Survey Says: What About that Baseball Strike?

August 22, 2002 ( - Apparently nobody remembers the 1994 debacle because it now looks like we might actually have a baseball strike - and who knows? No World Series? But maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Anyway, this week we asked you what YOU thought.

The readership – and there was a LARGE response this week – was not overly sympathetic to the prospects of a strike.  In fact, they were downright hostile.  More than 41% felt – and felt strongly, for the most part – that the baseball players should get a real job.  As one said, “As I sit in my small office w/no windows and no fresh air for at least a ten hour day, with no raise for a year due to the economy, I have to say I feel real sorry for those poor players, sigh  — who am I kidding?   They are already living a man’s dream to be able to play in the big leagues.  I tell you what – I’ll trade places with them and go for the salary they were making five years ago and they can come and sit with the computer.”

Or there was this version: “If they strike and thus have free time, they can come help me budget for our 28% healthcare increases, or, better yet, whine about their pay to the employees losing jobs due to a business “realignment!”…a reader who nonetheless offered, “But I still love baseball…).”

But many shared the sentiment of the reader who said, “Perhaps we should strike against baseball and let them know that we’re tired of their whining!”

And then there was the conflicted reader who said, “C)…get a real job….and d) I don’t give a dam……and e)….let me be a replacement player!

A close second (roughly 33% ) said they didn’t give a – darn (some actually changed the word choice to a more “hearty” noun).  Some weren’t baseball fans, others thought there were better places to spend those kind of salary dollars.  As one noted, “Until our police officers and firefighters start getting paid what these spoiled brats in baseball do then maybe I’ll start paying attention to the game, but until then….I just don’t give a darn!”   Teachers were also frequently cited as an underpaid profession.  Many said they were just waiting for football season anyway.

One reader who said he gave a darn – and yet didn’t also noted, “…the collateral damage that a baseball strike will have; taxpayer built stadiums that will go dark, the jobs and business that orbit around the baseball season.  the reason not to give a darn is the out-of-touch players that seem to think that hitting their weight is really worth 2.3 million plus a signing bonus.  There is a certain comic value in getting to hear one of these characters say (and with a straight face) ‘it’s not about the money, it’s about fairness’.

 It might be different if fans thought they were getting something for their money.  One reader, apparently having just spent some money at the “old ball game” noted, “How many families can afford to take the kids to a ball game?  The cost of the tickets, another $10 to park the car, and God forbid the kids want an ice cream cone – another $3 or $4 each.  (I couldn’t believe they wanted $3 for a single dip ice cream cone.  The lady made a face at me and said, “Well it is Hagen Daas.”  My response was “Yes, but it’s not gold.”)
A resounding 21% basically faulted BOTH players and owners for letting the entire situation get out of control.  Just 4% were still waiting for the players to make a better case, while 2% said they already had a case.

One of our favorites was this reader’s observation, “I could care less about baseball – it’s boring and they are overpaid. All professional athletes need a reality check – yes they are talented but their egos grow with their paychecks.  Sure they can win a game with one move but lets see them give 1 year old twins a bath and not get wet – that’s talent! I have done it once in the last 12 months!  Where’s my 30 million dollars?”   (yes, but can you do it in front of 40,000 screaming fans?)

And then there was the reader who said, “So maybe we need to begin to treat baseball teams like businesses and reward the most profitable teams by sending those teams to the playoffs rather than the teams with the most wins.” (I thought that was how the Yankees kept showing up…)

But, for MY money, this week’s Editor’s Choice was the reader who was able to find a silver lining in the potential cloud: “I felt it necessary to create a new category to capture my response; E) Almost feel a sense of relief- I’m a Red Sox Fan….

Thanks to EVERYONE who participated in our survey!  We always have some good verbatims – but this one is a real treat.  You’ll want to check them ALL out…

Readers weigh in on the causes, impact - and solutions for the pending major league baseball strike.

