Overtime: Breaking Traditions


The MLB lockout continues as we move closer to April. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Consistency is important in today’s society. Keeping organized and knowing what is coming not only puts you one step ahead of the curve but prepares you for the one day where there is a blip in the system that forces you to improvise.

Every year, I gather with my father’s side of the family for Easter, perhaps one of my favorite feasts of the year, mostly due to the fact my uncle is a world class chef with a real passion for cooking. Surrounding this feast includes classic Italian appetizers, jokes and the opening week of Major League Baseball. 

In my family’s long line of Yankee fans, it is always customary to watch the game while simultaneously enjoying food and kicking the can with everyone in the living room. Being raised in an Italian family, you can only imagine that there is constant yelling when the bombers screw something up.

But this year, that tradition is in jeopardy.  The holiday will commence on April 17 this year, and normally there is some of a fresh MLB season around April 17. But that may not happen this year due to the actions of commissioner Rob Manfred.

Last year, we were finally able to conduct a normal Easter with our yearly traditions, but now it might be time to call an audible and think of something else as baseball’s ludacris lockout has stopped my family’s yearly tradition.. 

I am sure you are asking yourself, why are you telling me this? Why should I care about your family holiday traditions, and what does any of this have to do with the MLB’s lockout?

Baseball is by far America’s oldest and most storied sport  in the world. With its failing attempts to adapt modern methods of how the game is played, the type of audience it attracts or even the basics of marketing, the MLB has found itself in another pickle with the lockout between the players and the owners.

In simple terms, the owners don’t want to spend money and wish to pay the players as little as possible, as well as refusing to change the game of baseball. This stance greatly benefits the owners with profits while spending minimally. For the players, their issues are much greater, but they want more money spent and to help protect minor league players on arbitration contracts. The players have also asked for the universal designated hitter, which they have already received.

The term “arbitration,” in simple terms, is when a minor league player is pulled up to a professional team and becomes a team-controlled asset for a certain number of years. Teams have been able to manipulate the arbitration concept to sign their brightest prospects for way less money, which the MLPA is not very happy about.

At the end of the day, this lockout comes down to money. But why can’t the MLB break it’s senile traditions and become modernized like the NBA, NFL or NHL? The past two years saw everyone pivoting to an alternative solution, and it can be as simple as my family’s holiday traditions where I have to find a way to supplement Yankees baseball on Easter Sunday.

Baseball’s evolution into the future must begin now, and if they are to win their audience back over, they need to look at what other leagues have done and proceed to use that model. Baseball is “America’s Pastime,” let’s not leave it in the past but rather move forward and only expand its long history with new traditions.