There just isn’t much precedent. 1995 started late post-lockout, 1981 had two halves post-strike, it is almost as if we are getting the sixty games that ownership gave up when they shut down in August of 1994 to balance some cosmic scale.
In 1968, Opening Day coincided with the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. and the players took a stand and ownership capitulated – the season started the following day. So when the fans jawbone that the game should be beyond politics, remind them that all the pomp and tradition has politics deeply woven into it.
The circumstances this time are somewhat dire. The fantasy leagues and fan site traffic are all kaput, circling a drain, wondering if there can be a revival to what it all once was. The thrill of intrasquad game “Summer Camp” was what some philosophers might call the negative sublime. Yawn.
But now the real games start – kind of shocked Idiot Manfred didn’t dust off Bud Selig’s legacy-smacking “This Time It Counts™” slogan, but here we are. And when i say we I mean us, the fans. For all the analysis and commentary, it is ultimately about and for us. What is our role?
Well here at CTPG our role is to not be Dodger fans pretending to care about the Angels. Our role is to be the voice of the fan that should be in the stands. Are you at Costco today buying a flatscreen for tomorrow’s opener or are you unemployed and worried, listening on the car’s AM radio? The wave of chaos soaking this country will be unavoidable this year. If you can swagger with the “I come to sports to get away from it all” you are probably better off investing in your own gaming this year. 2019 is as removed from 2020 as Brad Ausmus is from Joe Maddon. And like our dearly departed “twice thru the order” mentality, we are never going back there. The game reflects that “We The People” are moving… now I would like to hope we are moving forward but that might be editorializing. We are moving somewhere and let’s hope it is good. But wherever it is, we the fans are going to cheering and commiserating and booing and lamenting and yelling in ecstasy.
So the role of the fan in 2020 is to be an engaged audience. There are too many places online for divisive political discussions. But there is a cowardice and a shameful privilege to pretend that the issues of our times are to be ignored. The role of the fan in 2020 is to engage the game as the main course of a long-awaited buffet and know that there is some saltiness out there that is probably unavoidable but isn’t going to kill us. In fact, if we do it right, if we engage with an open conscience and an integrity built in to our discussions, it will make the dessert at the end of all this that much sweeter.
The select few that can afford to go, and the lucky few that live close enough to make it to the stadium, will have to tough it out like the masses by watching it on the boob tube or listen to games the old fashioned way on the wireless radio.
So many things could have been done for the fan at home, but with no money coming in at the gates, the billionaire owners figured that just having the games available on TV was more than enough effort.
They could be charging us big money having drawings/lottery for foul balls, home runs, gear, regular promotions, phone calls, shout outs, etc., etc, … giving money to the players not invited to SummerBallz 2020 But nooooooo. They charge us to send a picture in and then stick it a seat that I haven’t seen yet, and may have sent to me at the end of the season.
The owners are a bunch of scrooges, looking at, and only, the bottom line continuously. This could have been handled so much better.
END THE BLACKOUTS, at least we have a way to cheer if your team participates in the new feature. LETS GO HALOS!!!
Perfectly stated. Hard to celebrate the legacy of Jackie Robinson each year yet claim to be apolitical. At the same time, there’s no need to turn this page into an endless argument.
Some dudes will stand, some will kneel. Some will wear BLM patches, some won’t. Baseball, like life, moves forward.
With all due respect, Jeff, it seems to me that celebrating the legacy of Jackie Robinson is decidedly non-political. It is completely devoid of controversy, as far as I know. It is a celebration that unites us all, irrespective of political party.
At least, I hope it is.
I was talking about baseball in general, but probably did a poor job in my phrasing.
At the time, Robinson’s debut was a highly politicized and controversial thing, a big kick start to the civil rights movement, and baseball is comfortable celebrating that as an integral part of the game. It has never been as apolitical as people think.
But, yes, everybody should celebrate Jackie.
as Jeff mentions, at the time it was incredibly controversial. I mean, if it weren’t then it wouldn’t have been a thing. Black players in the majors would have been common. At that time, I believe, the parties’ positions were reversed from what they are now.
So historically it was political although yes, today it’s only the worst of the worst who don’t celebrate it.
Jeff and Eric, perhaps I misunderstood your point, but as you phrased it I thought you meant that the decision to celebrate Jackie Robinson’s legacy was political, or controversial in any regard.
Regarding bringing Robinson up to the Dodgers, oh yes, that was very controversial in the South (and apparently Boston as well). And I guess he got static in every city they played in. It took courage on the part of everyone involved, especially Robinson.
I suppose the question of how big the political component of the move was would be a great subject for a Poli Sci doctoral thesis.
heh….the old place has had approximately 1 comment this week.
Well, it’s going to be non-traditional, that’s for sure. One thing all of us fans can count on, is crappy ball-and-strike calls from Angel Hernandez! Just turned on the Yanks-Nats game and he rung up Howie on a ball about six inches outside. Nice to know the traditions are being upheld.
Well, at least we dodged the Hernandez bullet. Anyone know where Joe West and Doug F***ing Eddings are assigned?
But man-oh-man Angel looked really good pulling that chain. He had that planed out before the second strike of that AB.
The Yankee catcher was asking for the count during the game so Angel made the delayed called strike three after confirming with the scoreboard what the count was. Classic Angel Henandez, 2020 Interm Umpire Crew Chief extraordinaire.