The question was: Apparently nobody remembers the 1994 debacle - but it now looks like we might actually have a baseball strike - and, who knows?   No World Series?   But maybe that's not such a bad thing.   This week, we'd like to know what YOU think.   "Do the baseball players (a) have a point, (b) need to make their case better, or (c) need to get a real job?   Or do you (d) just not give a - darn.

My answer is (d) because the owners and players are just greedy.   Baseball is no longer the national past time.   It has grown to be such a gluttonous institution that the common man can no longer afford a ballgame for fun. My husband recently went to a game where 3 hot dogs and 3 drinks cost $27. They paid $5 for bleacher seats in the outfield but were hosed at the concession stand.   I hope the owners and players remember that we have better ways to spend our money.

The owners need to open their books and some players are paid way too much. Their needs to be more revenue sharing og all TV, radio, logo-wear sales, etc. since baseball can only be as strong as the sum of the teams.   Should be viewed and run as one business with multiple work locations.   If the players are going to have a union, run it like a union; negotiate the pay range for each position and every team would have to pay their players within the prescribed range for their position.

I am a (d) but I also feel a bit of (c) as well.   And to be honest, we need some (b) because I have no idea why they are really striking.   They are all overpaid prima donnas in my opinion.   It's insulting when the rest of America, most of whom cannot afford to take their family to more than 1

ball game a year, is struggling to make ends meet, and these guys are upset because they might have to keep their Jaguar a year longer than anticipated....or they won't be able to support their Hooter's waitress girlfriends in the style and manner to which they have become accustomed.

But to be honest, the strike won't really affect me that much.   I generally don't go to major league baseball games, so I will continue to not go.

This is a badly worded question.   The ballplayers may have a point (a), but they absolutely have not made their case to their customers.   This means that (b) fits, as does (c).   Unfortunately, I do care.   The Yankees are in first place, and just coming off a down year (any time they don't win the World Series is a down year for the Yankees).   A strike may be the beginning of the end for big-time sports, and that may be a good thing.

I love baseball and don't want to see a strike especially with the Yankees 7 games up on the Red Sox. Seriously, I do think that people will really turn off to a terrific sport if there is a strike this year...

As someone who is a fan of baseball I'm always frustrated by this continuous saga. I can't understand why baseball is so different from football and basketball. Do the players have a point - yes, but who cares? For me, they can get a real job. They've destroyed the intrigue of the game, at that level, for me. I've become more of a college baseball fan.

Get a real job!   I'd like to get paid millions of dollars for "playing".   No one will be watching because we have to work too many hours to be able to afford to take the family to America's favorite pastime.

I think I've watched one professional baseball game in person, and maybe   one on TV.   Frankly, my dear, I don't give a hoot.   At least the strike   will bring baseball into the realm of something I can understand - the   business world.   I do still like hot dogs and apple pie, though.

I could care less...check that...I guess I couldn't care less.

Let me just say I HATE the baseball players view and I will HATE them more if they strike.   I think there is a problem if someone can not make it on $5,000,000.00 or for that matter even 1 million....I think they should cap the salaries at $500,000 and lower the ticket prices so that everyone in this nation could afford to go see America's greatest pastime.....

I don't claim to be a huge baseball fan but if they go on strike I won't be a fan at all any more.   I also don't know all of the things they don't agree on but I'm sure it's comes down to money and they're being greedy and not considering the fans!!!

It's hard to care what happens - whether the millionaire players win against the millionaire owners.   Why would it even matter if baseball just fell off the planet?   There are so many more real problems facing us today.

I choose d,   but I think it's a shame the spirit of sport is overwhelmed by the press of business on both sides, and the fans are the ones hurt.  

Everything I've been reading points toward greed on the part of the players.

I'll never understand the situation.   Both sides are willing to negotiate salaries so high that the whole industry will go bankrupt.

(d)   The owners suffer from the same disease that affects most school boards and city governments.   They have bargained away their ability to run the business.

The last time there was a strike - my family boycotted baseball for two years in protest.

