Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
16 June 2020
MLB return in jeopardy, so is the sport itself
An MLB return to play would be more important to that sport than any other, yet major league baseball finds itself on the brink of disaster over the age-old issue: Money.
Nope, it’s not COVID-19 keeping players off the field. It’s the greed of owners, who only want to give players 80% of their pro-rated salaries to play 50 games to salvage the season. Philadelphia Phillie star Andrew McCutchen had a few words to say about that.
“How greedy can you get? So greedy that the failure of a MLB return means owners will just end up like the prospectors at the end of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, with the gold blowing away in the wind.”
During the ironically named ESPN special “The Return of Sports,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he’s “not confident” that a MLB return will happen. If it doesn’t, say goodbye to the baseball for the foreseeable future.
The reason an MLB return would be so important to the sport is that it desperately needs it. The NFL remains king of the major sports. The NBA is working out some issues to return but remains the darling of social media with rising revenues and ratings. Even the NHL, which has become a regional sport, has figured out its return. (Not to mention the seamless returns of NASCAR and the PGA.)
Failure of an MLB return means a huge missed opportunity
Baseball especially has a problem among our nation’s youth, who gravitate more to basketball, football and soccer. Baseball has become a viewing sport for old men. With so few sporting options for viewers, now would be the perfect time for the MLB to become relevant.
Think what an MLB return right now would mean to the sport. There’s little major competition on the sports landscape on a day-to-day basis. (NASCAR remains on the forefront, with two races per week.) It would dominate sports headlines.
So, instead, with the league making a record $10.7 billion in revenue last year, the owners are playing hardball with players. Right after they cut the average player salary and asked Congress to exempt minor leagues from minimum wage law.
How greedy can you get? So greedy that the failure of a MLB return means owners will just end up like the prospectors at the end of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, with the gold blowing away in the wind.
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