The Most Important Baseball Wasn’t Played On Thursday

The most important events from Thursday night were off the field.

If you haven’t yet, please read TC’s intro from yesterday’s recap, and also listen to the words of players like Dominic Smith, and members of the Dodgers and Brewers. The MLB schedule was supposed to be “back to normal” today, but 7 games were postponed as players across the sport made the decision not to play.

I’m gonna be totally honest with you, my first draft of today’s article actually included the line “With that said, let’s get into the notable stuff from Thursday’s slate.” But I can’t do that. I can’t stop thinking about Dom’s presser from Wednesday night. So instead of rounding up all the wacky and fun stuff from Thursday, I want to instead call some attention to the statements made by players and staff.


Craig Counsell Calls Out Ownership


We as the general public react strongly to things that players and managers do because we see them every day, but the most powerful group in the sport, in all sports, are always the owners. At the end of the day, they have more resources and more ability to affect political change than any individuals on the team, and they do it regularly via donations to PACs and political campaigns. If MLB wants to stencil “BLM” on the mound, and they want to talk about a commitment to supporting their players’ stances, they have plenty of opportunities to actually do so now.


Oakland Reminds Us It’s Not Just One Night


The Oakland players’ announcement jumped out to me for the final line. Games were still played Thursday, and they’ll be played Friday, and over the weekend. But that doesn’t mean the issues of racism and injustice and police brutality are gone. Out of sight cannot be out of mind.


The Players Alliance Steps Up


Because of the truncated schedule this year, Jackie Robinson day was unable to be observed by the league in April, so it was moved to Friday, August 27th. Usually, this means a patch, a video on the jumbotron, and lots of file footage on broadcasts. This year, The Players Alliance will be doing something more substantive. Archie Bradley and Jon Jay were discussing that the Diamondbacks players as a whole were also discussing joining the existing group of current and former players already making the donation. This type of action is how we should remember Jackie, who was so much more than just a baseball player.


Manfred/Wilpon: The Foot In Mouth Adventures

Manfred’s tenure as commissioner has already been quite rocky when it comes to public opinion, but this candid footage of Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen recounting an idea from the commissioner about how to approach the player actions of the past couple of days shows that he’s completely out his depth in trying to co-opt their actions into a hollow gesture.

Brodie and the Mets later released a statement saying that the idea he outlined actually came from Jeff Wilpon, which makes things only marginally better, but still points to a huge issue at the upper levels of the sport that ties back into Counsell’s comments earlier.

To his credit, Brodie also said the idea was so outlandish that he didn’t even float the idea to the players, and the Marlins and Mets ended up staging an initially confusing but ultimately powerful demonstration, taking the field for long enough to observe a 42 second moment of silence before confirming that the game was not going to be played.

There’s so much more to be said about this moment, and the moments that have led up to it, and I feel dumb for saying this since I’m talking about a bunch of professional athletes who I’ll almost assuredly never meet, but I’m proud to see baseball players taking their positions as role models seriously. I can only hope this is the beginning of a growing movement that continues into the future as long as is necessary.


And if you’ve read this whole article and you’re mad at me because baseball is supposed to be a distraction, then all I have to say is that’s exactly the point.


Featured image from @SNYtv

Asher Dratel

Asher hails from Brooklyn, wears a 2008 Joba Chamberlain jersey to every Yankees game he attends, and pronounces BABIP funny. Appreciator of Beefy Lad dingers and beers. on Bluesky.

4 responses to “The Most Important Baseball Wasn’t Played On Thursday”

  1. walktall says:

    Well said. Thank you.

  2. Ashtray says:

    good shit, man

  3. Pops says:

    Plenty of baseball fans don’t get it and are willing to walk away from their favorite teams. I really wish people could look passed the postponements and focus on the notion that social injustice is bigger than the game, itself.

    • ashtray says:

      It’s usually pretty telling when people are more upset about the protest than the cause. When people tell you who they are, listen.

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