America’s Newest Pastime: The Waiting Game

On Monday, Major League Baseball took out a clean white sheet of paper, wrote down some numbers, folded it up, and slid it across the glossy veneer of a solid oak desk.

ESPN’s Karl Ravech had the details.

The 76-game season is significantly less than the 114 games the MLBPA proposed last time, but more than the 50-ish of the MLB’s first proposal. The sticking point, as always, remains the money. The players would get only 50 percent of the prorated salary for those 76 games, with additional money being paid out if the postseason actually happens.

The reaction from the players was less than enthusiastic, to put it mildly.

Trevor Bauer was succinct.

Andrew McCutchen spoke for the young people.

And Trevor Plouffe posted some choice quotes from players around the league.

Incidentally, whoever actually uttered the phrase, “kick rocks,” is my new favorite baseball player that is also, apparently, a 1940’s newsie.

As we inch closer and closer to a 4th of July without baseball, the reality of a cancelled season in 2020 is starting to set in. As my musical hero Craig Finn has implored me to do, I gotta ‘Stay Positive‘. I do believe there is too much to lose for this to happen. Both in untold BILLIONS of dollars lost, and in fans searching for alternate programming.

The NHL and NBA are both on the cusp of returning, while the juggernaut that is the NFL continues unabated toward starting their 2020 season. If those leagues figure it out, the pressure will mount on the MLB to get the deal done. Someone will blink, someone has to.

I will take a 45-55 game season, as I don’t think it tarnishes or diminishes the sport at all. These times are weird for a plethora of reasons, so I can enjoy an alternate reality MLB season where the champion is decided by a quarter of the normal amount of games. Give me that Earth-2 World Series. I crave the 2020 Upside Down Champions.

If baseball can’t figure this out, it will be a long summer with an even colder winter to follow. And sadly, with the labor agreement set to expire after 2021, this could be a preview of things to come.

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