Players, Owners, Whatever. As Pirate Fans, We Already Lost Again

(Don Wright/Associated Press)

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As other Pittsburgh blogs have been active in the baseball space during the work stoppage, we have been, relatively, quiet.  This has nothing to do with our lack of attention to baseball, nor our fanhood being less than others. 

In fact, I am a Pirates season ticket holder, and both Brian and Cody, our other Gold Lot Sports contributors, have talked extensively with me recently about baseball and Pirates article ideas.  My first ever fantasy league I was in was a fantasy baseball league with Brian when we were in the 5th grade.  We are as big of fans as any.

They have been clamoring to get baseball content on the site, and it will start soon.  And don’t worry, when it does, you’ll all more than likely feel we’re putting out too much than too little.  We are all avid baseball fans and love the Pirates.  However, as editor-in-chief I have shut down some baseball article ideas for the time being.   Why would I do that?

We are not ignoring baseball, and we are all chomping at the bit for a season.  I crave baseball games in the Spring, and it’s really what gets me out of my seasonal depressive funk caused by the winter cold.

The reason we are holding off for now is because as Pirates fans, we already lost.

We lost.  Pirate fans lost, and we continue to lose every single time one of these CBA’s expire and a new one is agreed to.  The MLBPA, and the owners, really have no interest in fixing what is actually wrong with the game of baseball.  Instead, Scott Boras gathers round his group of the highest paid players in the game and goes up against petty and stubborn billionaires as they fight over who gets the extra $2 we paid for our already overpriced hot dog and if a handful of more players can hit arbitration quicker. 

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers will still receive $120 million for their local television contract, keeping a large majority of it, while the Pirates receive $40 million, despite the fact that without teams like the Pirates there’d be no money to split.  Also, the Dodgers will just go on spending that money to their limit, and then some, because the limit is really just a recommendation and not a rule. 

I recently read a tweet from, well-respected, MLB writer, Jeff Passan.  Someone asked the likelihood of a salary cap or salary floor being implemented.  He replied with “0%.  Saying cap to the union is like saying Voldemort at Hogwarts.  It’s a non-starter.”

That’s crushing to read.  The players themselves are turning down the salary cap and floor.  However, if they thought even for a second about the economics of it all, 80% of the players would benefit mightily from the salary floor, the middle 15% would probably benefit a little as well, and that top 5% would be mildly affected negatively by the salary cap.  But who’s representing the player’s union in these negotiations?  That top 5%. 

Baseball has no desire to fix what’s actually wrong with the sport, and we as Pirate fans are among the most affected.  Not only do we have one of the most selfish owners in all of baseball, but we’re in a city that generates 6x less in television revenue than others.  It’s as if you are the CEO of Tim’s Windows and Doors, and you’re stumped as to why you’re not generating the revenue of Home Depot or Lowe’s, while still trying to compete in the same space (if Tim’s Windows and Doors is a real company, this is a metaphor and not a shot at Tim, I’m sure he’s a nice guy).

The inequity will continue, the lack of spending from most of the smaller market teams will continue, and the losses will continue for Pirate fans.  “But baseball has the most parity!” some will yell without realizing that sure, over a 162-game a new team or two will make the playoffs every year, but there will be 12 large market teams and 2 small market teams that make the playoffs in this new proposal on the table.

It’s a shame.  

We will bring you some of what I believe will be the best baseball opinions and coverage in the city because we’re truly that invested in the team.  But not yet.   

Instead of idle speculation of our starting lineup, or who the DH will be, we’re delaying our baseball coverage until (hopefully) these negotiations end this week.  Even though we expect it will change nothing for the Pirates, because nothing ever does change for the Pirates.  *Sigh*