10:08:52 pm on
Sunday 14 Jul 2024

Covid-19 and Baseball
Matt Seinberg

My baseball team, since I was a child, is the New York Mets. From the moment Shea Stadium opened, in 1964, and Citifield since 2009, the Mets are my team. I always try to see at least one game a season, but it's become so expensive.

The cost attending a baseball game

Going to a Mets game costs a small fortune. Parking is $25. It costs another $20 or $30 for two people to have a decent meal at the field. Then, there are the tickets. Yikes!

There used to be a young woman with whom I worked that also worked at Citifield. Twice she got me free tickets and let me park for free in one of the better back parking lots. Free is good, but, unfortunately, I haven't seen or spoken to her in at least a year.

For this 2020 baseball season, it doesn't make any difference. Spring training closed in March when all the states went into lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of baseball, and Tony Clark, Player Association President, are in negotiations to start the season, albeit a shortened one.

The fourth of July is a widely rumoured start date for the new season of Major League Baseball (MLB) to start, but the hold up, of course, is money. The players want their full salaries, as if they are playing a full season. One player even said that if his full salary was not forthcoming, he would not play.

How ridiculous is that? With over thirty million people out of work, trying to make ends meet, this idiot is refusing to work for half of his multi-million-dollar salary? Greed is everywhere.

Some players give back to their communities.

How many players have donated any money to their local communities to help with food, rent and other assorted bills? Some, for sure, have made such donations, but the number is few. Baseball players confirm they are all for themselves and don't care much for their communities. Some players go about giving back very quietly, such as New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto.

Basketball player Lebron James was one of the first to make donations from his charitable foundation. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban set up a fund to pay the workers at their arena, even though they aren't direct employees of his team. Caring is good business and makes good sense.

The greed of some of these players absolutely amazes me. How can they look themselves in the face and think they are doing the right thing? I wonder if their families tell them how wrong they are to be greedy.

I've been out of work since 21 March 2020 and, although I'm collecting unemployment, I know it's my money, given back to me in time of need. Think of this. When we work, we pay into many systems including unemployment, disability, social security and Medicare. Eventually, some, most or all of that comes back to us.

These are not entitlements the Republican idiots want us to believe. Those programmes involve our money, deferred payments of what we earned for many years. All we are receiving is deferred pay for our daily grind.

Can you imagine a major league player from any sport applying for unemployment insurance? In New York, the most anyone can get is $504 a week. For players making millions of dollars a year, it’s just a speck of dust on their sneakers. Let's not forget the $600 a week extra that the federal CARES Act is kicking into the pot. That's the money that makes a difference in paying a bill or not.

Athletes should get off their duffs and get involved.

To all those greedy baseball players I say get off your duffs, put on your masks, wash your hands, stay safe and play ball. Show the fans and your families what kind of men you are or maybe you, already, during the pandemic shutdown of MLB. Either way, show your true selves.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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