Ratto: How baseball restarts itself

How MLB can change the narrative

Ray Ratto
June 24, 2020 - 10:42 am

This is just a list. There is no writing skill involved. There is no reporting involved. This is just how baseball can change the narrative it constructed for itself that it is run by narcisstistic financial thugs and/or performed by graceless entitleds -- depending on your world view (and by the way, the correct answer is the first one).

Anyway, here's how baseball restarts and receives the fate it so richly deserves.

1. No positive tests between now and the start of the season — ahh, but Colorado's Charlie Blackmon just rang the carnival bell this morning. One down.

2a. No second wave. Can't see how that one can be avoided, since we've done such a horrid job with the first wave.

2b. If there is a second wave, all negotiated deals are canceled and labor and management have to renegotiate all the provisions because this was so entertaining. 

3a. Rob Manfred apologizes for coming off like the worst shop foreman in employment history, and then goes to no games.

3b. Rob Manfred is forced to go to a game a day and apologizes in person to anyone who wants one.

4. Asterisks are banned as concepts. This is the crap sandwich we've been delivered even though we didn't order it, and we either deal with it or stop watching. Everything that happens happens under the conditions that prevail. Deal.

5. Some team goes 50-10 — hopefully the Houston Astros, deservedly the Oakland Athletics.

6. Some team goes 10-50 — probably the Detroit Tigers, deservedly the Miami Marlins.

7. Someone (Mike Trout?) gets the 186 plate appearances required and hits .400.

8. In fact, someone breaks every traditional and post-analytic record, just to bring back the last thing pure about the game — mindless arguments in taverns.

9. All the big-payroll teams finish last.

10. The New York Mets finally go bankrupt. Not lawyer bankrupt. I mean actually, physically, lose-your-home bankrupt.

11. There is at least one bench-emptying brawl that adheres to social distancing, and all 60 players just stand around flipping middle fingers at each other while wearing team-issue N95s.

12. National anthems are canceled because, as Joe Buck will tell us, "you already know the words. Sing it to yourself."

13. Any broadcaster caught saying, "It's just great to have baseball back" is fired summarily and dragged from the booth (or rec room), never to work again.

14. Some analytics expert comes up with a stat with the acronym "COVID."

15. All the new rules and ideas for speeding up the game fail miserably and all the clever people who loopholed their way through every one of them are feted as heroes.

16. The Giants' leading home run hitter is a pitcher.

17. Angel Hernandez. Just because Angel Hernandez.

18. The Astros win the World Series, and Dusty Baker's victory speech is, "I have a list of all the people who can kiss my ass, and I will now recite those names." Oh, and Jim Crane doesn't get a ring.

19. There is a game-fixing scandal and then a CBA lockout in 2021 and then 10 straight small-market champions while the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Cardinals stink consistently, causing ESPN to give up the contract to HGTV. Because all of this — all of it — is what the industry deserves.

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