By David Little – @DLittleMLB
I am sure you have noticed. No ones really moving. No one is signing. Big names like Darvish and Arrieta continue to sit and wait. Not only does winter drag for us because, well, its winter. But when players aren’t signing, it becomes extra stale as the effect on us is also being forced to sit and wait. For us in Boston, we have been anxiously waiting to see who we sign, with our sights being set on JD Martinez. However, JD has been holding out, waiting for more years.
The player’s union is upset. And I am going to get some heat for this, because I think they are justified. There is a general feeling that there is collusion in the league, and that teams are not willing to spend money. Ken Rosenthal recently wrote how the players are upset about this. To sum it up, the players and their representatives believe that the league is working together to hold out on dishing out money, effectively forcing the players to take salary’s below what they feel they deserve.
This is leading to animosity between the players, the teams, and from what I have seen, us the fan base. But should we really be that upset? Baseball players are the most specialized professional athletes on earth, playing on the biggest stages. They know how much teams are getting for signing revenue contracts, and generating ticket sales, concert sales, and merchandise sales, and they feel that they should be compensated. If you look at it similar to a cost of life increase that many of us require in our jobs, they also expect the upward trend that has been going on in their profession. And when you are a league leader in homeruns or strikeouts, you expect to be compensated accordingly for your services.
Now us, as the regular people, sometimes resent this. But the cold hard truth is, we don’t do what they do. You can take any baseball player in the league and teach them how to do our job, but can you hit 30 plus homers a year and stay healthy doing so? I sure can’t. These players are the best in the world, and the massive contracts we see are only given out to the leaders in their sport. Guys like Sandy Leon and Brock Holt will never make what Mookie just won in arbitration. But at the same time, Mookie’s salary sets the tone for what the Holts of the league will make.
Its big money. Huge money. And no one disputes that. But these guys are the best in the world at doing the things we love. They are hitters, pitchers, runners and fielders that create the excitement that can’t be reproduced anywhere. And they have a point. They need to be paid, or they wont keep doing it. And the last thing we want is a lockout, because that’s exactly where this is going at this point.
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