While I am an avid fan of baseball (I'm even a Phillies fan) the thought of these people making MILLIONS of dollars and still complaining about it makes me ill.

Maybe they should try a different career if this one is so terrible.   One thing I can tell you is that if they have the gall to strike again - it'll be another 2+ years before I watch a game (on TV or at the stadium) or have anything else to do with baseball.

Perhaps we should strike against baseball and let them know that we're tired of their whining!

Both sides have a point, but at some point the madness has to stop!   If baseball fans stop supporting the sport, the owners and players won't have anything to argue about!

d.....just don't give a darn, there are more important things in my life, like spending time with my family playing baseball, not watching!!!

I think they all (both sides) need to grow up.   If they all stopped for 5 seconds maybe they would realize how ridiculous they look arguing over salary caps for people who already make more in a year than most of us see in a lifetime.   I say they need to work more on public relations or they are going to lose their fans! they can't figure out how to share billions of dollars? Can you spell s-t-u-p-i-d?

And yes, once again they'll break my heart, but when they ask me back, will I play hard to get this time? Stay tuned...

Can anyone tell me why ANYONE should care if there is a baseball strike?    A bunch of overpaid primadonnas, making an average of $2 million per year, feel they are underpaid.   A group of poor business managers, who created the feeding frenzy of escalating salaries, now want the salary plan to control their stupidity because they can't.   I am in favor of a strike because:

1)     Sports writers and broadcasters would need to learn about sports instead

       of reading endless litanies of meaningless ball scores as "sports news."

2)     Baseball fans could redirect their interest to the minor leagues and little league

       where baseball is still a game and not so much a business.

3)     The resources devoted to "rotisserie leagues" could be redirected to some

       beneficial activity.

4)     The "national pastime" would be recognized for what it is, a cultural

       anachronism perpetuated to get stupid people to pay exorbitant prices to

       see 162 virtually meaningless games each year.

The only intelligent life in the baseball universe is New York's Cablevision.

A combination of C and D.   Who gives a crap!   Maybe they should all try to get real jobs and survive like the rest of the WORKING nation.

Just my thoughts. And yes, I have already had my morning cup of coffee    🙂

The baseball players (a) have a point.    And, the strike clause is a part of their negotiated agreement.   However, there is a third party in this particular saga, namely the American public.   And, it appears that the vast majority of the fans view a strike very unfavorably which could have even very negative ramifications for professional baseball even if the players were to strike and win their on their issues.

"D" that's I never gave a damn. The closest thing to baseball team around Nashville is Little League. I hate watching the game, it is way to slow. However I like playing the game.

The players need to get a real job. I respect the talents professional athletes have to get to their position, but I differ on one major item. They always claim that they are the product and without them, there is no game, so they should be justly rewarded. I agree to a point, but I would like to see what they would do if they were on the other side, or even in another business. Would they see the employees as the reason the product is available, or would they try to maximize their own profits by instituting pay grades, salary ranges, etc. found in most HR departments? I am guessing they would try to squeeze as much money as they could because they would see their assets on the line to create the company in the first place. Being the son of a union man it's hard to say, but I'm with the owners on this one.

I personally do not appreciate sports.   However, I believe that it is a sad statement that we place greater value on how well somebody throws or hits a ball than on how well they can teach our children.

I think a strike might be a good thing.   Maybe TV writers will have to actually come up with some good entertainment in its place.

I think a combination of c & d....I haven't figured out exactly what they have to complain about or strike against.   They are paid bazillions of dollars to play the game they love and also secure additional money in endorsements....hmm..sounds like a sweatshop to me.   But then again, I

don't follow the sport.

Since free-agency, baseball has been a yawner.   Let 'em strike.   Barry's gotten his 600 so turn out the lights, lock the gates and quit already.   If they're really serious about changing things they should shorten the games to four or five innings, put a time limit on the pitcher and the batter, put padding and helmets on the players to make it a contact sport. Who knows?   That game may just become the preferred "National Pastime"!

d, but in my opinion it isn't just the players, the owners are as guilty for the state of the sport as the players. They all need to go and get a real job!

