Ross Stripling exposes MLB for terrible negotiation skills and sketchy PR tactics
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ross Stripling exposed MLB’s unsavory negotiating tactics
Less than an hour before the self-imposed deadline of 5 p.m. ET on March 1, the Players Union rejected the league’s “final” proposal.
As a result, commissioner Rob Manfred addressed the public on Monday night and followed through on the league’s threat to cancel Opening Day. The first two series of the season have been canceled for all teams and will not be made up later, meaning the best-case scenario is now a 156-game season.
What made this announcement even more disheartening was that hopes had been raised the previous night when negotiations dragged on late into the night with more than 10 rounds of meetings. Updates throughout the late-night negotiating sessions gave the impression that the parties were going to work things out until they had an agreement, with the league even pushing back its February 28 deadline to March 1. .
According to pitcher Alex Wood, even the players were “cautiously optimistic.”
Instead, it all turned out to be a public relations smokescreen, when the league suddenly claimed the players had changed their tune in Tuesday’s meetings.
Blue Jays pitcher Ross Stripling exposes MLB
What followed was condemnation of league players who refused to shut up in the face of unsavory bargaining techniques from their employers. Perhaps the most damning evidence came from Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ross Stripling, who is his team’s player union representative.
“It must have been around 12:30 p.m. and the fine print on their CBT proposal was stuff we had never seen before. They were trying to sneak right through us, it was like they thought we were baseball players stupid and we were sleepy after midnight or something. It’s like that stupid quote about football, they are what we thought they were. They did exactly what we thought they would do. They pushed us to a deadline that they imposed and then they tried to push us through some bullshit on that deadline and we were ready for that. We’ve been ready for five years. And then they tried to kick it back to us today in PR today, saying we changed our tune and tried to make it look like it was our fault. It never happened.
To borrow a false word from former President George W. Bush, the owners seem to “underestimate” their opponent.
As much as we’d all like to pretend otherwise, baseball, at least in Major League form, is a business. However, the way this business (and all businesses, for that matter) is run says a lot about the people who run it. In this case, the owners display an insulting undervaluation of the players, but beyond that a clear lack of respect for them.
Overall, the lockout – especially the past few days – has shown the world that baseball officials place no value on the game, the players or the fans. They value the dollar above everything, even the people who bring in that dollar.
Unfortunately, while it’s important for Stripling and his fellow players to expose the owners’ unscrupulous business practices, it’s unclear what can be done to address these issues in the future.