My Two Cents: Major League Baseball: Labor 'problems' striking out with fans

On the eve of the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball players gather today at the players’ union meeting in Chicago to discuss labor negotiations and perhaps set a date for a possible strike.

For their part, baseball owners are considering locking out the players next spring.

Now, not being a rabid baseball fan, I don’t pretend to understand all the complexities and nuances of this situation.

As I understand it, among the issues of contention are: revenue sharing, contraction, a luxury tax and drug testing of players without the players’ approval.

I think the owners should be tested for drugs, too, because how else do you explain these so-called labor problems between the two sides?

I mean, let’s face it, if your problems involve the terms “revenue sharing” and “luxury tax,” you’re doing pretty well for yourself.

It’s hard for the average fan and working stiff to figure out which side to root for: the multi-multi-millionaires (the players) or the multi-multi-multi-multi-millionaires (the owners).

Here are some interesting numbers that I swear I am not making up: The minimum salary of a Major League Baseball player in the 2001 season was $200,000. The average salary of a Major League Baseball player for the 2000 season was $1,894,216. (No doubt the figures are even higher today.)

Imagine that, you could be the worst baseball player in the Major Leagues, and you’d still make six figures!

Being merely average would guarantee that you’d be a millionaire.

I don’t know what the typical baseball team owner rakes in, but it can’t be too shabby, considering the large sums of money they shell out to their players.

I think Don King put it best when he said, “Only in America,” as in only in America could a battle between multi-millionaires be called a labor problem that possibly results in a work stoppage.

Like I said, I’m not a rabid baseball fan, but both sides in this situation would do well to remember that if it weren’t for the average working stiffs paying to see the game, they wouldn’t be in the position to deal with the “problems” they have now.

Let’s hope Major League Baseball doesn’t drop the ball on this one.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who doesn’t make anywhere near the Major League Baseball player minimum salary – gets his two cents worth in, despite the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.