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Mudville: June 23, 2024 11:32 am PDT

MLB Stooges

Here in rainy, dreary Mudville there is rarely any joy – and last week the Major League Owners and Players Association did their parts to keep the bad vibes coming.

A meeting was finally scheduled to reopen dialogue that would approve a new CBA and insure we would have our beloved baseball season start on time. What happened instead was to be expected… but also added to the growing resentment we folks are having toward the game.

I don’t need to review the constant barrage of stupidity that has been dumped in our laps over that past however many years. It’s been beaten to death and why relive the past when the present adds more wood to the fire? MLB can’t help themselves. They clearly live under the thought process that there is no such thing as bad publicity and right now that’s all they have.

Let’s be clear who MLB is. It’s not Rob Manfred. It’s not the league offices or the staff at 1271 Avenue of the Americas in New York City.

It’s the owners. The owners “hire” the Commissioner and that person does the bidding of the very group of people that, for the most part, care more about profit than performance. We see right through it and they can’t figure out how. Case in point: There is a lockout of the players by the owners which already has our blood simmering toward a boil and the teams are sending reminders to renew season tickets or buy single game tickets.

MLB team owners (clockwise from top left): Mark Walter (Dodgers), Arte Moreno (Angels), Hal Steinbrenner (Yankees), John Henry (Red Sox), Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox) and Tom Ricketts (Cubs).<br /> (Getty Images)

We are taking away the game from you – the fans – but give us your money. Seriously?  Now we are not blind enough to not see that they still have to run the business of the club, but the timing just fans the flames of resentment. You know how we will handle this? Just like we handle every other slap in the face baseball gives us. We will cry about the sting while we open our wallets. We can’t help ourselves.

Joe Blow is here to tell you that there are three sides, not two, in this labor deal. We the fans are the third party. We place blame where we choose, we complain about one side or the other not being there for us in our moment of need and continue to build up this resentment that makes us want to just walk away and start fresh someplace else.  We won’t and the other two sides know it so they continue to blow smoke up our butts and tell us they love the game and want nothing more that for labor peace and full season of baseball while showing us the exact opposite.

While I’m in a rant about the owners, let’s go ahead and chat about that for a moment. Imagine you belong to a club. It costs quite a bit to get in but once you’re in, you can stay for as long as you want.  The perks of this club are quite extensive. You have pretty much complete control over the entire industry, you can treat your employees and customers pretty much any way you want to, you never really have to show your face unless things are going great – or your franchise wins a piece of metal and you make piles and piles of money. If you don’t like your current building, you get to threaten to move so local governments and taxpayers give you more money to build a better building. Not a bad club. You even get to choose who joins the club and if that person opens up in a new area you can charge them even more. You see, we don’t have that problem in Mudville because the residents own the team.

Maybe MLB needs an owner like Charlie Finley again.

Everything is nice and easy for this group until one if the members gets too loud or crazy like a Bill Veeck, Charlie Finley or George Steinbrenner. Maybe Steve Cohen will be the next one to have the rest of the group first start talking about him behind their back, then publicly and finally they get their hand-picked stooge to give them a talking to or a fine. What a club!

The hand-picked stooge is interesting because that person becomes the villain while the club members hide in the shadows. Once they had a stooge to make sure there were no players of color employed.  They had a stooge that turned a blind eye to PED use so they could profit from it and now they have a stooge who seemingly knows nothing about their industry or have a concern about the customers. Oh, they’ve tried to let outsiders be the stooge but those folks were to practical and focused on the customers so they moved them out.

Who gets the short end of the stick? Most of the employees, especially the ones that are in training, the customers and recently the writers. You see the customers always find someone to blame when things are askew. The writers get blamed for the way they vote for the Hall of Fame but the club members put them in that spot to begin with. Now the writers aren’t without some blame, but they do a great job the majority of the time and without them, the customers might not really know what the club members are up to because the stooge won’t tell. In the end it’s us, the customer, who continues to buy a product that is unfulfilling.

We won’t stop buying it either. It doesn’t matter that we buy it and it makes us mad to no fucking end.  We buy the product because we want it to look like the first time we bought it.  It’s kind of like your favorite restaurant. You keep going back and tell folks you’ve never had a bad meal there, but it was the first meal that was the best.

At the end of the day there will be baseball this year. Will it start in time? Joe Blow hopes and thinks so (ed note: it won’t be). Will it be perfect and will the owners and players complain about what had to happen to get back to work? Yep.

Until next time, the folks from Mudville still look for some joy.

Mike Nelson is a Director of Sales by day but at night is a boomer baseball ranter who assumes the persona of Joe Blow from Mudville. His biggest baseball claim to fame was hitting for a double cycle in a sandlot game. Dick Allen was mean to him when he was 12 years old

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