Baseball is no longer America’s Pastime.
The United States is facing three major problems. Protests in the streets and a demand for police reform following the death of George Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis, Minnesota officer. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the economic turndown caused in part by the effort to control the pandemic. Whether baseball is played or not is not of any significant importance. That is something that seems to have been lost on Major League Baseball owners. The MLB owners keep throwing out proposals and the players seem to not be very interested. Just what are the owners doing to the business? That is a question that only the owners and maybe by their top employee, the Commissioner Rob Manfred can answer. The owners would change Minor League Baseball and have not finished the negotiations that would reinvent Minor League Baseball. The owners wanted the players to accept all the risk of performing during the COVID-19 pandemic even if the working environment was not safe.
Baseball once was the king of American sports. The French philosopher, Jacques Barzun observed. “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules, and reality of the game.” Barzun wrote those words in 1953. By 2007, he gave up on baseball. “I’ve gotten so disgusted with baseball. I don’t follow it anymore. I just see the headlines and turn my head in shame from what we have done with our most interesting, best, and healthiest pastime. The commercialization is beyond anything that was ever thought of, the overvaluing, really, of the game itself. It’s out of proportion to the place an entertainment ought to have. Other things are similarly commercialized and out of proportion, but for baseball, which is so intimately connected with the nation’s spirit and tradition, it’s a disaster.” MLB remains out of step with society.