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So...Um...Yeah...Anyone Seen My Keys?

MLB: Lockout
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

I may have to climb through the window of the baseball season because I appear to have been locked out. I suppose the “me” equivalent of being a player right now would be if I was told I couldn’t come in to work, I couldn’t go see my doctor, and I couldn’t meet with anyone to plan anything. Oh wait, that was my actual life in 2020. So I guess, then, that what baseball players are doing this winter is “sheltering in place”. Which is probably a good idea, because I hear unbridled greed is extremely contagious.

So then what exactly will I be writing about in the coming weeks? Will I be forced to report on the “Seafood Pie-alla!” Cindi presented for dessert last night? I am pretty sure it is the first dessert ever to include squid, and while the crust was ok I don’t recommend it. OK, that’s 153 words...{taps}

Some wonderings...

  • Will the lockout provide a new way for the Astros of the world to cheat? Pitchers, catchers, and coaches are not allowed to meet and strategize, injured players are not allowed to check in with trainers...But short of ankle monitors and tech hackers we don’t really know where people are or with whom they are zooming. We just know that the A’s won’t be doing any of that because most of their players don’t know yet that they are playing for Oakland.
  • If the lockout is resolved, as many are predicting, sometime around late January, and there is a flurry of activity just before spring training for teams to do 4 months of off-season work in a month, who will most benefit and who will most suffer? Perhaps the A’s, dangling some prized possessions in the form of frontline starting pitching and star Matts, will enjoy more leverage from teams rushing to fill needs in a more-frantic-than-usual game of musical chairs.

On the flip side, if the result is teams making fewer moves and taking more of a “wait’ll next off-season” approach to non essential transactions, the market could be less robust for its sellers. We do know that deals can come together quickly, and are often the product of conversations that began months before, so of course a lot can happen in a month, or 2 weeks. But still, whether better or worse for a team like the A’s the landscape will be different.

  • According to Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf and her various minions, a key vote on the Howard Terminal project will come “early next year”. According to most prognosticators (that doesn’t make you go blind, right?), a CBA most likely will be reached sometime “early next year”.

Which will happen first, and will one affect the other in any way? The answer to the second question is “Probably not,” since the HT project still has hurdles to clear even after a possibly important “yes” vote, while the A’s farm system would require some rebuilding/retooling independent of payroll flexibility or competitive timelines.

But it’s still a potentially interesting question, since we don’t know the terms of a new CBA and since at some point a new stadium at HT could start to become an actual plan instead of a parallel path.

So there are some “talking points” to distract you from Cindi’s desserts if you have the misfortune of trying them. And as Bonnie Raitt implored MLB and MLBPA, referring to we fans, “Let’s give them something to talk about....A little something to talk about.....”