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Tuesday Bantering: Why do former players take the owner’s side?

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

It bugs me off when former players start parroting the owner’s position. We knew that the owners would portray the players as money-grubbing, anti-baseball types if they didn’t just agree with everything the owners say, but I hate seeing it from former players. From Shi Davidi’s story:

The owners, rather cleverly, have put the players on quite the tightrope.

“They don’t have a hell of a lot of leverage. And they certainly won’t have the public’s support,” says Buck Martinez, the respected Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster who served as a vice-president on the union’s executive board during his 17-year baseball career. “They have to be careful how they handle this.”

To that end, Martinez – who lived through dozens of labour fights as a player and in December addressed the current union board – believes it’s important for players to not view the current situation as helping out the owners, but rather as helping out the game.

This stuff drives me nuts. A former player is saying ‘Do what the owners want for the good of the game’. If you don’t do what the owners want, you are hurting the game. It is smart that the owners play it that way, but when former players parrot that line it is insulting.

Martinez believes the players’ instinctual recoil at any hint of a salary cap must be reined back “because it’s such a special situation.”

There is a pandemic do what the owners say. They have your best interests at heart.

Don’t worry about your health, your family’s health, the health of your coaches, and support staff...worry that the owners aren’t making money as quickly as they want. The owner’s bottom line is all that matters.

It just bugs me when former players become mouth pieces for the owners. I know that baseball with likely come back sooner than I think is safe, but I don’t see that the players should take whatever deal is offered.


I wonder what the league does if they do get a deal to bring back baseball, and Mike Trout says ‘no, my family is more important to me”. Or if a handful of the top players say no. Justin Verlander says he’d rather stay home with Kate Upton and his daughter. How many players saying no would be too many?

I also wonder how many broadcasters or reporters will say ‘no I’d rather stay with my family’. If you were a broadcaster with a young family or a broadcaster who is nearing retirement anyway, would you travel with the team to report on games?

If you were Pat Tabler, would you travel with the team or would you stay home and enjoy your grandchildren?