After a Wasted Winter, we got … nothing

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Hi friends. Here’s how I see basebal lon this Friday, April 8. Yes, I’m back after a prolonged absence following the last World Series. We fans survived a 99-day lockout. The people who work at spring training ball parks had to survive a shortened spring training-the one month out of the year most of them make any money. And what do we have to show for it? Basically, an airball at the buzzer, a big goose egg, a doughnut, a bagel. Call it what you like. Baseball is in the same messit was when the owners locked the players out.

I got a taste of how the spring training workers must have felt. I was supposed to conduct a series of seminars about baseball as part of the continuing education program offered by Rutgers. The series was cancelled for lack of interest. Nobody wanted to hear about or talk about baseball while millionaires squabbled with billionaires.

When the lockout ended, we fans were led to believe the “ghost runner” planted at second base to start extra innings would go away. The Commissioner told us it would. That’s not what happened, and we’re expected to tolerate another year of beer-league play during extra innings and blindly hope the ghost runner will be gone in 2023.

We were told some part of the new agreement between the owners and players would make tanking less advantageous. So, what have we seen? The Reds and Athletics in particular have shamelessly neutered their teams and told their fans “BOHICA!” (Bend over, here it comes again). )Some entire teams have lower pay rolls than Max Scherzer’s salary. We fans are already laying down serious money whether we go to the games or watch them from our favorite chair or couch. So what did we get? Joey Votto, a player in an actual regular season game wearing a microphone. It’s bad enough that the networks do that during exhibition games and the All-Star game. Now, the only player the Reds still have is expected to do commentary of a game he’s supposed to be playing.

Add to that, something called Apple+ will force fans to pay extra on top of what we’re already paying if one of our teams is being shown on an Apple+ game. Some of them will begin at 11:30 AM on Sunday mornings. Wait until whoever had that brilliant idea sees the numbers from the Bible Belt. A good old Southern preacher has barely gotten into second gear by 11:30 on a Sunday morning. At the kind of “Little Mountain Church House” which Ricky Skaggs sang about, service would go on all day long.

Admittedly, we got one thing out of the lockout. Both leagues have the DH. I’ve thought the DH was no longer necessary since the steroid era, but now both leagues have it. AlbertPujols, age 42 who should have been put out to pasture 5 years ago can now be a DH for the Cardinals. They were his team until he went west and became the biggest bust sinceRyan Leaf or Mo Vaughn. We hoped we would get shorter games. I just finished listening to 4 hours of the Yankees and Red Sox which was tolerable only because the Yankees won.

So, welcome back. MLB 2022 is very similar to MLB 2021. If anybody got anything out of the lockout, I don’t know about it.

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