Baseball's leaders have shown no leadership

Bill Shanks shares his thoughts on the lack of leadership that has put baseball in peril.
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It was almost like a Saturday night massacre.

The players spoke first, with a Tweet. Then it was the owners’ turn. 

No phone calls. No sit-down discussions. A damn Tweet.

“It unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement. “It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”

The league responded in a statement Saturday night: “We are disappointed that the MLBPA has chosen not to negotiate in good faith over resumption of play after MLB has made three successive proposals that would provide players, clubs and our fans with an amicable resolution to a very difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

I’m not taking sides here. Why not? Well, in a day where we all must take sides – one or the other – on every issue (which is stupid), I believe there are merits to both sides’ issues.

We’re in unchartered waters here. There is no guidebook. No precedent for what was done before that could work again.

And yet, the one thing I will agree with is the owners are using this pandemic to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement.

The owners are not smart. Ken Kendrick, Arizona’s “leader,” admitted this week baseball needs a salary cap, needs revenue sharing.

That’s smart, Ken. Give the players a line to say, “See, all those bastards are after is a salary cap.”

And then Bill DeWitt, the Cardinals’ owner, saying baseball is not profitable.

Give me a break.

I’ll use J.J. Cooper’s response. He’s my good friend from Baseball America. The Royals were purchased in 2000 by the Glass Family for $96 million. They solid the team last year for $1 billion. And while the Royals did when a World Series under the Glass ownership, their revenues, attendance, and success were nothing to make you think there could be a $904 million profit.

Therefore, Mr. DeWitt, just shut up.

This is about a void in leadership. Rob Manfred and Tony Clark have failed. And now, we’re going to get a bunch of pissed off players back on the field just to receive the checks and go home.

All because the only thing Rob and Tony could do is send emails to one another.


Listen to The Bill Shanks Show weekdays at 3:00 p.m. ET on Middle Georgia’s ESPN. You can listen online at Follow Bill on Twitter at @billshanks and you can email him at