Chicago Cubs: For owners, what’s mine is mine – and yours is mine, too

(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Me and the dead canary from the coal mine were just around Carlsbad on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. They were the same ones MLB’s bargaining committee apparently uses, as their latest proposal involves using FanGraphs’ fWar, a very flawed statistical measure, as a gauge of a player’s ability – and earning power.

Seriously. I’ve said here before that I believe that Rob ‘The Poor’ Manfred and his band of cronies desire an end to the MLBPA, and it seems to me that this is just the latest volley in that ongoing effort.

I thought negotiations were supposed to involve both sides agreeing to things eventually, which means that the generated proposals need to have some basis in reality. Not so, here, where owners seems to feel that they have the high ground and refuse to bargain in good faith.

Evan Drellich in The Athletic (subcription required) informed the world of this latest wrinkle in the war of words between the really-monied and the pretty-well-monied. It’s not the proletariat against the bourgeoisie here, it’s more like Groucho Marxism, though this quote is salient.:

"“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” — Karl Marx"

Absolutely reflective of larger cultural issues, though we shan’t get into that here. The players’ union is extremely unlikely to sign off on this deal. There are entirely too many ways to game such a system, even if it’s based on a better stat than fWar. Indeed, in the Drellich piece, a player agent says “… since when do we let websites have such a direct influence on player salary?”

Major changes to the CBA are unlikely. Systems like stability – but major changes are what are needed. The draft system is absolutely haywire and should be rethought or abandoned. I like the idea of signings to be for a fixed length, then free agency with no arbitration and no team control after that period.

Chicago Cubs: This could have negated the Kris Bryant service time fiasco

For one thing, it removes several layers of lawyers, and I’m for that, as society is lawyers all the way down. And it would completely prevent a debacle like the Kris Bryant-Chicago Cubs case. It forces everything out into the open, where things can be understood by all observers and participants. The Cubs are hip-deep in this stuff – their tank-ish ways are part of what the players want to prevent.

"“Here’s to plain speaking and clear understanding” — Kasper Gutman"

Make it five years. That’s how long rookies have to prove themselves worthy of an additional contract. While you’re at it, in this utopian fantasy, let’s make sure said rookies have a place to stay, food to eat, medical care, stuff like that, like any respectable paramilitary operation does. Make the minor league teams a community.

That’s essentially what the MLBPA would like to do for them. Because a lot of them are not far removed from that situation, and they understand that the system as is looks a lot more like feudal serfdom than a dedicated workforce.

Next. Building the Cubs' Opening Day 2022 dream lineup. dark

What’s mine is mine, say the owners. And what’s yours is mine, too. If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that we’re all going to need something to do when the work stoppage hits in a few weeks’ time.