It’s March 31, 2022! Here I stand looking at the numbers off Eutaw Street. My eyes glance out to the green grass that fills the outfield. The smell of infield dirt circles the air as a gentle breeze fills the warm sunny day.
It’s a perfect day for baseball. As I stand, a few other fans gracing the area are searching for the smell of Boog’s BBQ, yet the grills remain cold, the stadium empty and the players hitting their 9-iron on the back fairway.
What about us, the fans? Are we alone?
Where do we fit into the latest labor unrest that started back on December 2, 2021, where 70 days passed with just two meetings held?
“Troublesome Tuesday,” as I like to call it, has come, and baseball will lose games for the first time since the 1994 player strike. Do we blame the owners or the players? Maybe we should blame both.
The owners locked out the players, but the players also helped to push this along by refusing to give into little of what the owners asked and vice versa. This is more than just money on the table, but it’s going to push the money out the door.
As fans, we are entitled to better. Are we alone?
We should be able to take our family to a day at the ballpark for less than a week’s vacation. But it seems that the players and owners seem to forget that it’s we, the fans, who help put the money into those fat pockets that bust at the seams.
Are we alone in the fact that we want and deserve better? Don’t we deserve to taste a ballpark hot dog while a stadium beer tickles our taste buds? To sit and fill out a scorecard while telling our children of the players that filled the cleats before?
Don’t we deserve to be thought of in this matter? Are we alone?
Instead, we have spoiled millionaires fighting with spoiled billionaires about who should be allowed to get more money in the present and near future. Yet we will come back no matter what.
We call it loyalty, a word that seems to be forgotten amongst our superstar role models whom we idolize and cheer nightly, knowing they will leave for half a billion dollars to play on a club that might compete for the postseason instead of the ones who will build around them.
Are we alone?
Most will remain loyal to a sport where our feelings, our desires and our break from the cruel world comes outside those foul lines. We will return when the game does because it’s who we are, loyal to a game that has forgotten who we are.
Are we alone?
In today’s game, we are nothing more than a dollar sign once we enter those gates. We let our heart get broken and then get kicked away, only to return when the smell of the ballpark does and our “National Pastime” plays “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Are we alone in our feelings of anger, hate and disgust? You bet your ballpark program we are. For we are what the game will always hurt and forget.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to an empty Opening Day where a lockout continues. Expanded playoffs, service time arbitration dollars and minimum salary are breaking the bones of a new CBA.
You want to know if we are alone? You bet your ballpark program we are.
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