Shaughnessy On MLB Drama: Baseball "Slowly Dying In Front Of Us"

It appears there will be a 2020 MLB season, but baseball is in a bad place, Dan Shaughnessy says

The DA Show
June 23, 2020 - 9:46 am

After Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association failed to strike a deal on return-to-play proposals, Commissioner Rob Manfred will reportedly impose a 60-game season. The players must agree to coronavirus-safety protocols and a report date, but it appears a 2020 season will occur.

Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy’s response? It’s about time.

“I’ve kind of been rolling my eyes at this thing for the whole two months,” Shaughnessy said on The DA Show. “Seven proposals were rejected by one side or the other. Early on, I was unaware that the commissioner could just unilaterally implement what we’re seeing here, which is what’s happening.”

Even with Manfred imposing a season, however, the coronavirus looms. Forty MLB players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week.

“Are any of these games going to be played in any sport?” Shaughnessy asked. “It just feels like the virus has been closing in around us over the last week to 10 days. I never say never on any of it right now. Yes, it would be great [to have] 60 games. That’s better than no games. Shame on them for dragging their laundry out in front of everybody at a time like this with the unemployment and death rates and all the fear in our country. They did not come up big, nor did I expect them to.”

While it appears a labor strike was avoided, the last two months could still cause irreparable harm to the game, as baseball no longer occupies a lofty space in the American sports landscape.

“People don’t care,” Shaughnessy said. “It’s like people who buy newspapers and go to daily mass. There’s an elderly population, of which I am part, and they’re not going to be replaced, especially in the climate we have now where baseball is pretty much anti-everything, including social media. They don’t make their players stars. They stress conformity rather than individuality. And they’ve got a game that is slowly dying in front of us because of the pace of play and all homers, walks and strikeouts. The players don’t see anything wrong with that, either. David Price says, ‘I don’t care. We’ll take as long as we want to take out there.’ That’s great for you, but no one’s watching. It’s a turnoff.”

Baseball lost fans after the 1994 strike, but the 1998 home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa brought a lot of them back. Shaughnessy doesn’t see baseball catching lightning in a bottle again.

“I don’t think that exists,” he said. “I don’t see it. People wouldn’t get into it. It’s unrealistic to think that there’s anything like that on the horizon. The home run chase, the home run derby, new young stars – it’s just not happening.”