MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred as he appeared on CNN with Anderson Cooper Tonight (cnn.com photo)
Television can only save Baseball
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
Unless there is a bottom of the ninth walk-off home run, the first week of negotiations on trying to come to an agreement between the baseball owners and the players union did not produce much more than quotes from both sides, and signs of frustration from both sides. Commissioner Rob Manfred said on CNN “If we don’t play a season, the losses for the [club] owners could approach $4 billion.”
Blake Snell, Tampa Bay starter, who won the Cy Young in the American League in 2018, said that playing for anything less than his full $7 million salary is “just not worth it” as he cited safety concerns, something that Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle had said early in the week.
Phillies mega star Bryce Harper reacted to Snell comments by saying: “He ain’t lying, he’s right. He’s speaking the truth bro. I ain’t mad at him. Somebody’s gotta say it, at least he manned up and said it. Good for him. I love Snell, the guy’s a beast. One of the best lefties in the game.”This is what Snell had said a day earlier:”Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof. No, I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?”
The Commissioner made his case by saying that because baseball is a seasonal business, and the season never got started and there are no revenues, the sport could be devastated. He also said he has “great confidence” that both sides will come to an agreement to play in 2020. MLB concerns about the Coronavirus pandemic is understandable. “A laboratory in Utah, which MLB normally uses for drug testing for minor league players, will handle the testing, and there will be a 24-hour turnaround,” Manfred said.
At the conclusion of the week, the main issues remain salary of players and health of players.
Television could be the cure for 2020. No disrespect to radio and print media, but TV revenues for baseball are unmatched. With zero revenues, no attendance, luxury boxes, concessions, parking revenues, baseball will definitely feel that television would be the greatest medicine, to alleviate some of the financial hit taken by baseball, not to mention to heal the country as baseball is needed more than ever today as the National Pastime.
Have a great weekend. Stay tuned and Stay well.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the play by play Spanish radio voice for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com