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Murph: Baseball is back, all is forgiven

© D. Ross Cameron | 2021 Oct 3

And to think, I was all set to file a Jock Blog celebrating the demise of the Seattle Seahawks and offer to drive Russell Wilson to SEA-TAC to catch his flight to Denver when . . . 

(Cue KNBR producer ‘FOX BREAKING NEWS CHIME’) . . . 

Baseball is back! 

To prove what a lifer I am, my immediate reaction is: All is forgiven!

Except Rob Manfred. We still don’t like your face, or your face anywhere near baseball.

It’s all about 162.

The fact that the lockout, as dreary and negative as it was, has ended and the Giants (and 29 other teams) will play ONE SIXTY TWO means that, in the end, no blood was spilled. The game is intact. The season will have integrity. There will be no fugazi 60-game World Series champs. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Dodger Fan Boy.

And when I say the game is “intact” and has “integrity”, this is the part where I am gritting my Old Man Teeth and trying to accept the fact that the National League now has a permanent designated hitter. I hate hate hate that. And to twist a phrase Mike Krukow says when he sees a Ghirardelli Sundae on the broadcast: I don’t want that I don’t want that I don’t want that. 

But as my Dad frequently told me when I objected to the unfair nature of the world: “People in hell want ice water, Bri.”

Back to the good vibes.

All is forgiven! 

Yes, yes, we were salty and angry and bitter and spewing venom about the lockout and missing two weekends of Scottsdale Stadium on your KNBR airwaves. The roiling anger was real. 

Let’s be fair, though. There’s nothing to be angry about now. 

Really, the only cost wrecked on the game has been to the Cactus League and Grapefruit League economies the past two weeks, and that’s unfortunate. We also lost the fun chatter of the Hot Stove League, and weeks worth of KNBR Giants chatter during December and January about who to sign.

Then again, given that Farhan Zaidi’s biggest free agent contract has been to Anthony DeSclafani, maybe the Freddie Freeman/Carlos Correa KNBR text line chatter would have been so much peeing in the wind. 

Or, has there been a cost to the game’s reputation? Have these last few weeks of acrimony stained the game, like red wine on a rug? I have maintained throughout that if the owners and players could salvage 162, there would be minimal damage. After all, if Opening Day arrives — maybe one week late — and the Giants are on KNBR and you hear Jon Miller’s voice, how mad you can be?

And it appears that the “working man” in this labor war, the beloved baseball player himself, got a little piece of the pie back in the new CBA. A higher minimum salary. A lottery to discourage tanking. A higher Competitive Balance Tax ceiling. Money for the pre-arbitration players, the young stars. Shout out the 99 percenters.

They didn’t get it all, but they got some. And they also emerged mostly unscathed in the court of public opinion. Social media actually did some good here. Information that came out mostly showed the players’ asks to be reasonable, and the Manfred-led owners to be greedy negotiators trying to keep that pie to themselves, like a chunky kid at a county fair pie-eating contest. 

I suppose I buried the lead when I forgot to note outcomes today more true than a homer, walk or whiff: no more runner on second in extra innings! And no more 7-inning games! 

Maybe, just maybe, one day we can dream of a beer that costs less than $20 at the yard.

After all, how can you not be romantic about baseball?

On a day like today, let’s reach for the stars.

See you at the Public House on Opening Day, y’all. This is a good thing.

 

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