In one day, many of these players make more than most people do in one year. Must be hard to play itchy and scratchy. Isn't Mastercard giving away a free trip to the 2002 World Series, looks like you won't have to worry about the line for the restroom!

Answer: A.

Baseball players do have a point in striking because they are a strong union and like all unions when negotiations are at hand, threats are made and sometimes carried out. However, there was a law was passed after the 1994 strike that gave baseball players the right to settle this matter in

court..the exam name of the law slips my mind and I'd have to dig out my old notes to find it. I think though the real question at hand is whether anyone cares whether they strike and as the NYT pointed out Sunday, many fans could care less because of the timing of the strike. Football season is about ready to kick off - at the professional and college level. And once engulfed in that, the NBA and NHL will start up. Also, baseball is not as popular as it was in 1994. The 1993 season saw the highest attendance levels ever in baseball and because of the 1994 strike, attendance has not reached those levels again. (I wrote a paper on baseball attendance levels and factors of attendance during the 1990s). If baseball does strike, the fans are not

going to be the ones that hurt the most - it will be the producers who sell to the baseball industry - Peanuts and Cracker Jacks anyone? Also, with the economy as dismal as it is now, those fans who would attend a game will put their money elsewhere. So while players do have the right to strike, it will do more harm than good. My advice to the greedy MLB players: watch the

Little League World Series this weekend and remember what the game is about.

Let them strike! The market does better when they strike!

I remember the strike; It took a while before the fans returned. Perhaps a portion of the players'   pay should relate to attendance.   Might make them think twice about striking.

To make a choice - I think they should get a real job.   I'm tired of their whining.

Until our police officers and firefighters start getting paid what these spoiled brats in baseball do then maybe I'll start paying attention to the game, but until then....I just don't give a darn!

I don't give a darn if they strike and never come back!!

The whole sports world has gotten out of hand.   The salaries are ridiculous.   They are playing a game not curing cancer!   I don't mean just baseball but all of the sports.   I'm fed up with the owners and the players.

Baseball for instance is "America's pastime"?   How many families can afford to take the kids to a ball game?   The cost of the tickets, another $10 to park the car, and God forbid the kids want an ice cream cone - another $3 or $4 each.   (I couldn't believe they wanted $3 for a single dip ice cream cone.   The lady made a face at me and said "Well it is Hagen Daas."   My response was "Yes, but it's not gold.")

I have an idea, how about if the home team loses, they have to pay the fans for   coming out to watch them fail at these exorbitant costs?

How about coming out before the game and signing baseballs or programs for free like the minor league guys do?    Or, just talking to the kids who came to see you for a few minutes?   The owners and the players should be ashamed of themselves and get back to the basics.

First, its all about greed - - both sides!   Underlying premise of any resolution should permit both sides to profit based strictly upon performance.   Utilizing a spending cap model, owner's who spend more should expect to have a team who out-performs the others and accordingly receives greater income from higher attendance, post-season play and merchandising which all add value to the general franchise.   Players should all be paid "annually" based upon the ratio of what they take versus what they contribute.   Example: If A-Rod is 20% of the annual Texas payroll expense, standard metrics should be in place to validate that he contributes 20% to the measured performance of the team.   An annual percentage adjustment cap could be employed to avoid severe swings.   In a game where commentators continuously spew senseless data about players and teams, we might all feel relieved and better informed if confirmed that A-Rod is indeed worth $200,000 per game or that next year an adjustment would be in the making.   Then, we could all buy our $30 tickets, pay $5 to park, eat poor quality $3 hotdogs, wash them down with $5 beer, and continue underwriting the folly commonly regarded as "America's favorite pastime".

