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Editorial: Missing baseball and wondering about unions

I miss baseball.

To be specific, I miss watching the Atlanta Braves on television. I’m sure my Yankee friends feel the same about their team.

That’s a step into respecting people who — well — aren’t like me. They don’t think straight. Yes, I called Yankee fans my friends. They are. We share the same frustrations. The pennant races should be heating up, and both teams routinely think their team will be in the hunt. We should be heckling each other in bars, on the street, online. All in fun.

Heck, before the season starts, fans of every team may think this may be the year. Even fans of the Orioles. OK, that one went too far.

I respect those fans. Fans of the Royals (An American League favorite in these parts because of native son Whit Merrifield), fans of the Indians, fans of the Reds, fans of the Marlins, fans of the Giants, the Dodgers, the list goes on. I respect you and your misguided loyalties.

That’s right. In these days of learning to accept different people as equal, learning to accept fans of a sports rival is difficult. Very difficult.

Pull for the Nationals? I’m still working on you guys. You’re a special kind of creature.

Apparently, professional baseball would be happening soon if it weren’t for money. Cash. Players, represented by perhaps the most powerful union in the country, are at odds with owners as to who gets how much if baseball plays a shortened season with no fans. It’s billionaires vs. millionaires. Since I routinely pull for the underdogs (I would love to see the Orioles vs. the Braves in the World Series), I’m pulling for the millionaires in this one. The billionaires are in it for fun, just like the millionaires, and, well, they have billions. Those poor millionaires.

The baseball player’s union is powerful, and it’s known not to back down. The two sides are arguing about how many games will be played, and how much profits the players will receive off television revenue, which is low in some markets.

We don’t care. We just want baseball.

And millionaires shouldn’t need a union.

Maybe we could save some of that money going into professional baseball and re-route it to more deserving workers such as police officers.

(A switch in subjects here.)

But, oh, in many places the police officers are represented by unions. The “knee” officer in Minnesota had complaints for abuse filed in his past, but he was still on the job. My guess is the union had something to do with that. Unions are like good-ole-boy clubs, they sometimes protect the guilty.

We shouldn’t need unions these days.

Back when we had child labor and bosses with attitudes, unions were necessary. But with all of the government regulations these days, do we still need unions? Not as long as the government has its hands in every aspect of a business. Take government regulations out, and the need of unions would be greater. We all know business can’t be trusted to do what’s right by it’s workers, especially if it may cut into the bottom line.

The only hope for watching some live baseball may be right here in our own backyard. A new league has formed — similar to the Legion baseball program — and those young people will play baseball almost nightly at Rich Park in Mocksville. Social distancing and other safety measures will be practiced, and there’s plenty of room to spread out. Bring a lawn chair and sit with your family on Mocksville Mountain, or find a secluded spot in the grandstands.

Enjoy some baseball.

Just leave the Nationals gear at home.

Batter up.

Mike Barnhardt is editor of the Davie County Enterprise Record.