By the time you are reading this, there will have been countless articles written about Major League Baseball’s latest proposal to play a 2020 season. Some of those articles will be great, some will be nothing but the facts of the proposal, while others will be examples of how to properly lick the boots of ownership. What every one of those articles will get wrong is that they will give you the actual details of proposal team owners delivered to the Major League Baseball Players’ Association.
Long ago I was taught a system of dealing with psychiatric patients. They are often the hardest to deal with and can be made even harder because we bring our own biases and hangups into a call with them. I was lucky enough to have a preceptor who saw how hard psychiatric calls could be and wanted to impart her way of dealing with them onto me. She introduced me to the idea of intent of action. The basic idea is that if you believe in the intent of the patient to harm themselves or others then nothing else matters. Their history, past actions, misdeeds, and so on and so forth were tossed aside in favor of what they could possibly do right here and now. The reason is that all it takes is one instance where you ignore a patient’s intent of action and they slip through the cracks and commit the action you were sure wouldn’t happen.
This same practice can be applied to MLB and its most recent proposal, well, actually, to every legitimate and leaked proposal that has come from the organization and owners.
Strip everything away and look at what the owners have proposed and ask yourself, “Do you really believe that they have any intention of taking the actions necessary to play baseball in 2020?” That sort of situational appraisal should lead you to the honest conclusion that no, the owners have no intention of taking any sort of action that would see baseball played in 2020.
That lack of intent is why the particulars of this latest proposal don’t matter. The number of games offered, the safety measures discussed, and the playoff reformatting put forth shouldn’t even begin to be topics of conversation when the proposal can’t pass the litmus test of its intent of action. It has been clear from the very onset of any talk of a 2020 season that the owners were not willing to take even the slightest chance of a loss on the season. Heck, it’s not even that they weren’t willing to take a loss, they weren’t willing to consider any plan that would see them only make 52 percent in profit as opposed to 90 percent.
There was no good faith in the proposals or statements made by the organization or the owners. They operated strictly on bad faith, with zero intent to ever honestly see the start of a season through unless the players capitulated and gave up every single labor right they possess.
Looking beyond all the fluff and focusing on intent is important. When I am dealing with psychiatric patients, or any patient at this point, it is how I get to the best course of action I need to take for that particular patient. Focusing on the intent of the owners’ various proposals and leaked ideas makes it so easy to discard any of the actual specifics they have offered up. If there is no MLB season this year, or next, it is not because of the greed of the MLBPA (labor fighting for their rights is not greedy) but rather it is because the owners never had any actual intent to act on their proposals. What happens to MLB from here on out is 100 percet at the feet of the owners, don’t let any “both-sides” reporting or public relations campaign from the owners distract you from the fact that they deserve all the blame for their lack of intent.