Major League Baseball could have the sports world all to itself in a month or so; that's unless its players' opinions don't get in the way first.
Now more than ever MLB has its sights set on a season this summer. But it needs the Players Union to agree to a proposed reconstruction of a 2020 season. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like the players are as interested in the requirements that a reconstructed season will entail. Take Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell for example.
To me, he struck out with his latest comments regarding the negotiation currently ongoing between MLB and the Players Union about a return-to-play schedule.
The league has yet to find its footing after being halted in spring training due to the coronavirus pandemic. MLB sent a proposal to the union this week. MLB's reported proposal of a 50-50 revenue split with the players in a shortened season did not sit well with Snell. Snell responded with some interesting opinions that I'm sure none of America is interested in hearing.
Here are some of his thoughts that he shared on his Twitch channel: “Ya'll gotta understand, man, for me to go...for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof. It's a shorter season, less pay.
“No, I gotta get my money. I'm not playing unless I get mine, okay? And that's just the way it is for me. Like, I'm sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I'm making is way lower, why would I think about doing that?”
It's this type of mentality that creates a divide between millionaires and normal Americans. People are being laid off, furloughed, and have reduced salaries in some cases. People need work to provide for their families and one star baseball player has a problem playing for less money. I agree that these are extenuating circumstances but everybody - millionaires and billionaires - needs to give a little in times like these.
Americans need sports, especially our Atlanta Braves, now more than ever to take their minds off the stresses of everyday life. Baseball is primed to be that diversion but it seems like its public relations downfalls seem to get in the way. Not only does Snell feel this week, but he is backed by some of the biggest stars in the game, notably Bryce Harper.
Owners will undoubtedly take a hit with the reduced schedule and with the likelihood of games with zero fans in attendance. Baseball is a business, so it's not immune to the financial impact of this pandemic. But as with any business that falls short, it has a trickle-down effect on its workforce. Why would Snell or any other player think it's any different in baseball? His complaints are falling on deaf ears.
—Clint Thompson is a special contributor to The Union-Recorder