When I wrote to you last I expressed minimal hope for the bargaining session that was about to take place. It turns out my total lack of faith was warranted.
Passan's assessment above is being generous. Spring training starting on time is not "in peril," it's out the window. The question now is how far it'll be pushed back, and whether the delays will spill over to the regular season.
Just writing that last sentence fills me with dread. This is all so dumb. The game of baseball is incredibly profitable and fans are hungry for it. Reasonable compromises are surely available.
Yet there is no evident sense of urgency. The league waited six weeks before making a formal proposal on core economics. The players rejected it, and a week later, are said to be "preparing a response to MLB’s recent proposal to be delivered within days." We're fast closing in on February.
"At present, the 'talks' between the parties still amount to theater," writes Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic, "a Kabuki dance of proposals and counter-proposals that neither side is taking seriously."
I feel no confidence or optimism. Why would I? There hasn't been one signal to justify a positive attitude toward this process.
To reference a 20-year-old quote in Rosenthal's article from Bud Selig (the former commissioner who looks remarkably competent in comparison to his successor): "If you remove hope and faith from the mind of a fan, you destroy the fabric of the sport.”