You know, I’ve found that anger is the enemy of instruction.
Wow. Five more years of labor peace ensured, zero public rancor between the owners and the players, and yet all anyone’s talking about in the TwitterBlogoSphere is how terrible the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is…
One thing that everyone seems to forget about labor negotiations (and politics, and just about everything else): they’ve got nothing to do with right and wrong. They have everything to do with interests and leverage.
Of course the new CBA shifts money from draft picks to union members. The owners made it very clear that they wanted to save money (that’s an interest) and the union members didn’t want it coming from their pockets (that’s another interest). Both sides have leverage, of course, so the obvious solution was to find someone with no leverage at all: amateur baseball players, both in the States and beyond international borders.
Tough darts. It’s too bad for them, but that’s the way the world has always worked and always will…
Leaving aside the morality of the new rules about amateur players, there’s been an incredible rush to judgment regarding the practical impact… If Major League Baseball loses just one extra player to football or basketball, the scouts and the draft experts will be pained. I don’t blame them. I don’t want to lose any great players to other sports, either. But I suspect the number of great players who will actually be lost is being greatly exaggerated today.
It’s been said many times today that the new rules hurt the Royals and the Pirates, who have been spending a great deal of money in the draft in recent years. But what if they can get the same players they’ve been getting, while spending less money? Doesn’t that actually help them?
I’m not saying I have all the answers. We both know I don’t. But I think it’s far too early for say exactly what effect the new rules about amateurs will have on competitive balance and quality of play, generally.
My guess, though? Whether positive or negative, the overall impact will be small enough that it’s difficult to measure.
Sure, maybe it’s the end of the world. But we can’t know that yet. Today, I feel fine.
And I’m reminded, as I so often am, of the story about the Zen master and the little boy.
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