MLB lockout: Could the fans actually strike back at greed?

Nov 2, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Baseball fans make their way through the concourse before game six of the 2021 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Baseball fans make their way through the concourse before game six of the 2021 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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In the miserable recent weather plaguing the United States, the search for news about an allegedly coming season of Major League Baseball has not gone well … for days.

For example, on February 1, a general search on Google of “MLB news” yielded the following: First — and why go beyond it? — a day-old article from ESPN essentially saying, “Forget about Spring Training on time, and maybe Opening Day too.” The MLB lockout was hanging tough.

Opening Day was supposed to be 59 days away.

This was very annoying because I had publicly predicted that the MLB lockout would end about 44 days from Opening Day, or the day after Valentine’s Day.

What, if anything, can baseball fans do about the current MLB lockout?

However, things haven’t been going well in the vital negotiations. The owners made an initial offer, the players association made a counter-offer, and, well, you know (you actually don’t), the two sides are still far apart, or at least apart, on six different issues, ranging from the owners’ desired playoff expansion to the players’ desired raise of the luxury tax threshold.

These two items were intentionally selected to illustrate the greed of the two sides here. Both “asks” would make their respective sides a lot of money if implemented exactly as envisioned by the proposals’ supporters.

Got all that? Right. The first question for all those involved here should be: How much money are you guys making again? All of you — players, the owners (we know you owners are still earning somehow during the lockout), the vendors … oh, right, you guys are still screwed. Hmmm … well, the players and especially the owners are fine.

Nobody involved in this MLB lockout (except the smallest wage earner) is hurting or will hurt for months if there is no baseball. In fact, the players association is ready to begin distributing $5,000 monthly checks to their members, an almost comic sum except for the most borderline and youngest players.

So, what needs to happen? Can the fans actually do anything? The actual answer is probably not, but then again, just maybe.

The only power fans have over the MLB lockout is monetary, and remember, we’re told that average savings account in the U.S. has increased during the pandemic. So, why shouldn’t fans begin to consider a boycott of MLB-associated products at some point in the very near future?

Don’t even consider a season tickets package, or if you really want to make a point and have already renewed yours, demand a refund contingent on a settlement for re-ordering. Don’t order any single-game tickets either.

Boycott such programming as the MLB Network’s rebroadcast of the 2021 Field of Dreams game on February 1. I mean, really, do you have to see Aaron Judge take a walk to first base near a cornfield? Does it really matter that the White Sox were wearing those really cool, old-timey uniforms? (Those uniforms were, incidentally, historically inaccurate because they weren’t filthy — cheapskate Charlie Comiskey rarely paid to wash them.)

Refuse to rent through streaming or OnDemand services any film or TV episode involving any actors in MLB gear. If you never rent, refuse to watch such films.

Stop buying MLB-approved memorabilia such as trading cards, posters, and bobbleheads just because you’re COVID-bored with your stopped-in-its-tracks social life.

And definitely don’t purchase another MLB-approved jersey, shirt, jacket, or cap. Honestly, go check your closet. Start counting. You don’t have enough already? This covers official MiLB gear as well. If you’re really in withdrawal from new-gear deprivation, feel free to buy a cap from an independent team.

dark. Next. 3 MLB teams that could repeat the feats of the Cincinnati Bengals

Finally, make sure you send a letter to your favorite MLB team declaring your boycott. It’s time for baseball’s oligarchs and their filthy rich minions to end the MLB lockout. They need to be reminded that attendance at baseball’s “cathedrals” last season was roughly 5 million below the level reached the year after the 1994 MLB work stoppage.