Thoughts on Major League Baseball and Its Lockdown

We are now about six weeks away from what should be the time when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. However, we don’t seem to be any closer to a resolution between the Players Association and Major League Baseball.

In fact, MLB seems hell bent on not giving in to any of the players’ demands, or allowing any criticism of any sort. This was clearly shown by the firing of reporter Ken Rosenthal, for having critical things to say about Commissioner Rob Manfred. If that is any indication about how the rest of the lockout is going to go down, we may be in for a longer time without baseball than we had planned.

However, we know the one thing that owners are driven by, and that is money. Especially after coming off two years of pandemic-compromised seasons, one would think that both sides would want to work towards a solution sooner than later. It will just be which wins out – lack of income because the season is not being played, or the owners somehow giving up some of that massive wealth of theirs to give the players the percentage of the revenue that they deserve. This is especially true for players in the minor leagues, who have to endure long bus rides, sleeping five or six to a one bedroom apartment, sad meals, and a tiny paycheck to boot.

Depending on when the lockout ends, we may see a flurry of moves like we did before the lockout began. There could be just a few weeks for teams to sign any of the plethora of free agents out there looking for a new home (or, returning home. And no Clayton Kershaw, I don’t mean you returning to Texas).

Would that be enough to renew interest in the sport that seemingly can’t get out of its own way in regards to growing the game? Many big transactions per day leading into Spring Training could garner positive headlines after no news for so long about The American Pastime.

Personally, I think they were get close to Spring Training before they start talking, and won’t get anything done in time for the set start date. I think the season will be abbreviated, maybe by 10-20 games. I’d like to think they’d hammer it out for the good of the game but as previously stated, we know it’s all about greed.

So in the meantime TBPC readers, what would you like to see talked about here? Profiles on players, old games dissected? I’m up for any and all ideas!

35 thoughts on “Thoughts on Major League Baseball and Its Lockdown

  1. I have no sympathy for either side here.

    The least wealthy of MLB owners is still a multi-millionaire, but they always need to squeeze out every penny of profit.

    The minimum salary in MLB is over half a million dollars. That means the guy who rides the bench on a major league team, travelling around the country, staying in first class hotels and having steak for dinner every night if he wants to earns more than twenty times as much as the guy who is frying burgers at McDonalds and inhaling grease all day long. And the player is being paid that amount of money for playing a game.

    Like I said, no sympathy for either side. The guys who have my sympathy are the minor leaguers who make less than minimum wage and often times play and live in lousy conditions. That definitely needs to be fixed but it won’t even be looked at until the owners and the MLB players take care of themselves first.

    There are those who say that if the season doesn’t start on time, they’ll give up baseball and not watch or go to games any longer. You folks are absolutely entitled to your opinion. As for myself, I am not going to make that statement because baseball is my favorite sport. Whenever it comes back I’ll be in front of my TV watching the Dodgers. I’m not going to punish myself by refusing to watch after they finally solve their issues.

    As for what to talk about while the lockout is in effect, Andy? I suggest we make this a weather blog. People always want to talk about the weather. I’ll start. It’s sunny and nice here in the north San Fernando valley today. Sorry, but I don’t have the current barometric pressure reading to give you.

    1. Well Jeff, it is currently 36° here in NEPA, and we are finally expecting some measurable snow tomorrow night. I am excited about that

      1. There we go. This is great. Who needs to consider trading Lux for Castillo when we have the weather to discuss.
        I assume NEPA refers to North East Pennsylvania?
        I am excited that you’re looking forward to the snow………………………………….and that it won’t be snowing here.

      2. Yup! I am in the very northeast corner of northeast PA. I do love snow…until about the end of February. Then I’m done. Unfortunately snow rarely gets that memo

    2. No idea why I’m always on the wrong side of these discussions. While both sides are very greedy, we forget that the owners are very smart business people, who have invested Billions !!! The players are people who can through a baseball 90 mph. Or hit the same baseball. No real talent and with a few exceptions can be easily replaced. It’s true we go to see the players not the owners, but the owners will never go hungry without baseball. Not really defending the owners just saying they are generally good businessmen, and who among us would pay an aging 35 year old the money they ask over 3/4 years? I really sympathize with the kids in the minors, and yhe players should negotiate for them instead of trying to squeeze a few more million out of the owners and I think the owners would gr onside. But they don’t seem to care about them. A full year of no baseball would humble both sides.

