A NOTE FOR THOSE OF YOU READING: Mismatched Sox is a weekly blog hastily thrown together by Sox in the Basement Co-Host Ed Siebert and is written to present you with White Sox and baseball thoughts in a manner that, frankly, thinks it is funny the way that the one guy at your office “should totally try standup”. While there will be facts here that will be factual, the opinions and other nonsense are neither reflective of anyone at Soxon35th.com and not intended nor believed to cause any harm.
CBA negotiations are all anyone around baseball can talk about these days because Rob Manfred and the Owners decided to become a garage band instead of a sports league and locked out all the players. Also, if there is no other garage band called “Rob Manfred and the Owners,” shame of the youth of America and also on the 40 and 50-somethings trying to recapture former glory.
But with no players, there’s no hot stove. With no hot stove, there’s little baseball news or rabidly off-base conjecture. The season predictions are somewhat stifled by a lack of complete rosters and lack of assurance as to when the season will start. or if the season will start. The way the past two years have gone, having the season merely middle and then skip to the next offseason would be less surprising than Spring Training starting on time.
Where things stand, the sides have not really exchanged proposals. The hope is that owners and players are gathering together to put their respective ideas down before exchanging them with their worthy opponents. While it is highly unlikely that the following scenarios are actually true, as this is not being written by an intelligent fly nor has some Kafka stuff gone on, they are at least possible. Let’s get Bzzzzzzz-y looking in on the Owners and the Players and what COULD be happening.
OWNERS HOUSE, 1:25pm
CHRIS ILLITCH: “Who wants pizza?”
A smattering of hands are raised as the owners know that whatever they ask for, it always ends up being Little Caeser’s.
ILLITCH: “Alright, I’ll get a bunch of “Hot ‘n’ Ready” pies and some crazy bread.”
JERRY REINSDORF: “Can’t we get steak? We’re all really wealthy people here, we can afford…anything…”
ILLITCH: “Hmmm…steak pizza…”
Peter Angelos shrunk back in his chair. He knew he’d be eating, but he only had a couple of bucks on him and didn’t want to get into Venmo or whatever. Artie Moreno stood up.
ANGELOS: “Look, Jerry’s right. We’re rich, we shouldn’t need to always eat pizza. And besides, Bill DeWitt owns a bunch of Arby’s, so can we at least get some curly fries? Fowler, can you get some beer here?”
Ron Fowler nodded and texted someone.
JERRY: “Forget the food. I have a winning NBA Franchise to worry about. Can we put something together to give the players and get moving? They’ll reject it regardless. Just throw anything at them.”
ILLITCH: “Ok, what about raising the league minimum to $850,000 for years 1-2, and then $1 million for years 2-5 and then $1.5 million through the end of team control, but we keep them until they’re 32 and a half years old and they can have all the ‘Italian Cheesy Bread’ that they can handle (mumbling) and that you buy from me for them?”
DEWITT: “I like that, but make it “Beef ‘n’ Cheddars. They’re 2 for $6 right now.”
BOB NUTTING: “Can we pay them strictly in fast food?”
EVERYONE ELSE: “No.”
JOHN SHERMAN: “Bob, we’ve been over this. You have to pay players. In US Currency. Sorry your family wealth is in newspapers, but most of us have investment ideas that can help you.”
ILLITCH: “Bob, I ha-“
SHERMAN: “Not now pizza boy. Money people are talking.”
STEVE COHEN: “Let’s just give them what they want. I want to win so you guys will think I’m awesome.”
JERRY: “Not how it works newbie. Look at Sternberg, think we like him?”
STUART STERNBERG: “Hey! Not cool.”
JERRY: “I just said that.”
TOM RICKETTS: “Burrrnn.”
JERRY: “No, really fellas…I want the players to come groveling to us as much as the next guy (looks over at a sleeping Ken Kendrick). Uhhh…anyway, I want to be ready for them.”
EDWARD ROGERS III: “Well in Canada we -“
EVERYONE ELSE: “No.”
JERRY: “Look, we need a way for us to make more money while making the players feel like they won something and keeping the fans happy.”
