By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com
It was mid-to-late June in your life as a kid, and you knew what was ahead.
School was over, and your life flipped to summer and baseball. Yes, whether you’re in your 60’s, 50s, 40, 30s, or 20s, there were other options, yet baseball and summer was smacked together as well as a S’mores. Some of your most memorable sports memories were those days or nights at the ballpark or sitting on your deck or in your pool and watching or listening to a game on a cool summer night.
Keep those memories until next year. The game apparently has failed us for the summer of 2020 due to the pandemic and greed. Whether it is a 50-, 60-, or 70-game season, don’t let us down.
Even though MLB is a big business, we all need to remember it is still a game. It is an outlet for fans. Without delving into the specifics for both sides, the coffers still will have plenty for everybody.
The Players Association and the league still may be able to get a deal done, but they have entered the bottom of the eighth. It can be a fans’ buffet if the season begins in September, but why do we have to wait that long? Are we really thinking about watching the Lions’ and Cowboys’ games and a World Series game on Thanksgiving?
More than any other outlet, this country itself needs the game back. Americans need to focus on the national pastime again and argue about who should be in the lineup and not argue with each other over created tensions.
Baseball could alleviate today’s climate that is simmering as quickly and dangerously as a low-water, car radiator running on a sun-scorched humid July day. Add the water before it steams and stifles.
Both sides need to park their egos and their greed and give the country some type of abbreviated season. The NBA has been ironing out the final creases toward their appearance, and the NFL will continue forward with blinders on unless the Coronavirus claims too many victims in August.
With players’ rep Tony Clark and commissioner Rob Manfred apparently waiting for the other side to blink, someone may need to step in and solve the issues.
Several players tweeted the slogan “tell us when and where,” and hope was on the horizon. But it wasn’t enough as the ongoing battle over finances suddenly clouded the rising sun.
Don’t forget how the minor leagues have been affected. One of my favorite events of the summer was to visit a minor league park along the eastern seaboard for a story or just a game, and revel how those environments reveal the game’s fundamental steps and nature. There also were the economic and emotional boosts for the towns.
America surely has many voids, but the one shared by nearly everyone is baseball. The labor disagreement can be handled unlike the pandemic, which recently struck at the Phillies’ training site in Clearwater claiming five players and three staff members. Provisions can now be made to move forward.
If there isn’t a season, fans will forgive after a lusty amount of boos next year. A note to Clark and Manfred – don’t wait until then.
Baseball is a game that has developed a life of its own. Don’t fail us.
However, the game and the relief it brings, is what we all really need.