It's a tried-and-true strategy by elites: Turning the working class against each other with petty arguments, while robbing them blind behind the curtains of MSNBC and Fox News. That's the American system, baby. It's the exact strategy MLB owners are employing to win coronavirus labor negotiations.
Nancy Pelosi is the queen of this maneuver, and she's helped along by our cartoonish news media. She calls Trump "morbidly obese" on CNN, rips up his speeches behind his back and fuels the "culture war" that us peons debate about, while drawing up the CARES act - which was the biggest upward transfer of wealth this country has ever seen. Newsflash: they're all on "team elite", and the more we argue about the "construct" of gender or whether Jimmy Fallon should apologize for wearing blackface 20 years ago, the easier it is for them to steal our money.
Still, so many of us have a sick version of Stockholm syndrome. That is, we yearn to defend elites in hopes of earning their approval, or something. There's nothing "adult" about sucking up to billionaires. You look foolish. You're not like them, and they probably look down on you, peasant.
Just in case MLB owners can't convince the public that players are being greedy in negotiations, they've employed the "Pelosi ploy."
Joel Sherman pointed this out beautifully in a Wednesday column.
"The union hates the concept offered in which lower-paid players would receive most of their prorated salary and the top earners — such as Scherzer — would receive less, often less than half.The union views this as an attempt to split the constituency. It also is revenue sharing in different clothing — just in this case Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton would be propping up Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit."
Owners are asking players to embrace a Bernie Sanders esq. "tax the rich to pay for the poor" payment structure, on top of their agreed-upon prorated salaries, which are set to pay them half of what they would get in a normal season.
The "rich" player-class aren't buying in, and the owners are counting on the "working class" to resent that. That "working class" - players making between $563,500 and $1 million - represents about 65% of the league.
Scott Boras, an agent who represents 71 MLB players and negotiated over $1 billion in contracts this offseason, is advising his clients not to take the bait.
"Remember, games cannot be played without you," Boras wrote to his clients, in an email obtained by the AP. "Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners. Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated."
And, even though Boras is absolutely correct, and probably way less mediocre than whoever is representing the player's union, pitcher Trevor Bauer is being cheered for this half witted response to him:
Bauer is doing his own version of the "Pelosi ploy," but he's too air-headed to realize his act works against player interests. He's built an audience of dummies that enjoy when he yells (even though he's hardly ever intelligent or funny when he does) and now he needs to produce content for them regularly. Sick burn, bro! Except, Boras is exactly right. Owners are crying poor, just like they did all the way up until 2010, when leaked MLB financial records showed that even small-market teams rake in profits.
The players probably won't win this fight. The entire system is set up for the owners to win, just like it is for Pelosi and Steve Mnuchin. Twitter trolls, First Take debates and radio rants will all be aimed directly at players, simply because we know their names, unlike the owners. Players like Bauer will muddy the water to build their own brands. Eventually the pressure, and a longing by players to collect at least some salary, will force the MLBPA to take a deal that favors owners.
Woah! Don Lemon just ripped into Trump!
Sorry, what were we talking about again?