It's only been a few weeks, but it truly seems like an eternity since baseball fans were treated to positive news in regards to MLB's plans to start the season in early July. Though strides appear to be being made in the ugly salary dispute between owners and players, it really remains to be seen when (or if) a compromise will be made.
The loss of profits that will come as a result of the coronavirus is apparent -- owners could lose up to a grand total of $4 billion, per Rob Manfred -- but the league moaning about it comes off as hypocritical when you realize that the Kansas City Royals, who had the fourth lowest attendance in 2019, were sold for $1 billion back in August.
The following quote from Seth Levinson, who co-owns one of baseball's most notable agencies, ACES, with his brother, Sam, really hits the nail on the head as it pertains to MLB coming off as a complete joke for complaining about the financial blow from COVID-19.
"In each of the last four seasons, tanking was prevalent, and clubs violated the sacred bond with its fans to put the most competitive team on the field," Levinson told The Athletic. "With about half of the clubs bidding on the full complement of free agents, the volume of players overwhelmed the demand. The consequence was that players’ values declined, the middle class was vanquished, players’ careers were shortened, and MLB gained a greater share of the financial pie."
Can somebody frame that quote and send it to commissioner Rob Manfred's office, please? Even when teams around the league are intentionally losing and failing to drive in fans to stadiums, the league generates a profit. If this doesn't make you side with the players, then nothing will.
After all, is there really a difference between 5,000 fans and zero fans?