It’s just a number to most, but to baseball, it’s a prominent number.
The World Series is the best-of-seven, we have the seventh inning stretch, where many award ceremonies and special events take place. It’s just a number, but, once again, seven becomes another number of importance.
Monday, February 21, a multiple of seven, will mark the seventh time the players union and owners will meet since the lockout started on December 2, 2021.
Sure, it’s fun to poke around how this is the closing bell, the last call, the one that decides it all. But the owners and players have agreed to meet every day this week to try and resolve the mess we’ve been in for over two months now.
Somehow though, Monday feels like it holds a lot of weight and significance in steps towards getting baseball back on track.
The few things that seem to be agreed upon; the universal DH, trying to prevent tanking and expanded playoffs don’t seem to be enough to push even a step forward in reaching an agreement that satisfies both sides.
We, as fans, are left to wonder what it will take to end the impass. We hear the owners telling us how the players are just greedy and unwilling to give, yet the owners won’t budge on revenue sharing, want to eliminate upwards of 150 minor league jobs, after eliminating close to 100 Minor League teams not even two years ago.
The owners took a big loss in 2020, as stadiums sat empty while teams played ball for a mere 60 games. They lost out on parking, concessions, ticket sales and various other money making ventures. But players took prorated contracts, helping owners save money.
As 2021 played out, stadiums went from empty to partially full, before being allowed to even feel like a ballpark again. The roar of an audience made the stadiums alive once more, concessions and parking brought in some dollars and television contracts were there to save for major losses.
All of this leaves us back to where we are today, with fans scratching their heads as players and owners duke out to see which one will fall first.
You’d think with all the losses in monetary value someone on these sides would wake up and remember; you’re setting yourself up for even more loss at the rate they are going.
So here we sit, headed to round seven of a dead even heat. Both on shakey ground, trying to throw a knockout blow and re-energize a crowd that will surely walk out if regular season games are lost.
Do we hear a bell to end it all, or does the pastime we so dearly love leave another black eye on the face of a sport that might be on the brink of professional collapse?
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