Jayson Stark put the odds at 75/25 that Major League Baseball and the Players Association make a deal that would salvage a season, have teams playing sometime this summer and render the current fighting a footnote.
But if that 25 percent chance happens?
Baseball would never be the same.
“I honestly believe that to not play now over money would be a mistake that baseball would never recover from,” The Athletic national writer said Wednesday on “Murph & Mac.”
Stark has argued that MLB has never recovered its place in American culture since its 1994 strike that canceled a World Series. Sure, it can make money again, but it’s not the same national pastime it once was.
How low could it plunge if other sports return during the coronavirus, but a monetary fight wiped out another baseball season?
“Everybody I’ve asked that says, ‘This would be worse,’ and that was bad,” Stark said, comparing the ’94 strike and the current situation. “That was devastating. But this is going to be worse because there are 41 million people out of work and America is literally smoldering in the streets and there is still a pandemic in our midst.”
Stark was present for the ’94 strike and recalled asking Bud Selig how he thinks history would view that moment. If history repeats itself, as the two sides continue to feud, the 2021 baseball season could be one of the quieter ones in memory.