Toronto Blue Jays: Labour negotiations putting MLB popularity in jeopardy

The ongoing dispute between the players and owners is setting MLB on a path it will have a tough time recovering from and harming the Toronto Blue Jays development.

Recalling the excitement around the 2015 and 2016 Toronto Blue Jays seasons reminded us why baseball still resonates in this country despite some tough years where the team struggled to attract big crowds.

What the past three months have shown us is that MLB owners continue to drop the ball at a time where a healthy partnership with the MLBPA should be crucial. Not only is having the cooperation important towards a resolution to get back on the field but for the health of the sport.

Right now the perception among fans, and in the media is centered around the inability of the owners and players to find common ground. For months there has been a lot of unrest with both sides and at some point, there has to be an end.

Seeing the players vote 33-5 against the league’s proposal should say all that needs to be said.

Given everything baseball has been through from the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, the complaints about free agency and now the inability to come to an agreement to get the season started, you wonder how much patience fans have left.

While the Toronto Blue Jays were not viewed as contenders, the team was certainly going in the right direction. The worst part for the team is the lack of certainty of when and where they will report and if it even happens.

The fortunate part is that this isn’t an aging roster, but not having this development certainly hurts top prospects like Nate Pearson, Alek Manoah, Jordan Groshans and especially Austin Martin. Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, the owners care far too much about keeping as much in their pockets (I get that it’s a business) rather than ensuring the health of the league going forward.

If you want any further proof, look at Trevor Bauer’s timeline.

At a time where the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on how people live their lives, MLB had a chance to ensure that it not only remains on the same level as the other major sports but provide something for people to watch while they are stuck at home. Instead, they in danger of losing out to golf, NASCAR, and pretty much any other sport that is making adjustments during the pandemic.

Now while the owners should be responsible for most of what is going on, the players aren’t innocent either. They have tried to make concessions, but they haven’t taken the steps to improve their leverage or value in these negotiations.

Instead, there is a power struggle and rather than trying to improve the situation, Rob Manfred is picking fights and throwing gasoline on the fire. Many are calling for him to be removed and it won’t be long until something drastic happens that forces the decision sooner rather than later.

If not, baseball will struggle to find its place and the fighting will have been for nothing.

What do you think about the ongoing negotiations? Do you think that baseball will be played this season? Let us know in the comments below.

Load Comments