Six more weeks.
There are only SIX more weeks until the NBA is officially scheduled to make its return after being halted in mid-March, assuming there aren’t enough players who vow to sit out alongside Kyrie Irving. I don’t think that will happen, but we also didn’t think that Kobe Bryant would die, a virus would circulate the country and a full-scale social revolution would take place, so I guess anything is fair game at the moment.
On top of that, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred guaranteed last week that there would be baseball played this year! Whoopie!
Except that could not have been further from the truth.
As things stand now, the prospect of no baseball season in 2020 is about as real as it has ever been. That falls entirely on Manfred and the owners.
I don’t want to hear the “millionaires vs. billionaires” argument, either. While every owner in baseball is, in fact, a billionaire, not every player is a millionaire.
Here are some examples.
Juan Soto, one of the brightest young stars in the league, was set to earn… $629,000 in 2020. Luis Castillo, an ace pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, was chalked up at $663,500. Reigning National League Rookie of the Year and home run champion Pete Alonso was on track to make $652,521 this season.
The average salary before taxes for an MLB player heading into the 2020 Opening Day that never happened was $4.36 million. That means, yes, the average MLB player IS a millionaire. Now, we see that the average net worth for MLB owners is $1.2 billion -- and that is increasing as the value of MLB teams has increased every year for the last 17 years.
This means that, if my math is correct, the average MLB owner is sitting on roughly 275 times more money than the average MLB player. This doesn’t count the already broke minor league players who will make almost nothing this year.
It’s obviously not a perfect science comparing salary to net worth, but it at least puts things into perspective.
This doesn’t even take into account that the players agreed to accept lesser money before the season even began. They agreed that they wouldn’t take their full salaries and would only accept the salary of the amount of games they played, meaning if they played, say, 60 percent of a full season, they’d take 60 percent of their full salary. Pretty simple and fair, right?
Not in the eyes of the billionaires. After this was agreed upon by both sides, the owners wanted players to play MORE games for LESS pay. That’s… not cool. At all.
Even if the owners were to take a loss for the few months these seasons ran, their already ample supply of assets would have taken almost no sizable dent. Besides, if you’re only in baseball to make money, perhaps you shouldn’t be in baseball at all.
But yeah. That’s a brief summation of how things are looking right now in baseball. Approximately six to eight owners want no season at all according to a recent report, and it’s looking increasingly likely that they’ll get their wish because Rob Manfred chooses to side with the greedy ones. The players even tried to make it easy on them by saying “when and where” after negotiations collapsed.
It’s a shame. I love baseball. I do not want to see it destroyed in front of me.