This Week in Baseball Could Shape Its Future

Kyle Koster
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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Major League Baseball is expected to deliver its financial proposal to the Players Association today as one of the more pivotal weeks in the sport's history begins. Though there was plenty of leaked material to the press suggesting the players had already been offered a 50-50 revenue split, there's nothing yet on paper. The monetary complexities, mixed with more pressing safety concerns, have created an imperfect storm with choppy waters to navigate. Worse, there's no telling what conditions are like over the horizon.

There's been some natural oversimplification in the press and court of public opinion. Once some momentum to get the season going began to grow, it was natural to believe both sides would work together for a quick and tenable resolution. But that's not exactly a foregone conclusion.

So, let us -- and this sounds so crazy to say -- set aside the global pandemic and devastatingly real danger at play and go forward with the idea all the safety-related issues can be hammered out responsibly. Let's focus on the monetary angle.

It's not an original nor necessarily incorrect thought that Major League Baseball failing to return to action this summer would be devastating to the sport. Especially if it's perceived the failure caused by dollars and sense. The painful whiff of 1994 will only be intensified if other leagues make it work in short order.

This is baseball's best chance in a generation to own the conversation and convert new fans. It comes against a backdrop of immeasurable suffering. It's a demented calculus, but the math checks out.

In a time filled with so many question marks, perhaps the most salient answer of our times is that the right answer is eternally unclear. Having the humility to admit best-laid plans and actions may prove to be foolish or overly cautious is an important step in making any plan.

Baseball, like all other sports, will only return because of business. Sure, there will be some public need fulfilled by entertaining the masses but that's just a feature a salesman tells you to engender self-satisfaction. The incentive to get a deal done is enormous, with the consequences of failing to do so potentially the biggest driver of action.

Time is ticking. There will be at least a month between any accord and Opening Day. We're almost to June already. The NBA is reportedly eyeing July 25th as a resumption date. Baseball's already-small window is rapidly shrinking. This week will be pivotal and have a ripple effect on the months and years to come.

No pressure.

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