Discover more from End of the Bench
An Open Letter from MLB Owners About the Ongoing Lockout the Players Won’t End
As owners of Major League Baseball teams, we’re really no different than you. We, too, can remember the first time our dad took us to a game. Of course, we had a lot of questions, but our dad was happy to explain how ownership meant passive income and around a 600% return on investment over the last twenty years. That was the moment we fell in love with the game.
But now things have changed. It’s just about money, at least to the millionaire players. Millionaires! Can you imagine? And now they want even more money? Our guaranteed $100 million annual TV deals are in danger because of some greedy millionaires trying to take away from our billions. And that is just not okay.
If you really think about it, players should be making less money. In fact, they should be paying us to play. People pay thousands of dollars to go to fantasy camps. That’s why we don’t pay minor leaguers when we force them to go to spring training.
I mean, have you tried to buy a hat in one of our stores lately? They’re like $42, and we GIVE those to the players. It should be seen as a concession on our part that we pay players at all, especially since we aren’t required to have any sort of salary floor. We’re the good guys!
But these negotiations are moving too slowly, especially after we took 43 days after locking out the players to start them. If only these players would negotiate in good faith, we might get somewhere. And yet the players aren’t just caving to our whims, putting the season at risk.
They want players who have made it through the minor leagues on sub-minimum wage to be paid more? And for the best young players to be paid slightly more but nowhere near what they’re worth?
Can you imagine? Workers getting more rights? This is America! Unions are evil! We already made so many concessions that everyone loves and benefits all—universal DH, expanded playoffs, what will almost certainly end up being crypto ads on uniforms. Now it’s time for the players to make concessions on all of their proposals.
What would baseball be without the owners? We’re the heart of the game. What we do is hard work. Not all of us were born into ownership. Many of us had to put in hours in the board room, and invested time and money in stocks, all just to reach these heights that many dream about, but very few do.
And we need to be compensated accordingly. If we don’t want to meet the demands of players and field competitive teams that respect their employees, what are we supposed to do? Just sell the team at a massive profit? That’s ridiculous, especially when the teams appreciate in value every year.
The players keep pointing out that average team payrolls declined since 2017 while revenues continue to increase, but that’s merely a coincidence based on facts. And above all, that’s just good business.
Did anyone ever consider players could just be worse now? Which is why this lockout couldn’t come at a tougher time.
We just had two seasons where fans were limited in attendance. We aren’t providing any sort of documentation that we even lost money during the pandemic or saying we even have any, but what if we did?
That would be bad for us and the relatively insignificant percentage of our net worth that makes up owning a baseball team. We didn’t make billions of dollars by considering the well-being of our employees and we are not about to start now.
The bottom line is we want to win. And the best way to do that is by winning the bottom line, which usually involves intentionally losing and pocketing money from TV deals, revenue sharing, and gate receipts.
That’s what makes the fans go home happy, knowing that after spending $200 at the ballpark, win or lose, the owner of their team made money. It’s why the fans dream about one day seeing their owner hoisting the trophy after winning the World Series.
We’ve already had to delay spring training games and now the players are putting the season in jeopardy since we won’t let them play.
It’s time for the players to stop being so greedy, think about you, the fans, and give in already.
Thanks for reading End of the Bench! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.