Play Ball

In 1994 when the baseball players staged a strike that took away the World Series, I resigned from baseball, vowing to never return until all the players who struck were out of baseball.

I have not been back -- with a couple of oddball exceptions -- and I have not missed it. I think the fans who did go back get what they deserve, which is another strike. And that is coming and it will probably take away another World Series.

I personally don't care a bit about the players' beef with the owners and I don't care about the owners' beef with the players. It's irrelevant to me. If I were still a paying fan all I would care about, if I still cared -- which I do not -- is that the players show up and play. The fans show up and pay and the players show up and play -- that's the social contract in Major League Baseball.

Why should I side with the owners? I don't. But owners are like all bosses -- they're a fact of life. Somebody complaining that their boss doesn't pay them enough will elicit sympathy if the guy or gal makes $30,000 a year. When they make $2.5 million a year, then shut up and play, you jerk.

Another thing, this fiction called the Players Union. I would think union members all over the country would be out at the ballparks insisting these guys who make millions stop calling their organization a union. It gives unions a bad name. The Players Union is really a club, a country club where they'd rather play golf, but union?

That's a little like talking about the "Network TV Anchorman Union." Its members are Tom, Peter and Dan. They're mad they're not making enough and they're thinking about striking. The network TV anchormen aren't a union and neither are the players. They're a bunch of guys who make a ton of money.

None of them deserve your sympathy. If the players strike they are depriving you of your World Series and you should never -- never -- go back to a Major League Ballpark.

Go see college baseball, or minor league baseball, but teach these guys a lesson. Depress attendance; make them try to interest a new generation. Don't take your kids to games. Use that $500 for something else.

Play ball indeed.

Gimme your wallet is more like it.

That's My Word.

What do you think? We'd like to hear from you, so send us your comments at Some of your emails will be featured on the air or on our site.

• Looking for some previous My Word columns? Click here!