Dodgers Opinions: Thoughts on the Owners vs. Players & Short Season Ramifications

(Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

I had really hoped that by the time my turn to write for this fine little blog again had rolled around, there would actually be something more concrete about the season to discuss. After all, the MLB had said it was sending their proposal to the players’ union early in the week. But there hasn’t been too much chatter about that yet, except for the whole fighting over money thing.

I mean, I get it. Completely rearranging an entire season takes time, even if you’re not dealing with something as insane as a pandemic. Logistics alone of halving a season and making a totally new schedule seem like a huge mountain to climb. And then you have to worry about who gets what money? It’s all too much.

I say this last part tongue-in-cheek, of course. Money should be one of the last things in this, as it’s the league’s duty to get back to normal for the good of the country, right? I mean what’s a little lost income? The rest of the country is dealing with the same issue. These are rich people! Why should the owners be pressing the players to play for less than what was agreed upon, when they, the players, are the ones taking the risk? And when they, the literal billionaires, sit at home assuming none of this risk? Many people like to sit at home and poo-poo the players for not playing. “It’s a game! You get paid good money! You should be thankful! Entertain me!!!”

It’s true, many of these men get to play a kid’s game for a lot of dough and that’s a pretty sweet setup. But also, a lot of these players have underlying conditions. Or a very close family member like a spouse has underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to a disease. Is the extra money worth it, the pressure to play a game to ‘entertain’ millions who have been left without sports for months? I can’t say I blame them for worrying about their own lives before they worry about making billionaires and sports fans happy. The billionaires have more money to lose without going broke. Maybe it’s time they sacrificed for the country and the fans.

In the meantime, we poor schmucks are left to fill our days with any sports related content we can. I personally enjoy listening to Joe Davis’ and Orel Hershiser‘s podcast On Air with Joe and Orel.

This week’s episode includes a chat with Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. There were a couple things they touched on that made me wonder about once the season gets going again.

JT mentioned that the team as of this moment is basically divided into thirds. Some went home, wherever that may be for a particular player, like Clayton Kershaw and Ross Stripling in Texas. Some are in Los Angeles, like JT and Joc Pederson. And some are still in Arizona. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, because they are major leaguers and they know how to keep themselves in shape. But the wrinkle to this all is that some states have more relaxed rules about what you can and cannot do.

Keeping in regular shape isn’t the issue. Cody Bellinger has been in the batting cages in Arizona. Turner and Joc just got together last week in a park with team trainer Brandon McDaniels to play catch with someone other than a mesh screen for the first time in months. How will this effect them once the season resumes?

And when it does resume, what are the ways the players will motivate themselves without fans? Also, in a quiet stadium, do you talk more, or less? Trash talk more? Discuss strategy less? Censor yourself when you’re on the mound because you’re more aware of the cursing you’re doing? (But honestly, please don’t ever change Walker Buehler and Rich Hill).

Will there be a moratorium on being able to physically touch teammates in times of celebration for a big play like a homer or a go ahead hit? I for one wonder how long before players just forgo a no touching rule and high fives and celebrating happens with abandon. JT also joked that they should bring back the bubble machine. I am all for that! Anything that the players can do to get themselves hyped, regardless of how silly it might seem.

Of course, all these questions apply to all 30 teams so it isn’t just the Dodgers who would have to deal with these issues in a vacuum. All players are scattered around the country. All teams are going to have to figure out how to deal with no crowds. Honestly, I think the Dodgers will be better at this because they are such a “heads down, do work team.” But this is all for naught if the owners and players can’t reach an agreement to safely play as much of the season as possible. Let’s hope that reason prevails above personal interest and we see baseball back on our TVs sooner than later.


17 thoughts on “Dodgers Opinions: Thoughts on the Owners vs. Players & Short Season Ramifications

  1. You missed this one Andy. Players who have family and loved ones with underling conditions should play for 10 mil. but not 5 million? Is that how you price the safety of loved ones? And the owners will lose a lot less if they scrap the season altogether, rather than paying the players 5 million let alone 10 million. At this point in the year playing makes no sense for the players health or the owners pocket book. I know you are a avid fan, but there is no indication that this virus is near finished, although it is less intrusive in some areas. One player is positive and they shut down for 2 weeks? Or the player with loved ones with underlying conditions keeps playing because he got his 10 million? I’m afraid this season is lost and we should hope they can play in 2021.

    1. I don’t think I missed at all, I think that we are agreeing. I don’t think it’s silly for the players to be worried about such things and the ownership to be crying about money. I also stated it should only be done if it could be done safely multiple times. I’m not avidly rooting for it to be played no matter what

  2. I’m so ready to see Mookie Betts in a home Dodger blue uniform patrolling RF and hauling ass round the bases. This is the purest baseball player the Dodgers have had in 30 years. He can honestly do it all. Only Trout rivals him as a pure ballplayer.

