Cancel the 2020 MLB Season

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MLB negotiations have been going on for about five weeks now with no end in sight. This has left the fans disillusioned and alienated. On top of this, four teams have shut down their training facilities because players/ family members/staffers have tested positive or shown symptoms of COVID-19. Also, two Angels players have tested positive for COVID-19. The MLB should just end this saga, cancel the 2020 season, and focus on the 2021 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) so that we see a full season in 2021.

Negotiations

The negotiations between the MLBPA and the MLB owners have been like a messy divorce. The players have villainized the owners on social media. The owners have used the media to help villainize the players. Both have become entrenched in their positions, leaving the fans in no man’s land. Fans who are out of work or watching their businesses lose money do not want to hear millionaires complain about losing money. Anyone struggling to pay rent does not want to hear someone complain about ‘only’ making $250,000. These contract negotiations have left the majority of fans disillusioned and at this point apathetic. A lot of fans are sick to their stomach hearing about these negotiations and have just immersed themselves in the KBO, MLB replays, or other sports that have resumed.

Manfred

Fans have grown sick of commissioner Robert Manfred’s promises and changes to the game we love. On June 10th, Manfred said, “it’s 100 percent that a 2020 season will take place.” Only 5 days later, Manfred walked back his confidence because of health and safety protocols. Did he suddenly forget that a global pandemic is still going on?

On top of this, Manfred is further alienating National League fans by bringing in the Universal DH. Sure a lot of fans want this. However, the overwhelming majority of National League fans who responded to my previous article “Why the Universal DH is a Bad Idea” DO NOT want the DH in the National League. But does Manfred care? No, he wants to try to appease the players and bring in new fans. Any potential new fan seeing how poor this situation was handled will steer clear of the MLB (not to mention all the cheating scandals).

Safety of the Players

On Friday, 4 teams shut down their training facilities because players/family members/staffers have tested positive for COVID-19. These four teams are the San Francisco Giants, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Texas Rangers, and the Toronto Blue Jays. The Angels have also had 2 players test positive recently. As states have begun to open up, the fear of  the virus has gone down. However, the number of cases has risen in many states.

Florida has seen a huge spike in cases in June which is very troubling for the MLB. 15 teams have their Spring Training facilities in Florida. Arizona, home to the other 15 teams’ Spring Training facilities, has also seen a big spike in cases in June. While most of these players and their families are young and will most likely recover, we still do not know about the potential long-term effects this respiratory illness could have on people. Also, these players travelling from state to state could spread the virus and put them at a higher risk of getting COVID-19.

Conclusion

The MLB should absolutely cancel the 2020 season. As much as I wanted to see baseball this year the safety of the players, their families, and the staffers are more important. The MLB can use the news of these 4 facilities being shut down as a valid excuse to cancel the season while not making it about the negotiations. These negotiations have become more about both sides trying to “win” rather than reaching a fair agreement. In order to have a 2021 season, the players and the owners need to repair their relationship by working towards an amicable agreement for the new CBA. Manfred also needs to be fired for the current state of the MLB, the way this off-season is being handled, and for alienating the current fan base. Cancel Manfred and the 2020 season.


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