Major League Failure: The disgusting state of the MLB

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at the National Press Club July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The MLB All-Star game will be held tomorrow at Nationals Park. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at the National Press Club July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The MLB All-Star game will be held tomorrow at Nationals Park. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) /

The chances that we see the St. Louis Cardinals this year are getting smaller every day. It’s frustrating for almost too many reasons.

Right now, it feels silly to me to be thinking about the St. Louis Cardinals. Baseball has lost a lot of my attention because there are many more important things going on in our country.

Unfortunately, the embarrassing negotiations to restart the Major League Baseball season have only made it more difficult to be a fan this year.

Tim Kurkjian says it best in his recent article.

"“Baseball is a small part of a far larger problem in this country and the world. Still, it is an important part, especially to those who live their lives through the game. It just didn’t feel right that there was no parade on the streets of Cincinnati on Opening Day, no celebration of Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, no pink bats on Mother’s Day, no Memorial Day festivities. There will not be games for Dad on Father’s Day. It would have been rejuvenating and inspiring to start the season on July 4, the date of our country’s independence, but thanks in part to the greed of the tone-deaf owners and players, that’s not happening either.”"

The players deserve to be paid for each game they play. The owners have a right to pay them less than usual due to the loss of revenue from a shortened and much restricted season. I don’t know the magic number in the middle. But let’s look at what we do know.

According to Forbes, the average MLB franchise is worth $1.85 billion, up 4% from last year. The average MLB player makes $4.4 million a year. These numbers are astronomical on both sides, but we can all agree that one side is much larger than the other. It just so happens that the side with more money has also been the least vocal about actually wanting a season. As time goes on, it’s become clear that the owners need to rethink their position the most.

In addition, a lot of blame falls on the leadership of Commissioner Robert Manfred. In 1942, at the onset of World War II, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis wrote a hand-written note to President Franklin Roosevelt, asking for permission to play baseball during wartime. Roosevelt’s response, now known as “The Green-Light Letter,” cited the importance of baseball to the country, and gave Landis the go-ahead. Here’s a summary from the Baseball Hall of Fame:

"“Baseball historians agree that Roosevelt’s Green Light Letter had a profound impact on the game. It encouraged baseball executives to continue the game, giving millions of Americans a recreational outlet, while also granting thousands of others a chance to take the field and serve their country with a bat and ball instead of a rifle. It helped baseball remain the National Pastime by keeping it in the public eye and allowing a new generation to be exposed to the sport.”"

Where’s the 2020 version of the Green Light Letter? Instead of passionate essays written for the good of the game, we’ve been beseeched by litigation language and passive-aggressive tweets. How can you be 100% confident that baseball will be played, but then turn around and say you aren’t sure one week later?

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Nelson Mandela often said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”

It’s been inspiring to see players use their platforms for a positive change. In this turbulent battle for equality, so many of us are turning to the games we love for answers and examples. This failed negotiation has made it clear that more than anything else, it is money that matters most to Major League Baseball.

To whoever makes the final decision on the future of the MLB, it shouldn’t be this difficult to listen to FDR and Nelson Mandela. The nation is calling out for change, and baseball has a chance to be a part of it. Fight over compensation next year when the collective bargaining agreement expires. Right now, the MLB needs to give players a platform, bring smiles to faces, and provide an example to all Americans about hope and equality. We’re dealing with life and death issues off the field. This petty dispute is only splitting people apart.

Next. DeWitt’s comments look worse now. dark

Even if the season restarts soon and all the players are active, the MLB should be ashamed. They had a chance to do something good for a nation that needed it, and instead, they wasted everyone’s time. I still believe baseball is America’s Pastime– it’s well past time, however, that the league did something to deserve the title.