Letters: If money wins, fans lose in baseball talks again
If this year’s baseball season is canceled due to health and safety concerns, most baseball fans will be back next year to support the game that they love. However, if this season is canceled because billionaire owners and millionaire players cannot meet in the middle and settle their financial differences, Major League Baseball will be damaged irreparably and they will never get many of these fans back. During this unprecedented time of economic hardship and uncertainty for so many people, the last thing in the world anyone wants to hear about is these incredibly privileged individuals quibbling over who gets the biggest piece of the pie.
Just read that Scott Boras is encouraging baseball players not to play unless they get a pure pro-rated salary. Boras says the owners have made a lot of money the last few years and should be willing to take a loss during this partial year.
Hey, Scott, you have had a great last decade — why don’t YOU give up your commissions for the 2020 baseball season? Of course, that is out of the question as the money-hungry Boras always expects the other guy to take the heat. But in this case, Boras is also shafting a bunch of other people. How about the 25th man on the roster who doesn’t make multiple millions? I’ll bet super-agent Boras doesn’t know the name of one child of one player who is the 25th man on a roster — nor does he know the names of one vendor, parking lot attendant or usher at every major league ballpark.
As far as I’m concerned, I’d be happy to watch baseball without the presence of any of his greedy clients.
Angels owner Arte Moreno wants more time to make a decision on how he will develop the Angel Stadium property.
Unlike 1994 when the blame was, rightfully so, put on the players, if the petulant billionaire owners and crybaby millionaire players fail to reach an agreement and baseball is not played this season, the blame will be shared equally. As it should. And NO ONE WILL CARE because we will have the NBA and NHL playoffs to watch as well as NASCAR, golf and the UFC. And then in August the 800-pound Gorilla known as the NFL will start.
Baseball used to be the National Pastime. Now it is a sport that is past-its-time. With over 100,000 deaths and record unemployment because of this pandemic, failing to play in 2020 will hopefully make MLB as irrelevant as the WNBA. One more sport that will also be playing while MLB is not.
Heads up, MLB players. All those people who watch your games have to pay money to do so. They also have to pay to park and to buy food and merchandise. Now that you know this, do what you should to get back to ... play.
Recently acquired pitcher David Price said he will donate $1,000 to 221 Dodgers minor leaguers in June to help make ends meet in the absence of a season.
What the hoop?
The Euro Basketball League with 18 clubs in 10 nations canceled the rest of its season. Meanwhile our NBA continues to attempt a comeback of sorts by playing at Disney World
May I say, with all due respect, this is very Mickey Mouse.
I used to think that university presidents were smart and cared for the welfare of their students. With the votes to open campuses to football practices, they have caved in to the moneyed interests of TV, sports gambling, and advertisers.
Just two months ago universities were saying that nothing would open until the CDC said it was safe. Alas, money is more important than student health.
In 1939 Robert Maynard Hutchins, then president of the University of Chicago, ended the school’s nationally prominent football program because he felt that commercialized, big-time sports were incompatible with the goals of any institution of higher learning. I doubt that many are surprised by the NCAA’s ill-advised decision to rush the return to fall football with no concern for the student-athletes, whom they evidently view as little more than unpaid labor, just cogs in a system that, in the words of the late USC coach Jeff Cravath, reduces the players to “perjurers, scalpers and football gigolos.”
But college presidents, whose primary charge is the well-being of all their students, owe no such allegiances to the likes of ESPN. Perhaps there will be a major college president or two that will show the courage and leadership that President Hutchins did, put the health and well-being of their students above ESPN’s bottom line, and cancel their school’s fall athletic seasons, whether the NCAA likes it or not.
In reading some of the comments from the new athletic director at UCLA, he stated that his goal was to beat USC in football. The goal at USC is to win a national championship. Nuff said on the difference between the programs.
I am so happy that Bill Plaschke has straightened out the UCLA football program. He has informed Martin Jarmond that UCLA has to do much better and at least win more games than it loses and that the program must evolve. Now that Bill has spoken, I’m certain all will be well in Westwood.
Ralph S. Brax
Some colleges consider campuses safe for athletes but not for the general student population. Are colleges really just trying to protect their finances?
Shake it off
It is commendable that St. Francis High basketball coach Todd Wolfson teaches his players to respect their opponents. However, instructing the players to violate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s directive to not shake hands under any circumstances, no matter how well-intentioned, is irresponsible. Dr. Fauci, captain of his high school basketball team, clearly understands the comparative risk levels of taking a charge, setting a screen, or shaking hands. Undoubtedly the last thing Wolfson would want to do is to jeopardize the health of his players’ families and friends. The golf competitors in “The Match” figured out how to show mutual respect and respect for the game. Surely the St. Francis basketball team can devise a creative way to exhibit appropriate behavior in a safe manner.
No iconic contest
One good thing about the coronavirus. We get to see replays of all our sports broadcast legends. Scully, Enberg, Hearn, Lawler, Jackson ... I can’t imagine anyone eclipsing Scully’s iconic standing. Check your local listings for another iconic game replay.
It’s not trash
I must admit that too often I have thoughtlessly tossed the sports section into the recycling bin over the years. My bad. Today I was blown away by LZ Granderson’s poignant piece about the meaning of Memorial Day and the tragic loss of Pat Tillman (and so many others). I also found myself, in an article by Eric Sondheimer, agreeing with basketball coach Todd Wolfson, who balked at the knee-jerk no-handshake policies put in place without much logic behind them. My husband came up with a simple, elegant solution. All players clean their hands with sanitizer then shake away!!
Bill Plaschke, thanks so much for the article about our wonderful bugler Jay Cohen at Santa Anita. As a member Local 47 and former Executive Board member (and great sports fan), it made proud to read your account of Jay’s return to his gig at Santa Anita. We musicians love to play our instruments. We love to be part of our musical families, and we miss them at this time in our lives.
Keep up these wonderful local stories.
Read the Jay Cohen article this morning. He gave me great pleasure in the Frontrunner restaurant at Santa Anita playing requests. I never stumped him. I have an autographed picture of him on my corkboard beside my computer. I think he signed them all in his automobile.
Like many, I watched the charity golf and enjoyed the banter between Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods and Tom Brady. I wish they had announced that Manning was going to wear shorts; I had to scramble to get a piece of cardboard with a pin hole in it to watch when he was on camera.
Kevin H. Park
A big loss
I always looked forward to waking up Sunday morning and reading the recap of Saturday’s college football games by Chris Dufresne. His spot-on analysis, combined with his puns, innuendos and sarcasm, were second to none. Once I emailed him in 2010 and asked if he ever foresaw a day when college football would have a fair and honest playoff system, and he responded “Sorry, my day-to-day coverage of wacky BCS supersedes any call by me to overthrow a perfectly-great-to-write-about, messed-up system!!!”
It was obvious he loved what he did. He was one of a kind, and will be sorely missed.
Chris Dufresne, a respected authority on college sports, had 40-year L.A. Times career.
I can’t believe Big D would have let a steroid-jacked Bonds anywhere near the plate.
The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.
Go beyond the scoreboard
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.