For my career - but in reality my entire life – I have scheduled activities and social gatherings around sporting events.
I didn’t think I could survive such a stretch, but here we are.
The good news is the light at the end of tunnel, at least from a sports standpoint, may be approaching.
The gradual reopening of states across the country has shifted the focus to our elected officials regarding the return of sports.
President Donald Trump has been vocal for weeks that he “wants our sports back,” and regardless of your politics who could argue that take.
Of course safety issues, especially in states hit hardest by COVID-19, have raised questions about how and when the games could resume.
Thankfully, Governor Gavin Newsom of California and Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed Monday the realistic possibility within the coming weeks that sports could resume in both states, but with the reality that fans will not be permitted in the stands.
It’s been tough to find good news anywhere during this pandemic, but waking up to that put a smile on my face.
The ball is now in the court of the respective leagues to put a plan into place for getting back on the field.
For Major League Baseball, the proposal for a June spring training and early July Opening Day seems practical and realistic, but a brewing war between the owners and Players Association could cause some serious issues.
Both agreed in March to pro-rate the players salaries for the 2020 season at the outset of the pandemic.
However, with the harsh reality of no fans in the seats for likely all of 2020, the owners proposed additional cuts to players salary in the form of revenue sharing, a clause that was universally rejected by the Players Association.
Over the past week, many players expressed their frustration with the proposal and took to social media to make their feelings heard.
Let me make something clear: the players are right.
If they agreed to a stipulation with salaries in March and all of a sudden the terms are changing come late May, the owners are in the wrong.
However, I couldn’t have been more turned off by the comments of Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell, who expressed his displeasure with the proposal sighting a fair concern for his health, but also proclaiming on Twitch “I gotta get mine.”
Blake Snell should be smart enough to realize that the country is hurting.
We are facing a global pandemic and you may have fair, legitimate concerns about your health and salary.
However, when you are a million-dollar athlete proclaiming “I gotta get mine” with millions of people unemployed, you come across as tone deaf and out of touch.
Baseball was able to survive the 1994 strike in many cities, but in some cities they never recovered. Likewise, the sport’s national popularity never recovered.
There is no possible way both the owners and Players Association are going to let their financial fight get in the way of starting the 2020 season, is there?
There are no winners when billionaire owners take on millionaire players.
Americans need baseball to help heal, they need their players back on the field. They can’t be stupid and cancel the season because of this.
If they do, the sport will never recover.
You can listen to me on weeknights from 1 to 6 a.m. on WFAN.