  2. Maybe you aren’t sending the memo to the correct address.
    Even though we don’t have four seasons here, I can just imagine what Spring must feel like after a season of snow. There is certainly something to be said for experiencing all that Mother Nature has to offer.

      1. My first winter in NW Wisconsin (‘94) on an unusually nice December day before Christmas, we were parked out on the lake, sitting in chairs soaking up the sun ice fishing and my friend says to me “hey, today is the first day of winter”. Gulp. It had by that time been cold for months, the lake had been frozen thick enough to drive on it for weeks and it was the first day of winter. As beautiful as that area is, I do not miss those long cold winters.

        As for the lockdown, owners won’t suffer any great loss. They are billionaires. They don’t need baseball to remain wealthy.

  3. As for topics (it’s been a week of solid rain and temperatures in the 40s here in western Oregon)… I stopped following baseball after the ’94 strike and didn’t pick up again until the Guggenheim era. And I was too little to know the great Dodger teams of the late 70s and early 80s. I would love to see posts about those Dodger teams I missed out on, or the guys that got a baseball card but weren’t the Pedros or Orels or Fernandos of the team. Thanks for your writing, I enjoy the site!

    1. Welcome John. A couple of us here are pretty up on Dodger history. I will check with Dennis and see if he has any stories about those years.

  4. It was sunny and 68 degrees down here in Torrance, but we are supposed to be a bone chilling low tonight, of 50 degrees😀. Sorry but I can’t help rubbing it in to you guys in the rest of the country at this time of the year. I feel we may have the best weather in the country, here in the South Bay, of Southern California.

    I think we should start putting together a list of what these franchises, and their owners are worth, then we will know how full of it they are, when they claim they are all poor, and not making any money, while they are taking a hard stand against the players, during negotiations.

    John’s idea of talking about some of the sixties, seventies, and eighties teams would probably be a lot better, and a lot less negative. John you need to get bear, Jeff, and scoop going, I think they are the resident experts on the old teams. Don’t tell anybody, but I think it’s because they are pretty old😀

    1. Well Keith, at this very moment it is exactly 10 degrees here in Canon City. We got a light snow last night and I was awoken by the guys who scrape snow off of the sidewalk and our parking lot! I just spent 19 days in Southern California and sorry, your best weather sucked while I was there, chilly during the day, and it rained 8 of the 19 days I was there. And I am a Cali native, so I know what the weather there is like. Snow and cold really do not bother me all that much. I spent 3 winters in Wildflecken Germany and 2 in Chun Chon Korea. You want cold? They get it in spades there. I spent 12 years living in Phoenix, so I know the other side of the coin also. As for the lockout and baseball, I also have no sympathy for either side, I do feel for the minor leaguers who live on fast food and are at the mercy of the big club. They are getting some help with the new guidelines about housing. But they still live below the poverty level unless they got some huge signing bonus. The lockout will turn off some fans. Me, I just want baseball. One thing I won’t do though is go to any games. I will pay MLB.TV their 119.00 subscription and that is the extent of the money I will spend supporting the game. Anything I buy baseball related will come from EBAY and not the team. When they do finally get an agreement, the action will ramp up considerably. Guys like Pederson are going to have to settle for less money than they probably would like. Because no matter what, the guy with the least bargaining power is the mid level vet.

    2. Watch yourself Keith. I know where to find the folks who run this site and I can get you banned for discriminating against the elderly.

      And furthermore, you can’t just lump all us old folks together. Bear is old and still has a spectacular memory for Dodger history and all other kinds of stuff. I’m old and I’m lucky if I remember how to find this blog on my computer every day.

      While browsing online this morning I saw a story that said AF was trying to bring Kenley back before the lockout but the problem was the number of years he was offering. Apparently KJ has a number of two year offers but he wants three. Based on what I saw toward the end of the season, I’d risk it and give him three. You can probably get three years of Kenley for only a little more than what they paid Bauer for 2021.

