MLB owners are counting on you to be stupid. That's their game. They'll cry poor in coronavirus negotiations, and try to pit yearning fans against hesitant players. Divide and conquer. It worked in 1994, and they're counting on it working again.
We're not gonna let that happen, are we? Nah, we're too smart for that now. Since the MLB's infamous '94 strike, we humans have embarked on the Information Age, and it's given rise to a cynical version of populism. We know more about how the elites are screwing us over than we ever have thanks to the internet, and it's laid way for the rhetoric of Bernie, Trump, and countless other populist leaders across the West. Today, I'll be yours.
Here's a play-by-play call of how the owners intended to manipulate you, the assumed dolt.
He checks: The AP came out with an exclusive story last week stating that the MLB stands to lose $640K per game without fans in stadiums.
Here's the windup: It was reported yesterday that the Oakland A's had "no ability" to pay their $1.2 million annual rent payment at RingCentral Coliseum. Oh please.
And the pitch: The NY Post's Joel Sherman reported Tuesday that a newly leaked "smoking-gun" email is causing the MLB and its player's union to "wage war." Players claim they're owed the prorated salaries agreed upon in previous coronavirus negotiations, while owners claim those terms were subject to change if fans couldn't be in stadiums.
"The Post... has obtained a March 26 email from an MLB lawyer to top league officials that documents the substance of talks between two MLB officials and two MLBPA officials from earlier that morning."
Wonder where Sherman obtained that email from?
Those three pieces of manipulation make up the deceivingly high fastball MLB owners are trying to slip by you. In '94 you took the cheese. Now? Tom Glavine thinks you haven't wised-up a bit.
He's a pitcher - of course he thinks that.
You and I have done our research. We know that in 2010 Deadspin received financial records for a number of small-market teams, which showed virtually all of them were highly profitable franchises. We also know that a number of them spent the early 2000's claiming to be broke. We know that Jeff Passan, one of the smartest and most well-connected men in baseball, said this on Ryen Rusillo's podcast about owner-player meetings:
"At this meeting the presentation essentially said that the owners are going to lose so much money that even if there are games this season - that - interpret that what you will. We're not gonna say 50-50 split, but just here are the economics from our end. The thing is, upon closer examination, the economics don't make any sense... Paul Beeston, the former Bluejays president, who worked at Major League Baseball, is quoted as once saying, "under generally recognized accounting principles, I could turn a $4 million profit into a $2 million loss." That's what ownership does. That's what they have always done. That is the trick, that is the magic, that is how they get rich! That's how billionaires get rich!"
So, now we know that if there's a financial holdup on baseball coming back, it'll be on owners to quickly sign the papers and eat a loss, not the players. After all, it's their league's image that's at stake. The players will get their money and get out, without a care in the world about fan loyalty or franchise value.
Owners were counting on us not to pay attention. We did. We're gonna let that high, fast, cheese whiz right by us. We're too informed. At this point, if you're calling players selfish for hesitating to sign a deal with owners, you sound like a troglodyte stuck in the 90's. Worse, you're exactly what the elites want you to be - deaf, dumb and blind.