Yesterday, the little notification popped up on my phone from ESPN that said “MLBPA mulls MLB pitch for delayed 154-game season, sources say”. I started reading the article, and really wanted to finish it... but to be honest, my eyes glazed over and I decided not to waste my time. Why? Because if I start following this story, I’m going to start wondering if there’s a glitch in the Matrix. The deja vu was giving me a tummy ache.
Remember last year? When Covid shut down baseball (and the world), we didn’t know how long the delay would last. And then when we started to learn more about transmission and masks and social distancing and hand washing and all the things we could do to try to start the world back up again, many things started opening and slowly becoming business as usual. But baseball was not one of these things, and it took for-freaking-ever for MLB and the MLBPA to agree on anything. When baseball finally resumed in mid-summer, I admit that while I was excited, I had been quite soured on MLB - much like I had been after the strike in 1994.
Yes, the Twins made the post season, and yes, MLB managed to pull off a season that lasted until the end of the World Series, but my heart just wasn’t into the season. We had to listen to players and owners bickering about millions of dollars when many people were losing their jobs and couldn’t afford their rent. We had to listen to grown ass men whining about a game when people all over the country were literally dying. We couldn’t go to games. We couldn’t bring our families out to the ballpark and sit in the sunshine with our peanuts and Cracker Jack. And then the Bomba Squad died in the playoffs in just two games. Barf.
So there we were, left with whiny players and owners, no seventh inning stretches, and a post season that lasted five minutes. And yet we were still grateful to get any baseball at all.
But this year? Hard pass. I will not get suckered into the dramatic will-they-or-won’t-they start the season BS. I will not click-baited into reading these time-wasting articles that get pushed at us regarding contract negotiations or safety protocols being enough or not enough for one side or the other. MLB has had plenty of time to work out the logistics of safety and scheduling. They should be aware of what each team’s state will (or won’t) allow for fans and ticket sales. Players and staff should be used to the new kind of covid-safe grind they had to endure last season. I do not want to hear about the MLB owners and the MLBPA coming to brawls over schedules or revenue or contract negotiations.
There is no reason they can’t start Spring Training on time this year when MLB was able to successfully complete the 2020 season. If there are delays, don’t blame Covid. This year’s delays will be due to deeper rooted issues within MLB and I am not going to let them toy with my heart all over again. If there are, in fact, delays, maybe it’s time we finally dump Manfred and his botched attempt at being commissioner. But that’s a discussion for another day.