The owners of baseball teams around the country recently suggested a new model for the players that would involve their taking a pay cut for what will doubtlessly turn out to be a reduced baseball season — assuming that we even have one this year! The payers have yet to vote on the model, but one player, Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays, has had an immediate and telling reaction to the proposal. As we are told in a recent Yahoo News story:
”I’m not playing unless I get mine,’’ Snell proclaimed, saying he would sit out any resumed season if his $7 million pay is cut too much. He said other things, too, but his main point seemed to be that even a pandemic shouldn’t spoil the riches he so richly deserves.
”I’m not splitting no revenue. I want all mine,’’ the 2018 Cy Young winner for Tampa Bay said. “Bro, y’all got to understand, too, because y’all going to be like: ‘Bro, play for the love of the game. Man, what’s wrong with you, bro? Money should not be a thing.’ Bro, I’m risking my life. What do you mean, ‘It should not be a thing?’ It 100% should be a thing.”
Well, maybe not 100%, but let’s try and cut the 27-year-old Snell some slack. Maybe he’s been playing video games so much he hasn’t had time to pick up a newspaper or watch the news on TV.
He might not have seen the headlines that 36.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last eight weeks, or the poll that shows 46% without jobs are worried they will not have enough food to make it through the end of the month.
And maybe he didn’t peek into his bank account and notice that $286,500 has already been deposited there for this season without throwing a pitch. He’s also scheduled to get $43,210 for each game – yes, each game – of the schedule should the season resume.
No, it’s not the $7 million he signed up for. But that was silly money even before the virus began spreading across the country.
What we have here is a purblind millionaire athlete who fails to recognize the fact that those around him are suffering from lost income and lost health as a pandemic spreads around the world. As the article says, perhaps he has been playing too many video games and hasn’t taken the time to watch the news.
In any event, the pressure to get baseball payers back on the field is immense as the entire economy, it seems, is in the toilet and such high-ups as Donald Trump have urged the teams, all athletic teams, to get going again. After all, if the economy tanks completely then this president will most assuredly not be re-elected. And that’s what matters. To him.
But the fact of the matter is that the urge to get back to normal — which is strong among spoiled people who are used to getting what they want — is terribly short-sighted. South Korea and China are both currently experiencing a resurgence in the virus after recently opening up a number of public places to hordes of people who are sick and tired of being cooped up for months. It’s understandable that we want things to go back the way they were, but we must realize that this pandemic will not disappear simply because we want it to. And as long as it is a threat to the vulnerable (of which Snell is not included) we must practice the patience we have shown we have very little of.
This is a learning experience for us all, and folks like Snell strike this writer as morally blind and even a bit stupid.