Nine times ? NINE TIMES … Yes Mrs. Bueller for the ninth time in MLB history there is a work stoppage. But unlike strikes and lockouts of the past this is the first time it has happened in the off season, for the first time the breaks were put on while no one was making money.  From baseball that is. 

     Some if not most of you reading this were not born the last time this happened. When the union struck in 1994. The old CBA had expired and the owners were looking for a salary cap. The players weren’t having it. And walked on August 12th. Owner Commissioner Bud Selig called off the world series a month later. And the world realized that the commissioners office was now solely in the best interest of Owners. But you’re not here for a history lesson are you. 

Where Have you gone Fay Vincent

New Ownership shill Rob Manfred announced the owners he represents were locking out the players as of Midnight on Thursday. The reasons ? Money. That’s all it ever is, Millionaires fighting billionaires and in the end the only ones bruised, battered and beaten up are The Fans. I guess no one learned from the fallout of 95’ and the damage it inflicted on the game. Damage that took years to heal. 

The Economics 

Players want to be paid more and earlier in their careers. They feel their most productive years are more or less indentured servitude to the owners. The current system is manipulated consistently by owners. Keeping payers in the minors longer and keeping them from reaching arbitration years is to their benefit. And in the long run free agency. Also to their benefit. Most players don’t reach free agency until they are close to 30. Players are also looking for a form of protection against team tanking seasons to raise up in the draft. MLBPA is also looking for a higher Competitive Balance Tax ( Luxury Tax ) levied on owners.

 

The Butterfly Effect 

As soon as Manfred opened his mouth the off season ended. But not before the owners spent more than 2.16 Billion dollars. Let me be more specific. These cash strapped owners spent Two Billion One Hundred Sixty Million dollars from the last pitch of the world series until today. I think the Red sox spent eleven dollars and eighty six cents of this number  (Sorry. Not sorry ) 

What this means 

A lockout is just that. Free agents can not sign with any team. Trades can not be made. Most importantly Players have no access to MOB i mean MLB facilities. No one recuperating from any injury has access to team doctors or physical therapists. In short, if you are employed by a MLB team in a non competitive manner you can not have any contact with any ballplayer in any way – shape or form. 

 

Who has the upper hand 

At one point in time the MLBPA was the most powerful union in sports. Hell it was rivaled only by the Teamsters in muscle at the negotiating table. Those days look long gone. The Owners are no longer Baseball Men. They are sports groups and parts of conglomerates. With their hands in many pies. Just look at the Fenway Sports Group as an example. Gone is the power that a strike or lockout held over these men needing baseball revenue to keep them afloat. These men don’t travel first class, they travel by private jet or yachts. They don’t need baseball to keep them in the manner they are accustomed to. And that should scare you. That should scare us all. This could be a fifteen round fight. One that only we the fans and the game itself could come out of battered bloodied and bruised.

 

As always you can follow / give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207