This week has not been positive in terms of the likelihood of a return of baseball in 2020. I still think there is going to be a season, but people who are much, much more plugged in than little ol’ me are more pessimistic than ever, which doesn’t seem great. This entire negotiation process has been extremely annoying from the outside with both sides airing out their grievances and doing their negotiations in public, which is never a great sign. This week’s SB Nation Reacts poll revolved around said negotiations.
Is anyone unreasonable?
The word “totally” is doing a whole lot of work here. If this was phrased as who is being more unreasonable, I would undoubtedly say the owners are. Whether or not they’re being totally unreasonable, I don’t really know. I will say it is extremely unreasonable to expect me or the players or anyone else to just take their word for it that they are set to lose all this money without fans. The are more than welcome to open their books, and if what they’re saying is true they are much more likely to get their way. Until they do so, I’m not sure why it’s reasonable to take their claim at face value.
How much of a cut should the players take?
I think this is pretty cut and dry. They should take a cut equivalent to how long the season is. They are the ones putting themselves and their families at risk, and they are also literally the product upon which all of the league’s massive revenue is built. As I said above, if the league wants them to take less than a prorated salary, they can open their books and prove it’s necessary.
When is baseball going to start?
This is way optimistic. I suppose you could stretch the definition of “early July” to July 15 if you want to be obnoxiously technical, but even that is a stretch at this point. I’ll give respondents a break here, though, as negotiations took their latest downward turn after this poll was sent out. They would need a deal basically today, though, if they want to start the season in the first week of July.
Whose side are you on?
I’d like to say this is a sign of a shift in thinking among baseball fans and society at large, but the fact is this doesn’t reflect the general pool of baseball fans. Internet sports fans skew much farther towards labor in these kind of debates. The sample of this poll simply isn’t representative of baseball fans as a whole. Owners will always have the public behind them in labor disputes.
How long should spring training be?
They need at least four weeks if we’re being honest with ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, they’re only going to get three at the most, but that’s not enough. Think about how the last few months for pitchers have been. They started ramping up and were just starting to really get going when baseball was shut down. They then had to stop on a dime, and for a lot of them it was hard to even get real work in. Not everyone lives on a property where they could throw every day while social distancing. Then they’re expected to get back going and be totally ready in three weeks? Pitching is going to be a disaster both performance and health wise early on if/when a season starts.