Greetings From The Booth!
We’ll start this week with my “Baseball Probability Meter,” which has me giving Major League Baseball about a 23 percent chance of having a 2020 season. Following baseball this week has been like watching a tennis match, as the league and it’s players volley proposals back and forth. The bottom line is that players are not budging on the issue of further salary reductions beyond what they agreed to in March. MLB’s owners, meanwhile, say they will lose $640,000 per game without fans (some are questioning that figure) and cannot pay players what they want.
The window is closing for a talked-about July 4th start date for the 2020 season. The “soft window” of June 5-9 has already closed. I would think this is the week where the logjam has to be broken. I’m not optimistic, as no real progress has been made.
As NASCAR starts to allow fans back into the stands in June, the NBA plans for it’s return, and the PGA Tour back in business this week, MLB looks like the spoiled child who stomps his feet and says “you can’t make me.” As I’ve said multiple times here, it’s time to figure it out and play ball.
Moving on, with all the unrest in our country recently with the tragic death of George Floyd, the name Colin Kaepernick has popped up in the sports world (and beyond) again. Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback, was the frontman of the “taking a knee” movement during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice in the USA. Some say it got him blackballed from the league due to much fan backlash for a perceived disrespect of the American flag.
The NFL this week said in a statement from Commissioner Roger Goodell that the league was wrong for not listening and understanding what Kaepernick was trying to say with his anthem protests. The Reverend Al Sharpton, in his eulogy at Floyd’s funeral, called for the NFL to give Kaepernick his job back.
Easier said than done, and a tough call for NFL personnel people, who
have to fill 53 highly competitive roster spots and give their teams the best chance to win. There’s a fine line between giving in to public outcry, and putting the best 53 athletes on the field every Sunday.
Athletes like Richard Sherman feel that Kaepernick, who last played an NFL game in 2016, can still play in the league. I’ve read from several columnists who think that Kaepernick could be a serviceable backup QB, a position that many teams need to upgrade.
Does Colin Kapernick deserve to play in the NFL? At the very least, he deserves a shot at making a team. If he was shut out of the league under dubious circumstances, the NFL owes him that much. I believe Kaepernick will be signed by an NFL team. In a performance-based league, how he plays ultimately will dictate whether he sticks around.
We’ll soon see if Colin Kaepernick is ready for his second chance.
Until the next visit from the Booth…GO HORNETS!