 

    Normally at this time of year, I'd be counting down the days until the arrival of those four magical words: pitchers and catchers report. Now I'm counting my grievances against a league that seems utterly intent on alienating its fans.

    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers
    — Recent Twins discussion in our forums
    — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
    — Become a Twins Daily Caretaker

     Share

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

    Preach it. If MLB loses regular season games due to the lockout, it will be disasterous to the future popularity of the game. It's such a bad look right now. The delay of spring training seems inevitable.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Good article.  On the steroid front with Ortiz and Bonds, I do see a significant difference based on the evidence that has been made public.  In Bonds situation, there is proof he tested positive at least 3 times for 3 different kinds of steroids.  People testified they injected him regularly, there were doping charts, dosing charts, etc. that clearly showed a long term consistent use of steroids.  He apparently also tested positive before his 73 home run year.  In the case of Ortiz, he was on the original list of 100, but there is zero evidence he ever tested positive or used steroids during his career.  He may have, but there is no evidence that he did.  Plus, does anyone really want to argue that Bonds didn't use steroids and human growth hormones when his whole body, especially his head which grew by an inch in circumference, became bloated?  His before and after pictures tell the whole story.  I am not saying that Bonds shouldn't be in the Hall, I am just saying the difference in evidence between he and Ortiz is quite profound.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It is really hard to defend Barry Bonds due to his petulant and surly behavior throughout his career. MLB and the courts went after him hard, spending millions of dollars and losing in every event with a litany of lies, false accusations and such when it was all said and done. Most people would agree that Bonds mastered the use of steroids as well as concealment. That is not definitive guilt. The era was rife with players involved and mass conversations skillfully excuse some for their minimal usage. Fact is, it didn't help most players at all because throwing and hitting a ball is pretty much skill based. Time and time again, people write about Bonds getting bigger, his big head, etc. There are more than a few players who entered baseball at 155-175 pounds and got much bigger. Think of your past Twins. Heck, Miguel Sano was a big man when he signed at 180 pounds and gained 100+ pounds over time. I will never say Bonds was innocent. Barry Bonds is just a scapegoat, nothing more or less. He was better at hitting a baseball than any player to ever play the game and nobody could accept this, especially because he was unable to be controlled by the owners. Spend twenty minutes looking through his numbers. He was ridiculous. Steroids was a clear product of the Bud Selig Era,

    MLB has some real problems to sort out. There will not be replacement players. The PA has been losing ground in the past CBAs, but they are not the air traffic controllers union. It is really difficult to see what the owners stand to gain by pushing the envelope so far as to lose their anti-trust exemption. Hopefully, a resolution will occur by mid February. The loss for the Twins will be the instruction and repetition time missed by their young players on the 40 person roster. The veterans need far less time to ramp up. Does anyone else wonder if there are some media contracts that might be endangered by a long play stoppage? The NFL, NBA, and NHL are increasing viewership. How is MLB doing? How might existing favorable contracts be impacted by a long lockout? I'm hoping both sides can give a little and get it new CBA done.

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I agree with your assessment on the current state of MLB.  We have players and owners too greedy, arrogant, and selfish to even think about what's best for the game.  I've been watching the demise of what was once a great game.  It's become unwatchable.  Now players and owners are squabbling over billions in revenues. Any elimination of games will only further alienate a shrinking fan base.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Could be a lot more sympathetic to the Players if their demands were more related to increasing the compensation of the vast majority of their members.  I just don't understand how the battle between owners and players always appear to be for the benefit of those few who make mega millions.

    Also can't understand why the players are making a stand that the poorer teams receive less revenue sharing.  Isn't more revenue sharing needed so that all teams have some chance of winning?  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Agree with Roger that it's a lot easier to side with the players if they were more interested in competitive pay across the board and a more level playing field for all teams. The proposals I've seen from them seem to do nothing but allow large market teams to keep more money and raise their payroll even higher with no penalty. How does this help the average team, average player or baseball overall?

    I'm not on the owners side and have more than a few issues with them on regard to more even revenue sharing and forcing small markets to actually spend it vs pocketing it, etc. 

    In regard to the HOF, I believe I'm correct on saying that has nothing to do with MLB. (Unless they're being covert behind the scenes). The voting in or out is up the baseball writers and not MLB. It's my understanding something like 59 new voters have been added over the past 3yrs and both Bonds and Clemmons saw an increase in votes. Eventually they will get in. But it's the HOF and voters that are keeping them out.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    One of the things I think gets forgotten in these negotiations is that the owners are likely still remembering back to the end of 2020 where, according to Forbes, they lost $1 Billion due to empty stadiums but full paychecks to players.  They look at the NBA where their players worked with ownership and agreed to a %25 paycut to reflect empty stadiums and to the NHL where the players agreed to a %20 paycut and a %10 deferral.  The owners must remember when they put an 82 season on the table with some paycuts to try and put a dent in those losses and the players rejecting it.  In the proposal the owners put forward a minimum salaried guy like Luis Arraez would have made $256K in 82 games but guys like Donaldson would have taken a good sized cut.  The players preferred a system where Arraez made $208K in 60 games so Donaldson could get his full pay.  

    I don't see any good will the players have built with the owners that would incentivize them to negotiate a favorable deal to the players.  They probably think they gave enough in 2020.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    8 hours ago, roger said:

    Also can't understand why the players are making a stand that the poorer teams receive less revenue sharing.  Isn't more revenue sharing needed so that all teams have some chance of winning?  

    I believe their stance is that it incentivizes smaller-market teams to not spend or try to compete. You look at teams like Tampa and Cleveland and they're making a farce of the system. If teams acted in good faith it'd be a fine rule (which is probably why players originally agreed to it).

    8 hours ago, DocBauer said:

    In regard to the HOF, I believe I'm correct on saying that has nothing to do with MLB. (Unless they're being covert behind the scenes). The voting in or out is up the baseball writers and not MLB.

    Yeah but it reflects onto MLB and the overall perception of it right now. That was more my point. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    7 minutes ago, Nick Nelson said:

    I believe their stance is that it incentivizes smaller-market teams to not spend or try to compete. You look at teams like Tampa and Cleveland and they're making a farce of the system. If teams acted in good faith it'd be a fine rule (which is probably why players originally agreed to it).

    Yeah but it reflects onto MLB and the overall perception of it right now. That was more my point. 

    Agree on the incentive for some teams to not spend and just pocket their revenue share money. And that's an absolute farce. And that's one if my biggest grudges against ownership right now. The revenue sharing should INCREASE and not DECREASE in order to spread the wealthy and allow for better opportunity for competitive balance. But that's why it's so important to have some kind of financial floor...or floating floor if they simply must...in order to force those teams to actually spend. And again, while I have problems with both sides in these negotiations, it's kind of hard to side with the owners when they don't seem to even have their own collective house in order.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I continually laugh at the stances on steroid-era players and how what came before that, may be playing out again now.

    The MLB went on strike during the 1994 season, and fans were noticeably turned off and away from the game of baseball for the years following.

    What brought them back?

    Steroids, and the home run spectacles that played out with McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, etc... in the late 90's and early 2000's. 

    What will bring them back now?

    It's certainly not rich people continually arguing about their riches. Other professional leagues have figured this out on a level the MLB needs to get on board with, or they'll continue to see America's Pastime falter.

     

     

     

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

    Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...