Hopefully the players and owners won't test fan patience

Maybe I am completely wrong here, but at least as is relates to the game's fans, a lockout in Major League Baseball, for now, means very little. Yes the flow of news will slow but there will still be topics to discuss and the game will return at some point.

The at some point part here is the really important part. MLB tested the emotions of its fans during a pandemic in 2020 and some of its fans are still hurting in some ways, financially or otherwise. MLB should consider that during these talks. Time to stop messing with the feelings and emotions of the fans of the sport.

It's not this simple really but in one aspect maybe it is - it's a $10 billion dollar industry and they are fighting over how to slice up one huge pie. So do it players and owners and try to somewhere, somehow find common ground. The distrust here is big and not since the passing of former MLBPA executive director Michael Wiener in 2013 have the sides had some smooth sailing it seems to me.

Heck the players association still has a grievance pending over the shortened 2020 season, seeking additional compensation from a season of 60 games that it contends should have been longer. How the sides handled that negotiation and how it got so ugly in the media was exhibit A on how not to handle things.

So at least this time around there has been less media leaking, fewer angry tweeting and more negotiations behind the scenes. At least we hope that is the case. There was one report yesterday that the sides met for only seven minutes. For me that is an insult to all that care about and love the game. At least make it look like you are trying.

I have read opinions that the system in baseball is broken. Yet pitcher Max Scherzer just signed a deal that will pay him $43 million the next three years. And he's 37. Marcus Semien signed a seven-year deal for $175 million and he has a career OPS of .768, just over league average. The Orioles' Anthony Santander, whose OPS dropped from .890 in 2020 to .720 last year and who was limited to 110 games last summer, just got about a 50 percent raise from $2.1 to $3.15 million for 2022.

May all our professions be so broken.

The players contend more teams need to be competitive. More teams need to try harder to win. The Orioles get criticized for having a lower payroll. Yet the Orioles say they are indeed trying to win. They are trying to build lasting success and produce a team that can contend for years and years and not just in a short window of time.

I don't know the answer here but MLB set the rules and then the players side said it didn't like those rules. Yet it allows players to get massive raises once they reach arbitration. How about a system that pays for performance. You play better, you earn more. Good luck with that.

One proposal from the players side suggested some sort of draft lottery where the first three picks would be determined via a lottery and not just won-loss record. The team with the most losses would have the best mathematical chance still to get the top pick but it would not be a guarantee.

But you've got to be kidding me if you think doing this for just the top three picks is going to have much impact. They can't believe that a bad team will now be spending a lot more money because it might pick third not first. These are decisions these two sides make that keep producing poor solutions to whatever problems the game has.

And the problems depend on who is doing the looking. The fans might not like the pace of play and infield shifts. Players might not like teams they say are tanking. Owners might not like 37-year-old pitchers making $43 million. Getting the sides to both agree on the problems and how to fix them seems impossible in this game.

But they need to find a way to split their pie.

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