Wednesday Newsletter time: Massive failure by baseball owners, players results in cancellation of Rangers-Yankees season opener
Looking for a side to blame? Pick one. You won't be wrong.
Allow me a moment to speak freely:
I don’t really give a two turds about who said what late Tuesday afternoon. It doesn’t matter what each side thinks they did right and what the other side did to blow up negotiations aimed to end the MLB lockout.
The first two series of the regular season have been canceled.
Want to blame the owners? You’re not wrong.
Want to blame the players? Also not wrong.
Together they have done tremendous harm to the national pastime, what’s left of it. The owners and players just want the most possible dollars in their pockets, regardless of the fallout, and yet failing to reach agreement does not result in that.
Canceling games and turning off fans — you know, the people who buy tickets and hot dogs and beers and watch games on TV — isn’t good for the long-term financial health of the sport.
The No. 1 issue between the owners and players is the competitive balance tax, which the owners say is necessary to give small-market teams a chance at a World Series. The players believe the CBT acts as a salary cap.
The players have other goals, and actually reached some of them.
The union all along wanted more money in its young players’ pockets, and got the owners to move significantly in that direction. The minimum salary would have gone up $130,000 to $700,000. That doesn’t include the $30 million bonus pool for up to 150 pre-arbitration players.
Both sides seemed poised to agree to a 12-team postseason, which was a win for the players. The owners wanted a 14-team playoff that would have been worth $100 million, but settled on 12 for, as one outlet reported, $85 million.
That’s more money than a 10-team postseason offered.
From my seat, it looks as if the owners made more concessions and that the players tried to make up for all their failings in the previous two CBAs. They’re being too greedy.
Could the owners have done more? Sure. This is their lockout, after all, as the players like to point out. The owners could have started negotiating sooner than they did, as the players also like to point out.
They shouldn’t have added the international draft at the last minute. That’s long been a union no-go.
But from afar it looks as if the owners were expecting the players’ offer Tuesday to come more toward the middle than it did, especially after a marathon session Monday. Had the players given a little more, maybe the owners come back in kind and a deal gets reached.
It’s possible the whole thing was a charade and this is the outcome the owners wanted, as some players have suggested. I wouldn’t trust any of the club owners any farther than I could throw them.
Rob Manfred? The same goes for him, but he’s just the owners’ messenger. A lot of people are shooting the messenger, but should probably aim higher.
I also wonder if the all players are getting proper representation.
The members of the executive committee, which includes new Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien, have made their money. The player reps from each club are usually veterans who have made some money.
What about the player who might not have a long career ahead and needs to make what he can get now? Do you think former Rangers pitcher Wes Benjamin would take $700,000 this season?
Of course he would.
Did the voices of players like that have any say, or was it the voice of Max Scherzer, who signed a contract worth $43 million in 2022, and Semien, who will make $25 million?
All that matters today is the lockout remains in place and regular-season games have been canceled.
Blame whoever you want. There’s no wrong answer.
When will Rangers open?
Let’s play a game, since that’s what baseball’s owners and players are doing.
This one will be more fun that theirs, though.
What is your best guess for when the 2022 regular season begins? Maybe we should put money on this.
The soonest possible date is around April 7 or 8.
The Rangers would open April 8 at Toronto, not March 31 at home against Joey Gallo and the Yankees. That sucks. The Rangers’ home opener would be April 11 vs. Colorado.
I’m going with April 22 for the season opener, which would have the Rangers at Oakland. Ugh.
As for spring training, the players need around four weeks of workouts and a couple days to get to camp, so my spring training guess is March 21.
Maybe our little game here isn’t fun after all.
The failed negotiations have stalled out the Rangers Newsletter’s plans for spring training. We’re still going, but when and how are now in question.
It’s driving me bleeping crazy.
If things look promising Thursday and Friday, we could be there as soon as Sunday. If things look as if they will drag on another couple weeks, it looks I’ll be doing a lot of phone interviews.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t sign up for a paid subscription for only $5.99 a month or $60 a year.
The staples will still be there, like T.R.’s Memoirs. He’s in the middle of a two-part story about how the Rangers’ World Series teams were built. There’s also Friday on the Farm, the Sunday Read and other offerings for subscribers only.
And look at it this way: The more who sign on, the larger our travel budget gets.
Dogs are just awesome. Enjoy. See you Thursday.