ROB MANFRED: “THE FANS??? HAPPY??? YOU WANT THAT BUNCH OF CATTLE HAPPY? Who. Cares. About. Them. They’ll show up. after all, we’re America’s pastime. What else do those sheeples have to do?”
JOHN MALONE: “Ummm…football?”
JOHN FISHER: “NBA? College Hoops?”
HAL STEINBRENNER: “Pro wrestling! You guys watch AEW at all?”
The room started mumbling and nodding in approval and admiration. Hal Steinbrenner was heard saying he paid for a private Fozzy concert just to meet Chris Jericho, much to Jim Pohlad’s approval.
MANFRED: “You guys are sooo out of touch. The fans aren’t important. What do they bring to the table that’s so important?”
EVERYONE ELSE: “Money.”
MANFRED: (sheepishly) “Oh. Right. (sighs) Fine. Screw it. What do we want to give the players?”
The room started mumbling and shrugging until the word ‘money’ became the clear concept and then the shrugs turned to nods and yesses, yeps and yeahs cascaded across the conversations. The door opened and pizza and beer arrived, with Bob Nutting claiming his wallet was still in the car and Peter Angelos grabbing a pizza and slipping out a secret entrance he had built.
MEANWHILE, AT THE PLAYERS’ HOUSE, 1:25 pm
MAX SCHERZER: “Maybe we oughta ask for more bathrooms. Seriously there are hundreds of us in here and only one can. And Stanton’s been in there for an hour.”
JASON CASTRO: “Well, maybe we add that to the list. Which, so far, is…more money, uhhh…just money sooner.”
GERRIT COLE: “Soo…more money, sooner…and more…bathrooms…in a fictional house that the entire MLBPA lives in?”
ANDREW MILLER: “And maybe some beef and cheddars. DeWitt used to hand those out like candy.”
SCHERZER: “Or all the Italian Cheesy Bread we can handle from Little Caeser’s. Best part of being a Tiger, really. I bet that’s why Miggy stayed.”
Miguel Cabrera poked his head around the corner and smiled, using a piece of crazy bread as a thumb for a thumb’s up.
FRANCISCO LINDOR: “Focus before I lose my smile. Again.”
Cabrera poked his head around the corner again, this time with pepperoni over his eyes and a crazy bread over his teeth as he smiled. Lindor smiled back and shook his head.
MARCUS SEMIEN: “Look, I just got wildly overpaid and I want that for everyone, but mostly me. It is super simple. Raise the league minimum scaled on years in the league, add a poverty tax threshold to create an artificial team salary floor, free agency granted 4 seasons from the date you are first added to the 40-man roster and we agree to whatever pace of play changes they want while adding the Universal DH because Mad Max needs to fan himself with hundred dollar bills between innings, and not try and run the bases.”
Scherzer lifted a finger as if to say something, then stopped. Players all nodded a bit.
TREVOR BAUER: “Hey can I -“
EVERYONE ELSE: “No.”
JAMES PAXTON: “Ok, Marcus does the talking, but basically give us more money, earlier in our careers, stop leaving viable veteran players on the street to purposefully tank with guys that can’t hack it at the big league level and…pizza or Beef ‘n’ Cheddars?”
Zack Britton stood up and placed a hand on Paxton’s arm. “Both, my friend…both.” And immediately Britton and Paxton seized up in pain.
SCHERZER: “Oooohhh kay. Everybody good on all that?”
Miguel Cabrera jumped around the corner, now wearing pizza as some sort of armor with a pizza box shield and a crazy bread sword.
EVERYONE ELSE: “Miggy.” Laughter followed as Yoan Moncada started a concert. Dancing and laughter pervaded the house as Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito started a food fight, which Dallas Keuchel tried to join in but couldn’t get anything near anyone. Britton and Paxton recovered from their new injuries and looked at each other. “Should we go get Clark and try and get the season started on time?” Britton asked. “Nah.” Replied Paxton. “Let these guys have some more fun for a bit. After all, I’m not ready to start the season.”
Just then a triumphant-looking Giancarlo Stanton emerged from the bathroom.
STANTON: “NOBODY GO IN THERE! Well, Altuve, you can go get the garbage can. I KNOW you need it.”