Recent weeks have revealed numerous plans intended to restart the 2020 Major League Baseball season. The plans have all been different in one way. Some have been extreme, while others were rather mundane. None have seemed plausible and a few have been downright impossible to envision taking place. All the while one thing has been clear: each and every plan is incumbent on players, umpires, and gameday personnel accepting tons of risk while the owners accept none.
To get it out of the way right off the bat, no, the owners are not taking on any sort of financial risk in any scenario that gets the MLB season going again. They may make less money, but they will still make money and the value of their franchises will continue to grow larger and the owners will be just fine financially. There are those out there who will try and argue that the owners are taking a large financial risk by bringing MLB back in any fashion in 2020. You are wrong, you know you’re wrong, and so does everyone else reading this.
The risk that matters in any scenario that sees MLB playing in 2020 is that of health. There are so many factors to consider when it comes to playing MLB games again. This article isn’t about getting into all of those risks. They have been well documented here and at other outlets. What concerns me more is the way the owners are pushing for MLB to return when they know that they have no skin in the game. There is no health risk to them if MLB comes back, it resides on gameday personnel and gameday personnel alone.
As of yet, no MLB owner has announced that they would be in attendance if games were played in a quarantined setting in May, June, July, or whenever. It’s been stated in the proposals that MLB players would be present along with trainers, announcers, coaches, umpires, minor leaguers, and others lower on the pecking order. This places all the risk on the gameday personnel who will be needed in order for the games to be played. Surely plenty of them would be willing to accept this risk, but they shouldn’t have to be in such a position.
Politicians have even entered the fray, pining for MLB to return in some fashion for the good of their communities. Al these forces are converging to put lives at risk. It’s important to note why any lives would be put at risk; money. The owners don’t want MLB to return for the love of the game or community. They want MLB to return so they can continue to line their coffers. The health risks of playing under quarantine conditions don’t matter to owners because they will never have to accept any of the risks of potentially contracting the Coronavirus.
The owners are used to having things their way and only their way. They run their teams in almost feudal fashion. The Coronavirus has merely helped to make the state of their kingdoms easier for all to see. The owners risk nothing while all those under their employ risk everything. As long as they make their money MLB owners could care less, just like the feudal lords they have turned out to be.