MLB Lockout: The Owners Have All The Advantages

This is an article that I wish was totally untrue. We have reached the point where it looks like the owner’s lockout of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association will cause regular season games to be canceled. For further bad news, it looks to me like the owners have just about every advantage in these negotiations, including no real pressure of time. I don’t think the players truly understand it.

The Owners

The Owners Have One Job, To Make Money

There is little indication to me that the owners care much about the legacy of Major League Baseball. Wanting things like expanded playoffs and not seeming to have an interest in making the league more competitive, compels me to see the owners for what they are. Their job is to make money for their investors and themselves and they are very good at it.

The Owners Are Filthy Rich For A Reason

You don’t get rich (and stay rich) by wasting money. Many of the rich people still drive cars that are 15-20 years old. They might be known as “penny pinchers” but they know how to handle money. It is so hard to get and stay rich and these folks know how to make good financial decisions with smart risks. These owners are accountable to boards of directors and investors and those people will want to have continued increases of their profits.

The Owners Are Just Built Different

A characteristic that most people don’t understand, these types of people are hyper-competitive in the Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant mode. Their competition can come from how well they continue to grow their money. Most of us would be perfectly content with generational riches and would probably just live off of the excess. Not these types. They keep striving for more riches and power. Just look at the people in their late 70s and 80s who are in congress. They are rich and powerful. It is addicting. Why wouldn’t they just go home and enjoy the rest of their time on earth with their love ones? They are just all built different.

The Owners Have A Public Relations Advantage

For those who pay attention closely, I think there is more favor towards the players. For the casual fan, they think all the players are millionaires. How many times have you heard the “it’s millionaires verses billionaires” saying? We’ll dig into that myth next.

The Players

They Aren’t All Rich

Around 65% of players in Major League Baseball make less than $1M. Players on the lower end have no guarantee of making a bigger salary and are not guaranteed to even play their next season. These lower wage players mostly have a short window to earn their lifetime baseball earnings. With minimum wages for players at almost $600K many people don’t have much of a chance at getting that much over even a long period of time or even a lifetime. It’s a lot but if you knew you only had a year or two to earn a lot of money, wouldn’t you want to play as much as possible?

Of the 1,453 players to accrue at least one day of service time last season, 590 (40.6 percent) have made less than $1 million in career earnings, according to the MLBPA’s breakdown. The median career earnings of that group was $357,718. – FiveThirtyEight

The Players Seem To Have Baseball’s Best Interests In Mind

The owners seem to care less about competitive balance or tanking. Their desire for a 14 team playoff would allow them to pocket $100M extra from ESPN for the extra games. Players are tired of playing on teams with no desire to win. Again, the owners don’t care. The resignation of Derek Jeter as CEO and part-owner of the Marlins is an indicator of the player mentality. Can you imagine Jeter being content with losing?

At the end of the day, the players still need to make their income the primary factor.

Long-Term Thoughts

I see the owners being in the driver’s seat throughout this whole negotiation. We’ve already read that they have no problem skipping the first month of the season. My personal opinion is that the 2022 season will not happen and it is because the owners truly have a huge negotiating advantage. If the players want any real gains, they will need to have the will to sit out. How will that sit with the players that have short careers that aren’t millionaires? We shall see.

Just leaving this here:


Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger


  1. Owners have to right to run the “business” as they like. If players aren’t getting rich, get better, or find a new career.

  2. Fire all of the major league players, bring up the minor league players with a 100k cap. The players can exceed that amount (via a bonus) based on their production at the end of the year. These players are clueless of how well their life is (for a f’in game} in comparison to real people with real jobs.

    1. I read that if the players were replaced the quality of baseball would be severely affected. I find it hard to believe that a different group of players that hit into the shift willingly, strikeout excessively due to ‘launch angle’, cannot bunt, make basic contact in situations, adjust his batting gloves and other various parts of the body even after NOT swinging the bat, the pitcher walking the mound for 30 seconds after every pitch. Yes, I can surely see where the quality of the game would suffer from having others do the same thing.

    2. Of course the owners have the advantage. Does no one understand the concept of owner/employee? How many people in America would not play baseball for $600,000? Players are young, a few have some education. They can walk away from their million dollar contracts and get a real job. Or they could go overseas and play. They can be replaced.

  3. The owners have earned the right to be tightwads. The players should have taken the final offer, been the heroes for saving the season, earned millions, and griped about this CBA for 5 years. Fire Manfred!!!

  4. According to the Forbes Article 1/20/22,NFL football is in the decline and its accelerating .. January 20 th 2022 article . Do let this Football Cult Destroy Baseball … Baseball has more fans , worldwide and Baseball makes more money than Football … ITs not Baseball , its the Crooked Owners , Destroying the game ..BOYCOTT THE GAMES , send a message to the owners , were not going to take your B.S

  5. Well put Tim, while money is important, I think ego and power are huge factors too. If they upped the minimum wage just $100K, assuming 10 players at the minimum per team, it would be less than 1% of total payroll. I have far less sympathy for the guys making $20M per year, than the minimum, which itself is far more than I’ve ever made. But ownership seems content to grind out the little guys and throw out $300M contracts.

  6. This really sucks. Looks to me like I will be right in my prediction that there will be NO games to the 2022 season (Just like the NHL had happen to them a few years ago). And Los Angeles, who have not hosted an All-Star Game for 42 years, had one scheduled for 2020other 40 ye but taken away by Manfred’s unilateral killing of baseball then, and scheduled for this year, too, which will be taken away. And by the time one can be rescheduled, it will be another 40-year waite.t to se, at which time Dodger Stadium will have to have been replaced, since it will be about 100 years old by that time.

    Rob Manfred hates baseball. He hates Los Angeles. And he hates the Dodgers. He need to be replaced while there still is a game of baseball fans will want to see.

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