MLB Is On The Precipice Of Losing Me As A Fan [OPINION]
Anyone who has listened to me on the radio or read any of my stories on this website knows that I live for baseball. It has been my favorite sport since I was a little kid, and I usually attend at least a dozen Twins games per year.
I have invested a lot of time and money into Major League Baseball over the years, despite the league really not giving a crap about me as a fan whatsoever. Ticket prices have skyrocketed, the game itself has changed into one of home runs/strikeouts with little in between and the players get richer and richer, and more out of touch with fans, every passing day.
The current season is on hold due to the COVID-19 crisis, but the owners and players are 'negotiating' to get back on the field. Basically, the only thing that matters is money.
Once again, the players and owners are willing to completely alienate the fans by punting on the season because- God forbid- the owners make a little less profit and the players make-gasp- $10 million for a half season of baseball instead of $20 million! The horror!
While millions of people are out of work in the United States, essential workers put their lives on the line every day so people can get food and medicine for low wages, and the country has been stuck at home for months to slow the spread of COVID-19, baseball players are most concerned with how they could possibly survive on $5 million for three months of work.
The owners are trash, too. The LEAST valuable team in MLB is the Miami Marlins, who are worth a paltry $980 million dollars. Their projected payroll for 2020 is a ridiculous $58 million, roughly one-third of the MLB average.
I would be willing to bet MLB owners make plenty of profit, with my logic being if they didn't, they wouldn't sit on the teams as long as they do. I'd also be willing to bet that A) they could survive taking a loss for one season and B) if they don't want to take that loss they could sell their team TODAY for a hefty profit.
Baseball became America's Pastime for a number of reasons, with one of the biggest being the everyman quality of the players. Babe Ruth came from an orphanage, the game's biggest stars served in WW2, most players had second jobs up through the 1970's.
Unfortunately, the game's humble origins have deteriorated to the point we are now asked to choose sides: the billionaire owners or the multi-millionaire players. The only people not being considered in all of this are the fans.
Let me get this straight. To bring my family of three to a game and sit in the nosebleeds it will cost $60 for tickets, $10 for parking, $20 for a snack at the game and $20 for parking. If my kid wants a souvenir, that's another $50. We will have to leave the house by 4 p.m., sit in the security theater line for 45 minutes with an antsy kid, and won't get home until midnight.
That's a fairly large financial commitment, not to mention the value of my time and energy to get to and from the game.
Well, I have some potentially upsetting news for Major League Baseball: You are not the end-all, be-all for baseball. There are a lot of great ways to enjoy the great game it was supposed to be played.
What is better than spending a beautiful summer evening watching some great baseball at Joe Faber Field? Whether it's an SCSU game, Rox game or high school/legion game, the competition will be great, the hot dogs plentiful and your wallet won't be empty at the end of the night.
Town ball in Central Minnesota offers another fun opportunity to watch the game at a high level. Heck, you could even check out a little league game in Waite Park or at Whitney for a night out.
Baseball will live forever. However, I am starting to be perfectly fine with the idea of life after Major League Baseball.