The Incredible World of Baseball Labor Agreements

Its Baseball Labor Agreement time!  You’re checking your phone on the train, running in your front door, and throwing your kids out of the way to get to the TV so you can keep up with the nonstop action.  If you like men in suits crumpling up conical water cups and throwing them in each other’s faces, this is baseball’s most brilliant time of year.

You probably have questions, like “What is this?  What is going on here?”  Well, whatever it is, we’re being told that its almost over.

When December 11 roles around, before you can even say “Happy anniversary of realizing your trust in Bernie Madoff was misplaced, Mets owners!” Major League Baseball’s labor agreement will have expired.

All season long, “baseball players” play “baseball,” which in this case is referred to as “labor.”  Since 2006, they have been under the guidelines of a “labor agreement,” which keeps track of stuff like first round draft pick compensation and which teams are in which league.  Both of these things are most likely going to change once a new labor agreement is settled upon Thursday morning, and various ripple effects will spread across the country.

Take, for instance, Kelly Johnson.  Only you wouldn’t take Kelly Johnson, probably, if he cost you your first round draft pick and gave it to the Blue Jays.  But in the new agreement, only the truly spectacular Type-A free agents are considered worthy of such a sacrifice.  Therefore, the Detroit Tigers could have newfound motives in prowling about Johnson’s front door, now that he wouldn’t cost them anything but money.  Unless they go sniffing around somebody like Jose Reyes, they won’t have to sit there with their paws folded while everybody else goes through the elation of picks 1-30.  Why the Tigers are actual jungle cats in this scenario, I have no idea.

But Detroit is just one example of far-reaching change.  New Astros owner Jim Crane is getting $80 million to move his team to the American League!  Holy shit!  In 2013, the AL West will finally get that elusive fifth team, Houston will get a change of scenery, and Jim Crane will get, again, 80 million fucking dollars.  Thanks to that move, we will also have interleague play every day, due to the odd number of teams in either league.  Yes, that thing people were talking about being sick of not a few months ago is about to become something that happens all the time.

And of course, Bud Selig will jump up in the middle of someone else’s presentation, pull a rope nobody noticed hanging from the ceiling, and his stupid, disjointed, unnecessary plan to expand playoff berth will be revealed amidst a collection of crazy drop-down mobiles connected with yarn and backed by circus music.

So if you thought that this was the time of year when baseball entered a dormant state of non-being, you were wrong.  Dead wrong.  And as the clock ticks down to tomorrow morning, you can go ahead and embrace that feeling of creeping apprehension as to what horrid nightmares will be unveiled in the game you love.

In the mean time, enjoy these additional even worse changes that MLB won’t be making, despite my very strong power point presentation.

Eliminate Playoffs, Make Entire Regular Season a “x 70″ Elimination Tournament

Everyone can panic as their number of allotted losses gets closer and closer to 70!

Open Interleague Play with Fight Between Two Actual Eagles

You can’t have a logo like this without people developing highly theatrical and extremely bloody expectations.

Create “Elimination Round” of Draft in Which One Player is Selected to Not be Drafted by Anyone

That ought take some of those mouthier prospects down a peg.

Don’t Give Jim Crane $80 million Just to Switch Leagues

Not sure why this is sticking in my craw, but damn.

Move Everyone Into Same League

That way interleague play can’t logically exist without tearing the universe open, and if we know that’s a possibility if someone accidentally says the phrase “interleague play,” the whole season will have a far more stressful, terrifying context to it.

Tags: Interleague Play Jim Crane Labor Agreements MLB

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