Minnesota Twins: Predicting an MLB Start Date and the Twins Impact
By Billy Porter
It’s been a very long offseason for the Minnesota Twins fanbase. With the lockout raging on and baseball seemingly no closer to an agreement, this raises the question: When can we expect to see Minnesota Twins baseball?
After today’s disastrous meetings, we’re going to make a guess at some point in June. Specifics of this day are impossible to nail down, but I’ll give my it best guess. It really comes down to the deepest pockets, and when millionaires (the players) are arguing with billionaires (MLB owners), any person who understands numbers realizes the owners can outlast the players.
A good chunk of the players could survive for a month or two without a paycheck effecting much of their lifestyle. But for players to give up a years worth of salary, service time and earning power would be extremely difficult, especially for the younger ones who have never reached free agency. In the short term, players are at a huge disadvantage.
In the long term, however, it’s a little different. MLB stands to lose the most money. Huge amounts if we compare apples to apples. At what point would owners really feel the sting? That’s where June comes into play. If a deal isn’t struck by June, the owners face a real possibility of not having a season.
All ticket and game day revenues would be lost, but more importantly, the TV and media revenues (what makes baseball will evaporate. MLB would be at great risk of alienating an already tepid fan base. Baseball attendance has already been ticking down for the past few years.
An extended strike could take the sport years to recover from, if at all, as baseball’s place in society isn’t what it used to be. As technology has paced faster with a variety of entertainment outlets at our fingertips, baseball’s slowed pace has turned some fans away.
The 1994-95 baseball strike took about four years to recover from, and it basically caused the collapse of the Montreal Expos. The only thing that saved baseball was McGwire and Sosa’s home run race. Does MLB dare risk that something like that will happen again?
On top of this, it would really do damage to the Twins as a franchise. The Minnesota Twins attendance was down 43% last year, and while that did come with fans not being allowed for a chunk of the season, it’s a cause for concern.
If you add on the fact that the immediate success of the team is in doubt, as well as the impact on the Minnesota Twins roster that the lockout and a possible strike would come at a very bad time for the Minnesota Twins and team ownership.
Back to the potential June start date, at this juncture both sides would have made their points and have sacrificed financially. The fan base would be itching to get the season going likely coming out in droves to root on their favorite home team.
The forgiving nature of the people of Minnesota would likely mirror this. A June start date is basically a no harm no foul situation in which everyone can benefit. Beyond that, things start to get very interesting in an…unwanted way.