Association sport

MLB lockdown: Live updates as league and Players Association discuss core economy

There’s no work smash quite like a baseball work smash. Have you ever noticed this?

We also have a whole half century of them to look back on. And they were all special in their ever-popular way. But for some reason, we thought this one might be different.

This one, you see, wasn’t going to be Marvin Miller’s kind of work smash, or Don Fehr’s kind of work smash, or your grandfather’s kind of work smash. These battles, you may recall, were mostly about money, because of course they were.

Perhaps they were disguised as battles over free will or arbitration or “fundamental economic issues”. But if you wanted to get to the heart of all this fighting, it was simple: just follow the money.

This time, however, we expected more. We expected there to be another giant ring in the Lockout Land Circus of 2021-22. Let’s call this one, “Theo Epstein Presents…The Great Entertainment Debate.”

Pitch clocks! … Shift bans! … Robot umps! … The legendary Double Hook!

For nine months now, we’ve heard from them, as *Theo’s branch of the MLB hierarchy (*don’t blame him!) has been kicking off rule-changing experiments coast-to-coast, A-ball leagues to Triple-A leagues, independent leagues to the Arizona Fall League. What was it ? A dream. A vision. A better product if everything clicked. More action. More rhythm. More entertainment for your baseball dollar. It was worth a try, wasn’t it?

So, was it just a coincidence that, all of a sudden, there were about 97 different period experiments going on this year, just as the labor clock was ticking? It didn’t look like it.

Obviously, everything was in the works to make The Great Entertainment Debate part of baseball’s next union fight. Obviously.

All right, let’s review that. Obviously not that. It turns out that none of those experiments will soon make it to a bargaining table near Players Association executive director Tony Clark.

Read the rest of the story here.


Now you see ’em, now you don’t: MLB pulls rule changes off the table for this series of work baseball fights