Well, it was bound to happen. On the heels of a great World Series—where the ratings were through the roof, where people were talking about baseball again, loving baseball again, actually tuning in to watch baseball again—comes the stupidest word that could possibly be uttered by anyone associated with major league baseball.
Remember the ugliness of that word? Remember how destructive it was? The self-inflicted wounds it caused? How it washed away an entire World Series?
Well, it’s back.
After twenty-two years of sanity also known as labor peace, the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the union and the owners expires on December 1.
And on Wednesday, someone on the ownership side uttered the dreaded word, as reported by Ken Rosenthal from Fox:
“The owners will consider voting to lock out the players if the two sides cannot reach a new collective-bargaining agreement by the time the current deal expires on Dec. 1, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions.
A lockout would put baseball’s business on hold, delaying free-agent signings and trades until a new agreement is reached.”
The sticking points are arcane. But the rhetoric is starting to take on that eerie tone of stubbornness.
They can’t be this stupid, can they?
Judging from the size of the contracts already handed out to mediocre free agents so far this off-season, yes.