Simple Solution for MLB's Complex Problem

There isn't much sports news being discussed in the world today, for good reason, and the few bits of info that slip through the cracks of the chaos in our country doesn't offer much solace.

Recently, most of the sports world has been focused on ridiculing Major League Baseball for their ongoing, tone-deaf negotiations to return to play during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The owners want the players to take an additional pay cut after negotiating an agreement earlier in the pandemic citing more widespread losses than they expected. Meanwhile, players are dug in saying they will only agree to the previously agreed upon salary prorations, suspecting the owners are trying to trojan horse a salary cap into the league during a crisis.

It's not easy to figure out. Both sides are like a married couple who went through a bitter, bitter divorce in 1994. Over time they could eventually be at the same family event without it being an issue but this pandemic has reopened a bunch of old, painful wounds between the two sides. Mom and dad are fighting again.

Meanwhile nearly 40 million Americans are out of work, the country is is splitting at the seams over racial injustices, law enforcement abuse, looting, riots and active US military in the streets of American cities.

In other words, there's never much of an appetite for the billionaires vs. millionaires MLB squabble and there certainly isn't now.

Baseball had hoped to be a part of a solution and return to normalcy during these unprecedented times and while the sport has succeeded in bringing people together, it's not to celebrate the sport but to criticize it.

It's been one long public relations disaster for a sport that has rapidly lost relevancy in an American sports landscape that doesn't gravitate to MLB's marathon season and leisurely paced games.

Here's a simple solution for MLB that should get both owners and players to agree on something:

Release a joint statement flatly stating that MLB will return on Fourth of July weekend.

How many games will be played?

How will players be paid?

What are the public safety protocols in place?

What will the postseason look like?

Baseball can simply say, we're working on those issues.

This is what the NHL did.

Hockey announced they were coming back with a 24 team expanded postseason with play in series to start before graduating to the traditional playoff format.

Every other detail was left out. The NHL doesn't know when, where, how or what will happen with positive Covid-19 tests by players or staff. They're still negotiating it. But they're left in relative peace to figure it out.

Baseball can give itself the same cover, the same reprieve of negotiating in the public and away from the media spotlight, they can finally hammer out the details.

The bar isn't high. Just tell us you'll be back and if MLB is lucky, we'll show up with them.

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