This coming Friday, August 30, is my dad’s birthday. While I sent him a book, Bud Selig is honoring the occasion by allowing Major League Baseball to go on strike. Happy birthday, Bob. With that in mind, this Knuckle Sandwich will be a very special top ten list of things you can do, say, or think during this upcoming and seemingly inevitable baseball strike. Happy Birthday, Bob.
Top Ten Things That You Can Do, Say, or Think During the Baseball Strike
10. Read a book. I recommend Thunder in the Mountain: The West Virginia Mine War, 1920 – 21. The parallels between this strike and the upcoming baseball strike are uncanny. Thunder in the Mountain is a recollection of bloody and inhumane conditions that coal miners were forced to work in and their violent rise up against management, strike breakers, and law enforcement. Now given, the miners weren’t subjected to the same type of conditions that the baseball players have had to put up with: 8 figure salaries, $5,000 per diem expense accounts, playing baseball for a living, working 6 hours a day, but it seemed pretty terrible.
9. Gather up your friends and go on strike. I am not sure what you would strike against, but we live in an age in which people are raised to emulate their favorite athletes. Why not be like Mike (Piazza) and throw in the towel. Remember, when things get tough and you aren’t getting your way and it becomes challenging to live on $5 million a year, just throw in the towel and go on strike.
8. Get into NASCAR. I figure, no time like the present to learn about the biggest sport in the country. Just like Elvis: 100 million people can’t be wrong. What is it about 3 hours of left turns that is so appealing? It is my goal, during the baseball strike to find out. I am guessing it’s crashes.
7. Get into Minor League Baseball - There are 190 minor league teams. One has to be near your house. These guys make about 1% of what the major league players make (maybe). Play much better baseball and actually want to be out there. They are trying to win ball games and they hustle. There is a reason that minor league baseball is the number one family outing pick in the country. Parking is free. The baseball is great. The tickets are cheap. Food is cheaper. Beer is cheaper still. What isn’t there to like?
6. Write to your favorite player – Most of their home addresses can easily be found on the web. Ask him how it feels to be out of work and explain that, during the worst economic down turn in 30 years, you also know a lot of people that are volunteering to leave work. Find out how they will manage to survive without a regular check coming in? You could also ask how they justify the strike when the minimum wage in the majors is 200 times the average annual wage of a U.S. worker.
5. Demolition Derby’s – I never really thought about this until today when I read Rick Reily’s article about it, but it sounds rad. I am on a quest now to find out where I can go see a demolition derby. Whiskey Tango. I will keep you all posted on my findings. Perhaps we can have a big ole Knucke Sando outing at the Demolition Derby.
4. Total cost for a family of four to go to a major league ball game – $200 – The feeling you will get donating $216 to your local Little League – Priceless. Yeah, I know, it is sappy, but it is your (and mine) $200 bucks that is going to the hyper-inflated salaries that the players are getting. Stop doing that. If you can live with baseball on your TV, take your $200 and buy a PlayStation 2 and Triple Play 2002. The graphics in this game are as good as TV. Plus you control the action.
3. Focus your attention to the upcoming WNBA finals - I don’t have any idea who is in it. Frankly, I don’t care. As my friend Doug is so fond of saying, if Vegas doesn’t have a line on it, it’s not a real sport. The important part of it is that the WNBA doesn’t have a bunch of multi-millionaire cry babies like the MLB. This alone makes the WNBA finals a better use of your time than worrying about baseball. Besides, you might just like it.
2. Move to Cuba - If it is really important to see baseball, move to Cuba. I would like to see the players strike under Fidel’s regime. I don’t see that happening. Could you imagine that conversation? I imagine it would be short.
and finally, the number one thing to do, say, or think about while the MLB players are on strike…
1. F**k it, football starts next week.
There are 25 more hours until the baseball strike. This will be an excuse for me to play more golf and not watch as much SportsCenter. I hope that there is a strike. Not a baseball strike, but a fan strike. I would love nothing more than for the players to come to work tomorrow to empty stadiums. I would like to see the players come back from this strike and the fans have given up on them. Baseball players are now just NBA players without the bag of weed and spousal abuse conviction. Just especially wealthy guys whining about how hard they have it. It is time for America to move on and find a new past time. I don’t think that Slam Ball has the stamina to fill baseball’s shoes. Perhaps Arena Football is the answer.
No matter what happens, I think that there are more important things for us to worry about as a country than a baseball strike.
Happy Birthday, Dad.
Anger is the Energy,