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The MLBPA shouldn’t cave to MLB’s demands

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Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes MLB hinting at a lockout rather than sign a new CBA, the Padres’ boring new uniforms, and the Hall of Fame case of Manny Ramirez.

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Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

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Major League Baseball is threatening a lockout, should they not get their way in collective bargaining agreements before the Dec. 1 deadline. "Threatening" might seem like a strong word to use, since it seems more like MLB is reminding people that this is one of the tools in their toolbox rather than saying that it will definitely happen. However, please remember these are also the people saying that they don’t "negotiate in the press" and then also leak stories to said press about how they’ll stage a lockout of the players if they have to. Recognize their actions, not their tone: it’s harder to get the players blamed for a lockout if you aren’t polite about your intentions.

The reason MLB is threatening the MLB Players’ Association with a lockout is because the MLBPA won’t give in to a ridiculous trade offer. MLB wants an international draft. They know the MLBPA wants to get rid of free agent compensation. So, MLB proposed forever altering the lives of a massive percentage of the (future) union in exchange for making it a little easier each winter for like 10-20 guys to sign the big deals they were likely to sign anyway, with an exception here and there. The MLBPA isn’t having it, and now MLB is suggesting they could just take their ball and go home.

The MLBPA shouldn’t be afraid of MLB. Yes, many fans will root for the owners, all while exclaiming that the players are greedy and playing a kid’s game and have zero loyalty, even though the owners are far richer, kids are playing an adult’s game, and those fans are mostly just trying to make themselves feel better about their love of laundry over the people wearing it.

If you’re already mad at the players because they don’t want the owners screwing them over, might I suggest you read Lords of the Realm? It’s eye-opening, and you can get a used copy for one American cent. It’ll explain to you why the union has acted why it has throughout the years, why it’s necessary, and why it’s perfectly fine for them to avoid labor peace in favor of fair treatment of their members.

If the owners are going to abuse their position here, the MLBPA needs to fight back. If they give ground here, the owners will snatch it up in a second before demanding even more. Remember that when someone tells you it’s the players who are greedy.