Ian Desmond, distractions, and the “white man’s game”

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​Ian Desmond, Rockies outfielder, posted a lengthy explanation on Instagram for why he wouldn’t be participating in MLB’s mid-pandemic 2020 season. The whole thing is worth your time, as before the reveal he’ll be sitting out the season, he focuses on his own upbringing on and off the field as a biracial American, the disadvantages poor, Black communities face in being able to replicate his own journey in this era that’s hyper-focused on baseball of all levels as a business, and racism within MLB itself.

What you should probably not do is read this and react to it in a way where your first questions are about how this impacts the Rockies in 2020, if Desmond stepping away from the sport and his significant paycheck for a year to spend time with his family and to tend to his roots makes their lineup better or worse, if there is something else the Rockies should be doing with the the pro-rated sum of the $15 million he was supposed to earn in a “normal” season. Kind of weird that people laughed at the NBA’s Kyrie Irving for saying that the return of his league was a distraction from the social issues, when many of those same people are now distracting themselves from the very social issues Desmond wrote about in his post in favor of some transaction analysis.

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Taxi Squad concerns, and nearly half of MLB isn’t paying MiLB players in July

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There will be an MLB season in 2020, but should there be?

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On ‘when and where’ and MLB’s latest proposal drama

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It’s been a wild few days for those watching the negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association. Last week, MLB stopped whispering and started yelling that they could impose a 48-game season on the PA, and, in one of those moments where people in power say their opponent is doing the thing they themselves are guilty of, accused the union of negotiating in bad faith. The PA responded by telling MLB to go ahead and set a schedule — “tell us when and where” to play — and MLB suddenly changed their tune upon realizing what was happening. The Players Association had backed MLB into a corner, which is not a place the owners have found themselves in for at least a couple of decades now.

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Please stop both-sidesing the MLB labor battle

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With MLB commissioner Rob Manfred now saying he can’t 100 percent guarantee that there will be Major League Baseball games played in 2020, we’re about to witness a flood of “if only the two sides, equally at fault, would work together” sentiments. This was a take I was marinating even before Buster Olney woke up this morning and decided to both-sides what have very clearly been bad faith negotiations by the league:

Olney, at this point, is either willfully ignorant of reality, or incapable of comprehending what’s going on. It doesn’t matter which it is: the material damage is the same.

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Is having a season or harming the union more important to MLB’s owners?

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MLB considering allowing fans mid-pandemic another sign money is all that matters

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Leagues speaking up about Black lives rings hollow

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New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees deserves to be derided for somehow still not understanding what the protests that saw Colin Kaepernick blacklisted from the National Football League were even about, but he’s far from alone in who we should be judging in this moment in time. The various sports leagues themselves have released statements that read like they knew everyone was expecting them to say something about the protests against police brutality of Black Americans, but wanted to make sure they said as little of substance as possible in the process.

This compulsory form of statement-releasing and posting is essentially a call of “Please Like Me” to a wide array of fans. These teams, leagues, and even some of the athletes within them want to be recognized as not explicitly racist or tone deaf, but they also don’t want to actually do anything besides collect on that acknowledgement. Take a look at the NFL’s statement, signed by commissioner Roger Goodell, for instance:

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MLB, MLBPA moving closer on compensation, but what about safety?

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