'Cheer, here! Get your ice-cold cheer, here!'

After 99 days of the MLB lockout, comprised mostly of name-calling, subtle insults, and flat-out disrespect aimed at each other, the MLB owners and the MLB Players Association have kissed, made-up, and come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. Okay, whatever, guys.

It’s like all the bad vibes disappeared when each side realized how much money each side was losing by acting like idiots in the media (and probably even bigger idiots behind closed doors).

Well, whoop-dee-flipping-doo.

I have a news flash, gents: Maybe the bad vibes have disappeared for the present between you guys (yet we all understand will quickly reappear when the present collective bargaining agreement expires), but I have a feeling that you may be overlooking (as you always do) one other area in which the bad vibes are still festering:

Your (shrinking) fan base.

Everyone, please understand this: I have always been a baseball fan first. Ahead of football. Ahead of basketball. Ahead of Gilligan’s Island reruns.

Baseball always seemed like the purest of the sports to me, for reasons which – in retrospect – are especially difficult to pinpoint. But just the same, it is. Or should I say, was.

During a lifetime of cheering for the Indians, I have been subjected to several work stoppages, and I have seen the dark side to each side – and make no mistake, I have no particular allegiance to the players or the owners – but with each conflict, a little of my love for the game has been chipped away. A little more was chipped away in the steroid era. Some more with the Astros cheating scandal, and similar stunts by other big-league clubs.

Often, I’ve heard – from those defending Major League Baseball – that the players and owners are human, too, and they are entitled to make the same mistakes that ordinary shmoes like us do.

I have issues with that argument because – the way I see it – one of the great attractions of baseball (as well as sports in general) is that it is supposed to offer a distraction to the daily problems us ordinary shmoes face. Therefore, I – instinctively – set the bar high for my baseball heroes many, many decades ago, but have watched as it was slowly whittled down to the size – relatively speaking – of a toothpick.

And let’s get one other thing straight, while we’re on the subject: I’m eager to see the Guardians play ball; I’m happy baseball’s back. I’ll get excited when they do well and be bummed when they don’t.

However, this year my interest will be a bit less than the year before, which was already less than the 2010s, which was less than the 2000s, which was less than the 1990s, and so on.

It won’t be long before my interest in MLB will be gone. The Guardians may still be in town, but I will refer to them by a name which – by my logic – they’ve actually earned:

The Disregardians.  

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 10:37 AM, 03.15.2022