  5. There is a report that the Dodgers tried to resign Jansen before the lockout. LA offered two years, Jansen wants three.

    1. Bear, you need to read my comments. I scooped you on that two hours ago. 🙂

      Report out that the New York Times is buying The Athletic. Before that deal was consummated, they were also in talks with FanDuel, DraftKings and Axios. They really put together quite a publication, starting in 2016 from scratch and selling today for 550 million.

  6. Looks like Mets are backing away from McCullough as they do not believe he would leave LA. Now looking for a headlines grabbing bench coach.

  7. Bear, I can’t be to Much of a young whipper snapper if I remember Buckner in right field, and the toy cannon in center with Fergy playing left field.

    Sorry you were here during the most rain we’ve had in a couple of years.

    I hope they bring Kenley back if they could give Kelly three years, they should be able to give Kenley three years.

    1. Two things to consider with the Kelly-Kenley situation:
      1) The Dodgers had a much weaker bullpen group when they signed Kelly.
      2) Kelly signed for an average salary of $7MM per year. Kenley is probably asking twice that much.
      If we could get KJ for 3/42 I’d take the chance and do it, but I’m not sure Andrew would.

      1. I don’t see them both coming back. One, maybe (hopefully), but not both. The bullpen is so much stronger now that I think AF will spend the money elsewhere. I definitely wouldn’t mind if I was wrong, though. I like both of them.

        Some of the guys who make the pen stronger (Bickford, Vesia, etc.) don’t have the long track records that KJ and JK have and Fergie and Kahnle are coming back from serious injuries. Hmmmm. I think I just talked myself into going after both Kenley and Kelly.

      2. Joe Kelly pitched ok last year. Maybe not worth 8 million but certainly worth an offer.

        Friedman always finds serviceable bullpen arms. I trust he will do it again when the doors open up.

    2. A mere child you are. I remember an outfield of Furillo, Snider and Amoros. Catcher was some guy named Campanella, nice Italian guy. Hodges at first, Gilliam at second, Reese at SS, and Robinson at 3rd sometimes. They moved him and Gilliam around the field. Pitching staff was Oisk, Newk, Loes, and Podres. Labine main man in the pen. Unless you can remember watching the 59 series, you are a toddler.

    3. Hey kid, Buckner played left most of the time when Wynn was there, the right fielder was Willie Crawford. Ferguson caught and played the outfield occasionally. Also, he played right field exactly once. In 1975. So while you might have been alive, your memory at your age is slipping badly. I suggest some memory pills. LOL.

  8. MLBTR reports the International signing period will begin on January 15th. It was pushed back because of the pandemic. Ausmus being hired as bench coach by the A’s. Hasselman leaves LA for the Angels.

  9. Fabian Ardaya, the Dodgers beat reporter for The Athletic, believes Lux is the most likely Dodger to be traded before Opening Day. Ardaya’s position on Lux lies in the fact that the 24-year-old is missing just that: a position.

    I’m old enough to remember who Fabian is.

    Wait, maybe that was a different Fabian. History isn’t really my forte.

    1. Fabian was in a John Wayne movie, North To Alaska. Had about 2 hit records and did the beach movies too. Not much after that.

      1. Yep.

        What about what Fabian said? Lux traded because he has no position? His position is starting second baseman. Unless…..

      2. I happen to like Fabian’s stuff (the writer, not the singer/actor) but I think he’s wrong here. I keep on preaching that they just need to give him one position and put him in the lineup every day for at least 1/2 a season and see what they really have. He might make a good CT3. v2 later in his career but I think he’s too tightly wound as a young player to succeed if they move him all around the diamond at this stage. He needs to feel comfortable in order to achieve his best results.

        If Fabian is correct, I can only assume that Andrew has seen something that leads him to believe Gavin will never reach his potential.

      3. Trea Turner is the best shortstop (by WAR) in baseball. Correa and Tatis are up there, but Turner is the man. Corey Seager is on page 3. He might be on page 1 if he ever stays on the field for 150 games but, who cares now. Looking at the numbers the best fit for the Dodgers going forward is the guy they have out there right now. Pay the man.

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