A simple statement uttered often without much thought into how very true it is. That’s really where we are now in the negotiations, time is running out, and that directly affects the outcome.
Since I last spoke to the restart negotiations there have been proposed plans put forth by both sides and a slowing of the side chatter. The latest of which shows the owners migrating toward paying the players the full pro-rated amount as agreed upon way back in March while proposing a shortened season, perhaps as short as 50 games.
Some will say, why bother of course, but liking the plan is hardly the point. If you haven’t realized by now the fans aren’t the main concern for either side, you haven’t been paying attention.
Let’s face it, if there is baseball this season, it won’t be normal. Personally, I plan to embrace the weird and try to enjoy the ride. There are some things to potentially start thinking about. My biggest one, have we written off the possibility of fans too soon?
Roll with me here a bit, since mid-March much of the country has been on lock down, isolating and listening to doctors and government officials. The unrest toward quarantine was already growing, but the protests some staged for this went up like a lead balloon. Fast forward to this weekend where millions across the country gathered to protest in nearly every major city. The causes are not the point, the gathering is.
It won’t be long before someone more important than me points out how these protests did or did not lead to a reignition of the plague. So, if this many people can gather together and not get sick, why can’t we have fans? Why can’t we eat IN restaurants?
I’m no doctor, clearly, but these are legit questions that will come up. As the protests continue the news cycle continues to shift further away from COVID-19 and on to the next.
I don’t say this to trivialize the situation or the meaning of the protests, I’m simply pointing out something that will come up. It’s possible that in an effort to fight for equality and fair treatment, the protesters could also pull our country out of the hermit shell we put ourselves in at the same time. And before you hit me with all the “what about the vandalism” takes, of course that’s awful, its also not coming from the main organizers, nor does it speak to the point I’m making.
Another timing aspect is the progress being made by the other leagues. The NHL has made real progress toward a return, the NBA has most of the foundation laid, and the NFL decided long ago they’d bully their way through this anyhow. MLB, while moronic at times, is not stupid enough to be the one on the sidelines. Even if the two sides planned on continuing to snipe for another week or so, nobody is listening right now, and I’m sure they realize it. In other words, even if it isn’t genuine, the beautiful silence of real negotiation is setting in.
Timing is indeed everything, next question, are the two sides smart enough to cease the moment, my gut says yes. There is no timing quite as powerful as a deadline, and it’s coming.