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Wednesday/Thursday BP: MLB owners choose to begin canceling regular season games

With MLB’s farce of a “best offer” Tuesday afternoon, their arbitrary deadline has come and gone and so has the hope of a full season

San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer during a news conference at AT&T Park, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in San Francisco, Calif. The S.F. Giants introduced Evan Longoria as their new third baseman. Photo by Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Good morning, baseball fans.

Let’s just get this out of the way now. This, what’s happening right now, is a choice. And it isn’t a choice the players made, it’s the result of several choices that the owners have made in order to attempt to get the players to break, maybe even break the union while they’re at it.

They chose to implement an unnecessary lockout. They chose not to negotiate in a timely manner afterwards. They chose to wait until the last minute to put pressure on players who will suffer more from lost income than they ever will. They chose to implement an arbitrary deadline in order for a full season of baseball to be played. And then they chose not to negotiate, not to budge. They chose to tell the players it was their way or no way, not even trying to bridge the gap in offers. And now they’re choosing to cancel part of the season.

All the while attempting to put the blame on the players by any means possible, including a flurry of fake late night optimism on Monday night that indicated that a deal was imminent, knowing all the while that they were miles apart on nearly every issue that mattered.

All so they could turn around and cry, “See, these mean, greedy players are the reason you don’t get to watch baseball on Opening Day! We did everything we could! We just can’t afford to pay them, we’re already losing money!” All while stuffing fistfuls of cash down the back of their pants and hoping you aren’t looking.

And there will be people who believe them. There will be people who “both-sides” this, as though it isn’t a blatant attempt to apply pressure and hopefully break the union.

I’m not one of those people. I don’t suffer fools and I refuse to be blatantly lied to. So the reason I’m repeating these sentiments in multiple posts is because I refuse to let you be lied to either. It’s been nearly a hundred days since this started, and I’m willing to wait a hundred more. I’m willing to wait as long as it takes for the owners to understand that we don’t come to baseball games to see them. San Francisco Giants fans don’t pay $150 for a jersey with Charles Johnson or Larry Baer’s name on it.

As tempting as it is to get mad at Rob Manfred, he’s not the one making the decisions here. He’s playing fall-guy and punching bag for the ones who are really responsible for this.

Their product is baseball and there’s no baseball without the players and there aren’t fans without the players. There aren’t big broadcasting deals without baseball games to broadcast. There aren’t big gambling sponsors without actual baseball for people to bet on. And they’d be smart to remember that.

But a part of me, well, a part of me thinks they don’t care and wouldn’t mind seeing it all crash and burn, if it meant they could avoid parting with a few extra pennies of their precious profits.