MIKE BURKE

Allegany Radio Sports Corporation

Due to circumstances beyond anybody’s control (this circumstance having been the Super Bowl being played on Sunday), Baseball Monday 3 did not take place on Monday. Thus, we’ll semi do it today if that’s alright.

So now that football season is finally over, which is normally a good thing, why don’t we get to baseball season? Settle this damn lockout, right?

Our natural body clocks are already connected to baseball – the thought of it, the anticipation of it and the need for the day-to-day of it. But the 105-day count from the final out of the 2021 World Series to the day pitchers and catchers report to spring training has been interrupted by the baseball owners’ 75-day, and counting, lockout.

Pitchers and catchers, for instance, were to have reported today.

In the meantime, many of us have taken to watching a lot of the Major League Baseball Network, which, suddenly, miraculously and thankfully, one day showed up on our dial. Even though MLB, the scoundrels who are the cause of this lockout, own it and operate it, it’s all really good stuff. During the course of a winter’s day, it’s just a good thing to have baseball on your television non-stop as you go about the business of your day.

Having MLB Network on during the course of a day is not unlike experiencing the rhythm of the baseball season, which, I suppose, is the point. Yet, in the meantime, the MLB owners, who enforced this lockout, continue to lowball the players and put the word out that they are the party responsible for the lockout, even though those who are locked out amidst a labor situation are not likely to have been the ones who locked themselves out.

Fans don’t get that, though, because fans don’t want to get it. They prefer to let themselves see what they have conned themselves into believing — that the players are merely regular guys getting paid a lot of money to do something that they see as something they enjoyed doing as kids for free and could still do themselves to this day at far lower wages (but far higher wages than what their current jobs pay); which, of course, is complete baloney on all counts.

Yet, they buy the owners’ more harmful baloney, and the longer the owners keep this attempted strong-arming going, we’ll see more and more frustrated fans, who are even more frustrated with their own circumstances, believing the players are the ones who have brought this all about.

Why fans side with owners through lockouts that owners create themselves, why normal mugs like you and I side with the 1 percent on obscene tax cuts for the 1 percent to leave all of the dirty work and the heavy lifting to us, I’ll never understand.

As one of the best and my very favorite city editor in 40 years of newspapering, the great Bob Likens, often said through a heavy exhale of deadline-induced cigarette smoke, “The boy just ain’t too bright.”

(The Top 10 Baseball Movies of All-Time continues. Previously: No. 1, A League of Their Own; No. 2, Bull Durham)

  1. Eight Men Out (1988):

True-life drama about the 1919 Black Sox Scandal and how it nearly ruined baseball. Accurate to the word of the book written by Eliot Asinof, it has a great cast and tells a great story because, like “All The President’s Men,” it really happened, which is really scary.

It covers, beginning to end, the game’s most disastrous scandal that nearly became its fatal one, and serves as a great reminder that, yeah, what Pete Rose did was pretty bad and that he should never be allowed back anywhere near the game.

Best line: “Say it ain’t so, Joe. Say it ain’t so.”

P.S. – The owners, one in particular, were chiefly responsible for the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.

And by the way, I fell asleep for the entire second half of the Super Bowl.

Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Radio and Pikewood Digital. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT