Jerri-Lynn here. So there will be baseball this season after all. Sanders calls out the owners – aka, baseball’s oligarchs – for causng the 99-day lockout that has delayed players from reporting for spring training for the 2022 season.
Opening Day has been pushed back from March 31 until April 7.
Alas, as a baseball purist, I’m sorry to see the universal designated hitter will go forward this season, and that the postseason will now extend to include 12 teams (from 10). A game that’s losing fans, due to the length of its games and the length of its season, shouldn’t be expanding its postseason further. It’s a completely different game when soft-hitting pitchers don’t have to bat, and although most games I’ve watched over the past several years have incorporated the DH – as I’m a Yankee fan and the American League has long embraced the DH – I’m sorry to see this change implemented for the National League as well.
And Bernie joins the antitrust party with respect to the national pastime, saying, “We must prevent the greed of baseball’s oligarchs from destroying the game. The best way to do that is to end Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption and I will be introducing legislation to do just that.”
I also note Sanders lambastes the owners for abandoning their minor league franchises. As any fan of Bull Durham recognizes, the health of baseball’s minor league teams is important to many cities that host these franchises, as well as to those teams that comprise the Show.
By Brett Wilkins. Originally published at Common Dreams
As Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced Thursday that they’d come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders welcomed news that the 99-day lockout was over and the full 162-game season would be saved and promised to introduce a bill aimed at ending the “baseball oligarchs'” antitrust exemption.
While Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement that he is “delighted to see an agreement reached so that the Major League Baseball season can start,” he slammed the “unacceptable behavior” of team owners, who he said “negotiated in bad faith for more than 100 days in a blatant attempt to break the players’ union.”
“We are dealing with an organization controlled by a number of billionaires who collectively are worth over $100 billion,” the democratic socialist and two-time U.S. presidential candidate noted. “It should be clear to all that these baseball oligarchs have shown that they are far more concerned about increasing their wealth and profits than in strengthening our national pastime.”
Bernie Sanders on MLB’s attempts to union bust.
Let’s also not forget that MLB oligarchs have created one of the most anti-union and anti-labor systems in contemporary sport — minor league baseball. https://t.co/fAXjGsXejV
— Derek Silva (@Derekcrim) March 10, 2022
Sanders excoriated the owners for eliminating their teams’ affiliation with more than 40 minor league ballclubs, “not only causing needless economic pain and suffering but also breaking the hearts of fans in small and mid-sized towns all over America.”
The senator took the “baseball oligarchs” to task for paying minor league players “totally inadequate wages,” for seeking to “eliminate the jobs of another 900 minor league players,” and for taking “billions of dollars in corporate welfare from taxpayers to build expensive stadiums” while charging “outrageously high prices for tickets that many working-class families cannot afford.”
“It would be wrong for Congress to simply celebrate today’s agreement and move on,” Sanders asserted. “We must prevent the greed of baseball’s oligarchs from destroying the game. The best way to do that is to end Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption and I will be introducing legislation to do just that.”