  3. I like your view on this Andy, ownership is good at getting public opinion to criticize players for the amounts of money they play for, it seems players are always spun into a negative light, yet the billionaire owners rarely get any heat on money issues.
    I really miss baseball, but I don’t want to see the players pressured into playing if they don’t think it is safe.

  4. I do not think any of us wish to see anyone put at risk, And all of us wish they were at least back in camp and getting ready for the season. From what I have read, most of the players are working out in some way. Getting ready would entail seeing MLB type pitching, and that really would not take long to get accustomed to. The thing is, the MLBPA already agreed to some of the conditions for a re start. Now if a player feels there is too much risk, and does not want to play, that is his choice. He can forfeit his salary, since he is not meeting his contractual obligations and sit at home. It will open the door for a young stud to see what he can do in a shortened MLB season. On a sad note, former Astro player and GM Bob Watson passed away at 74 years old. RIP. Former Astro player and manager Art Howe is in the ICU with Covid-19.

    1. Zactly Bear.

      Andy have you ever owned a business? Andy, do you have a degree in economics? Just curious of your experience in such economic realities. I think you may not know what you don’t know.

      1. As with most writers, Andy is just voicing an opinion. We all have them. Sometimes they nail the subject right on the head. But I have seen businessmen who even though they may have had MBA degrees could not run a popcorn stand correctly, and people who had no degrees succeed. It is all about how you play the game, and the amount of drive and dedication one places on their business.

      2. Not that it’s any of your business, pun intended, but yes, both my husband and I are small business owners so I may know a teeny bit. I also know I’m not going to take the side of billionaire owners. If you’d like to do that, have at it. And most importantly, I know how to disagree without it becoming personal. This is just a small blog where I get to voice my opinions, as others have stated. We don’t have to agree 😃

  5. Please IJDM explain it all to her given all your infinite wisdom. Are you some MLB executive that allows you to comment about the moves the Dodgers make. It’s her opinion. If you disagree then state your case. No need for personal insults

  6. I for one, think Andy and Dennis are excellent writers, and they run a site that I have enjoyed posting on and writing, (One article) on. They do not toe the owners line, nor do they come on all for the players. The owners are in it for the money. Not many buy teams for prestige. Most sports franchises struggle to make money. Others are total cash cows. Players are there because they are able to perform at a higher level than any of us could ever achieve. When I was a kid, and into my teens, I wanted to play professional baseball. That was my dream. 2 things interfered with that dream. The fact that I did not have the required skill set, and joining the Army. But the dream was always there. Thank God I had a natural talent as a singer, so I could channel that dream and achieve some measure of success as such. No, I am not a great recording artist, nor have I sold millions of records. But my music entertained 1000’s over the years, and of that I am most proud. I am no business man. Never was. Always worked for someone else. But I had a profession where I did not have to look them in the eye every day. It was like the Skynard song, Freebird. I was on the road, and on my own. As long as I kept my schedule and made my deliveries on time, I never heard from the big cheese. I admire those who have the wherewithal to go into business and make something of it. Andy and Dennis devote a lot of time to this blog to keep us engaged in the sport we love. Kudos to them both.

    1. Thank you Bear for the kind words, and thank you for your service! My dad was career Army guy, and was in both Vietnam and Korea. Also received the Bronze Star (sorry, I never miss an opportunity to be proud of my dad) Again to everyone else, I am more than happy to have conversations and discussions of any kind that’s about Dodger baseball. None of us will ever agree on everything and that’s what life is.

      1. My pleasure Andy. I meant every word. I only wish I was a better writer because there are some subjects about the Dodgers and baseball I would love to write about some day. Including the fact that Gil Hodges is not in the hall. And many who were lesser players are.

  7. My dad was in the Navy during WWII and Korea. He was on the USS Nevada when Pearl Harbor was bombed and was wounded when the Arizona blew up. I am proud of his service also. I missed Nam simply because my MOS was not needed over there.

  8. Seems like they are focusing on a season of 78 games. They would play 48 against their normal division opponents. And 30 against the rest. It gives some teams a huge advantage. Others, no so much. There will be no spitting, or hugging. MLB projects a loss of 4 billion in revenue playing in empty stadiums.

  9. Here’s a link to a fascinating article by Mike Petriello on how we almost got the St. Louis Browns in 1942 instead of the Dodgers in 1958. I had never heard this story and Petriello carries it forward to show how the baseball landscape would have changed dramatically if it had actually happened.
    There’s also an interesting link in the middle of the article as to how the NL almost voted to adopt the DH in 1982.

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