BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
Did MLB and the MLBPA really need this lockout?
What individuals will sympathize with both sides.
Regardless of whether you’re a casual fan or a member of the media, we’d do anything to earn what the players and owners are making?
What did we learn from the 1994 Strike?
First, the World Series was cancelled and it left a bad taste in the mouths of the fans.
Second, this turned out to be the beginning of the end for the Montreal Expos who eventually moved to Washington DC and became the Nationals.
Third, former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was determined to break the union and there hasn’t been a meaningful work stoppage since, until now.
What saved Baseball?
Say what you want about Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire taking PED’s but their 1998 Home Run Chase was one for the ages. McGwire and Sosa broke Roger Maris (61) by slugging 70 and 66 respectively.
The owners profited dearly as fans would come to the games early and watch these guys in batting practice. As a result, the concession and souvenir stands made out well financially.
While McGwire and Sosa never sniffed Cooperstown and became Hall of Famers, there accomplishments are still revered.
On September 6, 1995, a record that appeared to become unbreakable was broken.
Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Car Ripken Jr passed Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game streak by appearing in his 2131 game. The game between the Orioles and California Angels on ESPN still ranks as one of the network’s most-watched games.
Cal’s children, Rachel and Ryan, threw out the ceremonial first balls. Both President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were at the game.
The celebration at Camden Yards was memorable. Had MLB decided to use replacement players during 1994, this record would have never been broken.
As I mentioned, there will be no sympathy from the fans.
Since 1994, people have more things to do as far as entertainment.
Social Media is making both MLB and the MLBPA look bad. There are millions of podcasts to compliment old school media. There are no shortage of opinions!
Fans will not pay outrageous costs to go to games figuring the game ticket, parking, concessions and souvenir stands. They would prefer to watch the games at home with the MLB Ticket on TV.
Will the owners care that much that they won’t get local TV revenue at the end of April?
Perhaps, but then again, they won’t be paying the players so this could be a wash.
What players better realize is that when Covid-19 slammed the sports world with no fans allowed to attend games, the owners bit the bullet with revenue. Do you think these billionaires are worried about cancelling games since only 60 were played in 2020?
I would say no! The owners could decide to break the union again and this time they know the fans will eventually return. They always do after things settle down.
The owners will try to get a handle on salaries continuing to get out of control. After all, once the players continue to lose paychecks and the bills don’t get paid, we’ll see who cracks.
In the meantime, The Damage Is Done!
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can view his broadcasts on www.southfloridatribune.com. There is no charge to subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.