The loss of regular season games could prove to just be the tip of an iceberg that could have a Titanic type impact on the Pittsburgh Pirates and the rest of Major League Baseball
Baseball. It’s America’s pastime. It’s a sport that is engrained in the very fabric of this country. From iconic MLB moments to the joy of playing the game as a kid and everything in between, baseball has provided millions of people in America with lifelong memories. Unfortunately for fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates as well as the rest of baseball, we are now dealing with one of the saddest moments in the sport’s history.
Commissioner Rob Manfred officially canceled the first two series of the regular season when a new CBA was not reached by the 5:00 PM ET deadline on Tuesday afternoon. This casts a shroud of uncertainty around baseball.
There are not nearly as many households in America like mine as there once was. What is that you ask? A baseball household. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house where baseball was loved and revered. Few things about my childhood were better than going to Pittsburgh Pirates games with my dad.
To this day there are still few things that are more enjoyable than spending time at PNC Park with my dad, especially now that my wife and two sons get to tag along as well. My wife who loves baseball and had multiple softball scholarship offers out of high school, my oldest son who is entering his final season of Little League Baseball before moving onto Pony League, and a youngest son who is over the moon to begin his first season of tee ball in a few weeks. I am also lucky enough to coach both of them in baseball.
Like I said, a baseball household.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons the number of these households in America is dwindling. A big factor in this is the competition disparity across the league. Something that could have been fixed in these CBA negotiations.
Instead of fixing problems and trying to help the game grow once again baseball has done the complete opposite. They have bombed the sport. MLB may not have nuked the sport just yet, but that certainly seems possible.
When professional sports resumed after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic halted sports the one that had the hardest time coming back was baseball. During these negotiations it was clear that ugly, ugly CBA negotiations were on the horizon. Despite having well over a calendar year to get ready to negotiate the CBA after this baseball did nothing except be its own worst enemy.
When the lockout began the owners were not even willing to talk/negotiate with the MLBPA for two months. Even when negotiations began things did not get serious until the start of spring training was missed.
Interest in baseball has been dwindling for quite some time now. As fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates know this is especially true among many small market fan bases. If this lockout carries deep into the season it could reach a level of apathy.
When Tony Clark and other MLBPA representatives met with the media on Tuesday it was made clear by Andrew Miller that the players are ready to wait this out until they receive a fair offer from MLB owners.
So, yeah, this lockout could last quite awhile, and that is something that baseball absolutely can not afford to have happen. The sport struggled to survive the 1994 player strike surviving this lockout, especially if it becomes an extended one, will be even more difficult for the sport to accomplish.
Sure there will still be minor league baseball in 2022 regardless of what happens, but that is not the same. Especially for those minor league players who appear to be on the brink of their first MLB promotion who may now be cheated of that and the life changing impacts that accompany that.
Let’s also not overlook the forgotten victims here. The thousands of people across this country who work at MLB ballparks and rely upon that income to make a living and ends met. Hopefully, owners and/or players will step up and make sure these people are financially taken care of.
Shame on you baseball for letting things reach this point. Shame on you all. If there was any sport in American that could not afford this it, sadly, is baseball. Despite this baseball let this happen which makes the residents of this baseball household, and countless others across the country, nothing short of sad.