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MLB and Players Union Heading Towards Violent Collision

Jake Mastroianni
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04: Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred reacts during a press conference prior to the American League Wild Card game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04: Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred reacts during a press conference prior to the American League Wild Card game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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The slow pace of free agency this offseason and the battle over how the game should be played going forward is setting up for a huge battle between the MLB and the players union.

As the San Francisco Giants continue to try and improve for a title in 2018, there is a growing sense of anger brewing between the players and commissioner Rob Manfred.

The players are obviously not happy with the way this offseason has gone, and they are taking their frustrations out on the commissioner by turning down his every attempt to improve the pace of play in baseball.

I’ve been considered an old school baseball fan for a while now, but I for one am all for speeding up the game. In fact, that’s how the game was played in the ‘old school.’

I get no enjoyment out of watching a batter step out of the box after every pitch to adjust himself and look to the sky for help.

The majority of the players in this generation seem to be more concerned with enjoying their time in the spotlight then giving the fans an exciting product.

As for a pitch clock, I don’t think that is the solution. But still, as someone who goes to a lot of minor league and college games where they do use a pitch clock, you won’t even notice its there.

The real problem I have with the pace of the game is the batters not staying in the box. I don’t know why they don’t enforce the rule that is already in place to keep batters in the box.

But I digress.

The point of this article was to prepare you for the storm that’s coming.

This offseason has set a huge precedent from front offices who refuse to give up massive amounts of money over several years to aging players.

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The fact of the matter is, that’s good business.

If you look at the track record of players who have signed mega deals, it’s not very pretty.

When you sign a player who is 29 or 30 for six or seven years you’re paying for the decline of his career.

A part of this new trend has to do with the reduction of steroids in the game. When steroids were being used players could still give you peak performances into their late 30s, but that’s not the case anymore.

Front offices realize now that their most productive years are coming when you’re paying them league minimum, or when they’re collecting arbitration.

Players see that now too, and they aren’t happy about where this is heading. If they’re not going to get ‘rewarded’ with big contracts at the end of their careers, they’re going to want to be paid upfront.

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This is going to be a hot topic during the next collective bargaining agreement, and I expect things to get ugly. I love the MLB and hope that’s not the case, because if we go on strike with people fighting over who gets more of our money like they did in 1994, that will detrimental to the game.

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