If I recall the limited amount of information I have read about the issue, the main problem is something called revenue sharing, spelled M-O-N-E-Y.   I see enough greed at work, I don't need to watch it played out during my leisure time.   So...d)

I'll continue to stick to what I did after the 94 strike...go watch the little kids locally, who may not be as skilled, but most of whom do it for the fun...which also means I save my M-O-N-E-Y.

d)don't give a darn

That said, in any industry that has a seasonal beginning and end, with many starting out and only one champion remaining, all salaries should be heavily incentive laden--the latest rhetoric from players takes away from the fact that it's team that win championships, not players.

d) Who cares.    It's almost officially football season and I've got pre-season football now.   If they want to make an impact, they have to strike mid June to mid August: after basketball and hockey are over, but before football starts.           

Of course I give a darn!   September w/out baseball is like December w/out football!   Being from New York, revenue sharing is is for the teams that can't compete for the Yankees.   Baseball is a business, when a Fortune 500 company has great profits do they have to "share" them with the weaker companies??

As I sit in my small office w/no windows and no fresh air for at least a ten hour day, with no raise for a year due to the economy, I have to say I feel real sorry for those poor players, sigh    -- who am I kidding?    They are already living a man's dream to be able to play in the big leagues.   I tell you what I'll trade places with them and go for the salary they were making five years ago and they can come and sit with the computer.   Now Let's Play Ball!!   

Torn between (c) and (d)

I'll treat them just like basketball, haven't been to a game since their strike.

As far as I am concerned:   One more strike and they are OUT!!   I would love to see all of them get a real job.   Their new "minimum" salary ($300,000.00), will put the worst baseball player in the major leagues, in the top 1% of wage earners in the United States.

the players have no idea what the rest of us go through. They have totally lost touch with reality.


: With all the other things going on in the world, this is of the least interest to me, but then I am not a sports fan.   With all the CEOs who have taken their companies, employees & retirees to the cleaners in the past year it is hard to get excited about athletes wanting more money.   Who

among us would turn down the chance to make more money for doing our job?   I like my job and make a decent salary. I won't get rich but the bills get paid.   If we don't like what the athletes (also actors, etc) earn then we can express ourselves by not buying tickets.   That would level things out very quickly.

would rather watch Harlem get back in the LL world series!

C) they need to get a real job Baseball players are paid an average annual salary of around $2.5mm to "play" a game that we all grew up playing for recreation, entertainment and

just plain fun.   They make more in one year than those of us who truly "work" 8 to 5 every day and will not make $2.5mm in our lifetime.   They eed a dose of reality!

it is amazing to me how much these players have their fans by the....well, you know.

Need to make their case better......from the little I know they should be grateful to have a job and to make what they make

(c) need to get a real job   PS -   I have tickets for September 10th to go to the venerable Wrigley Field to watch the Chicago Cubs...and this strike had better not ruin it!!!

e) Let them strike.    What's the difference between a strike and playing?   Yankee fans in NY/NJ can't see games on t.v. either way thanks to the stalemate between Steinbrenner's YES network and Cablevision.   Maybe with a strike it will force the two sides to reach a deal, so that when the strike is over we could actually see a game this season!   

re: baseball players: C - get a real job! If they strike and thus have free time, they can come help me budget for our 28% healthcare increases, or, better yet, whine about their pay to the employees losing jobs due to a business "realignment!" (But I still love baseball...)

I enjoy baseball, but the hometeam is losing so badly this year that it just doesn't matter!

c and d - the average - AVERAGE mind you, baseball player earns 2.5 million a year! Have the NFL players ever gone on strike?   I say replace baseball as the national pastime with soccer and American football and let the crybabies of baseball figure out to make due with what they've got in the bank.

I have been a "die hard" fan for many years.   However, I am actually looking forward to the strike.   Perhaps a two or three year strike might pair the league down to the owners and players who really care about the game.   In the mean time, I may visit some minor league parks.

Baseball players only want one thing to be paid fair market value just like every employee.   The owners should want to make a profit.    I believe there needs to more incentive for some owners not to over compensate their players.   So maybe we need to begin to treat baseball teams like businesses and reward the most profitable teams by sending those teams to the playoffs rather than the teams with the most wins.