July 08, 2002

Curt Schilling: says, "From everything I've heard, we're not going to set a strike date tomorrow. We're just going to give authority to perhaps do something in the future. " But, that sounds like "strike" to me. According to ESPN, events before the 1994 strike unfolded much the same way. So, are the players calling managementís bluff or is it strike time? I'm not optimistic.

posted by Bag Man to baseball at 09:18 AM - 10 comments

The most ominous thing in the espn article is that both sides (supposedly) enjoy unanimous support from their respective constituencies. I don't see a strike being avoided, and I think the repercussions will be greater than '94.

posted by jmpeterson at 09:48 AM on July 08

I think the repercussions will be greater only to that extent that they will last a little longer. Attendance will decline for a few years, and it will again take something herculean to bring people back en masse, like McGwire's run at 60 did back in the day. (Or maybe even a salary cap followed by deflationary ticket prices). But people will come back, like the sucka ass suckas they are. Not me, though. I haven't been back since the last strike. I'll go to a game gratis, but I won't pay a dime. They cancelled the world series, man! Not even Hitler could accomplish that. (Is this an example of Godwin's Law or is the application different?)

posted by vito90 at 04:16 PM on July 08

I would care, but now? I have always been slightly apathetic about baseball. Then the last strike happened, and I gave up. Now I almost gleefully await the self-destruction of baseball. I mean, the NFL season is starting soon anyway...

posted by patrickje at 07:06 PM on July 08

Yeah. If baseball thinks attendance and ratings are bad now, just wait until next year. I'm not saying a strike will kill baseball, but it'll sure go a long, long way towards weakening every club that isn't the Yankees and the Sox, which in turn will hurt the sport even more. Still won't kill it, though.

posted by tieguy at 08:08 PM on July 08

A strike might kill the sport as we know it here in Minnesota. I am starting to get very nervous.

posted by emoeby at 08:22 PM on July 08

Steroids are more or less impossible to test for, and all athletes take them. What's the big deal?

posted by djacobs at 08:52 AM on July 09

djacobs, the big deal, as far as baseball is concerned, is the integrity of records and statistics. Baseball is a going concern, and it's not true all athletes take them. Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Harmon Killebrew didn't take them. Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds might have. Does this mean their records and place in the game are tainted? Over generations the playing field is not level because of natural and legal evolutions that take place that affect all ballplayers of that generation equitably (such as usage of video or training techniques, or rule changes such as lowering the pitching mound). But steroids affect players disproportionately. So there is a problem that needs to be addressed. To me the hard part of this is looking at something like Gaylord Perry with all his wins, many of which were gained by nefarious means. But his means are almost ingrained into "acceptable" baseball...so asterisk or no asterisk is the question...this is really not on topic, is it?

posted by vito90 at 09:06 AM on July 09

Looks to me like a strike is going to happen, and it couldn't happen at a much worse time for the sport. I fall into the camp that blames this on the greedy owners, who really do stand to lose here. The issues that are out there which really matter, I think are contraction (bad idea-- why take your product away from people?) and doping (bad thing-- why make your product less wholesome?). A strike will not address either of these things, and will certainly alienate the fans. Who knows? Soccer might yet become an American spectator sport.

posted by outside counsel at 10:25 AM on July 09

But why does it matter more in baseball than in, say, football? And could it be that the players who are breaking records AREN'T using steroids? I think you have to assume innocence. I had a dream last night that Shawn Estes posted a comment on randomWalks - "hey dj - back off!"

posted by djacobs at 11:03 AM on July 09

I blame the players. While the owners are greedy, the players argue against salary caps or a luxury tax of any sort, and against drug testing (although both the NBA and NFL policies are a joke as well). They're going to damage baseball for the forseeable future.

posted by owillis at 01:38 AM on July 10

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