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1/… forgive a thread in conjunction with this column. We are in the player empowerment era and thinking players will -- or should -- just shut up and dribble or be grateful for what they make and just accept whatever is pushed on them is silly and wrong.
2/Will the NBA work out its issues and play? I don't know, but I think they have the best chance to get this right of any league because the players appear to believe Adam Silver cares about them, has their best interest at heart, understands that they are the game. For most of
3/his reign Roger Goodell has seemed a dimwitted mob boss. Yet, even he is modulating his tone these days. Rob Manfred has to take this huge step into modernity and pull his bosses (the owners) with him. The mentality that the only victory for ownership is to drive down players
4/is not only outdated, but self-defeating. These employees are not like most other employees, they have special talents that the public has decided to invest billions of dollars annually in. They cannot just be replaced and, thus, they cannot just be ignored. The analytic wave
5/has had an interesting dichotomy: It has brought greater closeness between teams (usually in the form of coaches) and players in refining skills, but a coldness in the finances that has also created distance and distrust. For example, manipulating service time of players with
6/finite careers is just wrong. If a guy belongs in the majors, he should be in the majors, period. This shouldn't just be Tony Clark's fight. This should be Rob Manfred's fight. The players should feel his support in an area like that and, if they did, I think collective
7/bargaining would be handled with less rancor and rhetoric. I know MLB believes that union leadership has become Dr. No, just refusing any request by central baseball to move the game forward. Let's say that is true, MLB/Manfred still have to be the adult in the room
8/not be thrown into a tizzy by every Tony, Bruce and Boras. If the union is blocking then appeal directly to players, for example, to be on the board with the commissioner and owners for a 2030 Campaign on how to revive the game across the country, make it more appealing on the
9/field and direct money to social causes that help a nation. The days of exasperation and condescending and treating the players like the kids who need to be seen not heard is over. Manfred and the owners need to commit to a relationship that recognizes what is good for the
10/players will be good for the game, which will help drive up revenues, franchise value, salaries and, thus, be good all around. This can't be viewed as one side winning, especially in the framework of the other side losing. Manfred is the commissioner of Major League BASEBALL.
11/That should be all of BASEBALL. The players need to feel that he cares about their concerns and careers. That is how cooperation is created that finds a pathway to a deal during a pandemic in which both sides see each others' issues. It's not too late for 2020
12/but also particularly with the CBA expiring after next season. The sport cannot be in constant clash and tension and expect partners to want to invest in it and fans to want to care about it. Perhaps Manfred should ask Tony Clark if he could talk directly to the 30 player
13/reps to make an appeal that this negotiation has made him see a bigger picture and that from rubble a new, better starting point is possible. To save this season and make future seasons better. Does MLB's commissioner sincerely feel this way? I hope he does.
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