“It could have been so good: baseball could have made July 4 its opening day,” Varney said. “But no. Unless there's a last-minute deal, and that's unlikely, they won't ‘play ball’ until late July or August. What a mistake.”
The MLB season reopening has been delayed due to arguments between players and team-owners on how to split revenue from games played.
“50/50, 60/40, 80/20, doesn't matter. No deal,” Varney said. “Talk about shooting your sport in the foot!”
Varney noted that other professional sports like basketball, hockey and football are resuming seasons.
“Basketball, very smartly, teams up with Disney to get something going. But not baseball,” he said. “It is exasperating to see a sport ignore the problems it already has, and to compound the error by keeping a shutdown going.”
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Varney said recruiting and ticket sales are issues the sport is facing.
“We've known for a long time that youth leagues struggle to bring in new players. They are the lifeblood of the game's future,” he said. “Sky-high ticket prices have long kept many fans out of the ballparks, and slow play hurts TV ratings.”
Varney said some players are also resistant to playing due to fear of getting the coronavirus and wondered how they will be treated in the future.
“This year, July 4 falls on a Saturday: a perfect opening day,” Varney said. “A marching band or two, BBQ's, a Thunderbirds fly-past. Baseball! But not this year. What a mess. What a missed opportunity.”