Jimmy Buffet sang it best, but there’s truth here: MLB and the player’s association both need ‘changes in attitude’ before we can see our Atlanta Braves back on the field.
Our Atlanta Braves podcast this week deals mostly with baseball’s continuous labor dispute… because what else is there to discuss?
Personally, while national reporters are looking forward to a breakthrough today, I’m not as optimistic given the amount of posturing still being displayed whenever specific labor dispute subjects come up.
We’ll deal mainly with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred directly in the podcast itself, but let me illustrate what I mean here… and it mostly seems to be coming from the players’ union and their stated goals for a new agreement:
The players want more competitive balance, incentives for clubs to win, and a lot less tanking.
That’s not quite what they really want. If every team finishing with 95+ losses on the year still spent enough money to be in top 20 of payrolls, you wouldn’t hear a peep from the Union.
The union cares a lot more about spending money on players and a lot less on actually winning.
True, there are some small-market teams that seldom spend, even though they are funded by revenue-sharing checks. That needs to change.
But the rest of it? Well… somebody has to finish in last place in every division and some teams need to re-cycle their resources in order to facilitate a rebuild.
The players want to see an end to service-time manipulation.
Oooo…. sounds serious. But do you really make a major issue about something impacting (at most) just 4-to-6 players each year? That’s not a hill you should die on when you have a 1200-odd membership in total.
Frankly, the FANS want their budding superstars around for as long as possible, and when it comes down to it, the players simply want these young stars paid better… and time-to-free-agency is more of a side issue.
A bigger problem is the handling of players aged 29-32 who may be role players or backup catchers and the like. It’s hard to figure out how to handle them, for if you were to mandate a minimum salary level for them, then you’d see a lot more minor leaguers getting a chance instead.
It’s these kinds of things we talk about in detail on the podcast today, starting with tearing apart Rob Manfred’s message from Thursday.
So the podcast can be had in the usual ways…
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In any case… time is getting seriously precious here. The two sides need to drop their collective territory-marking and get to work.
After all, there’s still a TON of business that each team’s General Manager needs to address and not nearly enough time to get these things done. So watch today to see if the tone changes… at all.