FILE - In this July 4, 2019, file photo, Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies rounds first base after hitting a three-run home run during the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Atlanta. Major League Baseball owners gave the go-ahead Monday, May 11, 2020, to making a proposal to the players' union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans, a plan that envisioned expanding the designated hitter to the National League for 2020. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Players speak

Whether it's Blake Snell or Trevor Bauer or even Adam Jones, who is now playing in Japan, the feedback from MLB players after details of the MLB owners' proposal are leaking out in terms of the financial terms.

This, like a lot of things in the unprecedented time of The Corona, is confusing, and made even more difficult because never before have we been faced with this many decisions that have valid points on opposite sides that deserve merit.

In the big-picture fight verse The Corona, the cancer for health and the worries about the economy are equally valid, and the attempts to address either issue has diametrically opposite actions.

For the owners' proposal, examine these sides:

MLB owners are going to lose a large chunk of revenue without fans, so it's understandable for them to ask the players to share in those possible losses, right?

Well, it's also of note that the owners agreed just last month to pay players a prorated amount if/when baseball returns.

As for the players, well, it makes sense to share in the loss, right, and they have to know that the optics of this in a time of unforeseen uncertainty in terms of personal and national finances will be forever damaging?

But, a history of contentious negotiations and a long-standing backstory of back-stabbing between players and ownership, makes them the MLBPA understandably cautious to anything resembling a salary cap or revenue sharing even with a promise of it being just for a year.

It also deserves mentioning that players are taking the biggest risk in terms of playing amid the pandemic.

I see both sides, but I do have a big-picture question when it comes to struggles like this: Why does most of the public sentiment always go with ownership in labor disputes in sports? Why do most of us cheer for the guys making billions and begrudge the athletes making millions or tens of millions?



Decision time

We've asked this before, and we went over some of the status points in our view of sports and their return in the time of The Corona.

But we looked at it in terms of the big-picture logistics and details.
What about at the most basic and fundamental level:

If the MLBPA negotiates the deal to a place that it is approved by majority vote, do all the union members have to show? What about players who do not feel safe?

This is another of the two-sided debates in this time that offers multiple side with merit. Take the state of Tennessee discussion in which Gov. Lee said earlier this week that people could lose their unemployment if their jobs are made available and decide not to return to work.

That premise has two sides. There are people who are understandable afraid of this thing, especially if they or loved ones have pre-existing conditions that make them more vulnerable to The Corona. The other side is that a lot of people sadly will game the system and take the state checks for not working as long as they possibly can.

So does union membership require baseball or NBA players to report for work?

I don't know, but that's difficult to see, right? But what is the public opinion of said athlete who decides not to play for less money amid the greater risk?

Which also leads us to what happens if an Alabama running back or a Georgia DT or an Auburn safety says he doesn't feel safe? Or what if that Alabama running back's or Georgia DT's or that Auburn safety's momma says, "Not only no but heck no" when the time comes?

Do they pull scholarships?

Does anyone else think that with each passing day there are more and more questions than answers against this thing?    


Transferring rights

For the most part I am in favor of empowering college athletes. I believe the system has worked for far too long with almost every decision and debate skewing toward the schools and the adults, who despite having long-term contracts are still able for a price to pick up and walk away for "better opportunities" or because a new destination makes sense "for my family." (Side question: Is there a more clear euphemism for coach movement than "making a decision for my family" = "making a heck of a lot more money for my family's bank account" these days? Discuss.)

I am in favor of opening the transfer portal for a free, one-time, no-questions-asked eligibility ticket for every athlete that enters the portal. Heck, coaches can leave multiple times over the span of a recruit's eligibility. Heck, Will Wade was a head coach at three schools in five years, and is still making strong (bleep) offers, but players only get one freebie.

The NCAA and the powers that be turned down the one free transfer pass because, well, they are the NCAA. (Side note: Here's a story from our former co-worker and buddy Dancin' David Cobb on 10 college hoops programs that really need transfers to be eligible if/when college hoops restarts. And yes, Chas' favorite team is high on the list.)

This is not relatively new. The decision has been delayed and kicked down the road more times than the neighborhood coffee can in that glorious game. what's it called you know the game, with can and kids hiding and you kick the can Crud, I hate it when I forget things. Oh nevermind.

Despite my views on the big picture of this topic, the delay of that decision late last month, makes a ton of sense considering the unknown status of the Corona. Granted, the NCAA made this decision during the shutdown, but in typical NCAA fashion, the wisdom was more about good fortune than good figure heads.

The transfer delay came before the talking points about football became real possibilities about half the country — or even a majority but not all of a particular conference — having football in the fall.

Could you imagine the race to the portal if/when only the SEC and the ACC and parts of the Big Ten and Big 12 are playing come the fall?


This and that

— We had a bit earlier this week on the shortcomings of the media and how that adds gasoline to the "Fake News" wildfire of today's culture. Well, here's another log. Polls are expensive enterprises to run and amazingly popular click bait for internet readers. With that caveat, CNN conducted a new poll on the upcoming presidential race. The title was somewhat surprising — and the only thing more interesting than polls are polls with surprising results — and read "CNN Poll: Biden tops Trump nationwide, but battlegrounds title Trump." That's news right, especially if its your own news service's exclusive? It was listed as the eighth headline in terms of importance on CNN's site Wednesday evening behind a slew of headlines including five surfers dying when their rescue came across huge sea foam and how 87 percent of church choir got Corona at practice. Wonder where that story would have been on if the headline had read "Biden holds double digit lead over Trump and takes edge in battleground states" or something of that ilk?

— Speaking of The Corona, well, we have welcomed various talking points on this around these parts. One of my main contentions is the "listen to the experts" phrase almost always is a reference to the medical folks. Well, here's a finance expert — the head of the Federal Reserve — who clearly states that if we do not take steps to jumpstart our fiscal situation, our economy may be severely damaged for years to come.

— Speaking of the economy, part II: Hedge fund titan David Tepper believes the stock market is the "second-most overvalued' he's ever seen. No. 1 was at the height of the tech bubble in 1999-2000. Egad.

— Speaking of The Corona, part 1,204: Man, Wednesday had a record increase of cases locally here in Hamilton County with 41 people testing positive. The previous high increase for a single day was 21.

— Speaking of Hamilton County, it's pretty difficult to imagine the city handling the entire ordeal of hiring a new treasurer any worse. OK, the City hired a woman from Wyoming who had multiple federal lawsuits filed against her during her time in a similar position in Guernsey, Wy. TFP reporter Sarah Grace Taylor unearthed those lawsuits — Hey Chattanooga city hiring folks, do you not have Google downtown? It's the Gig City for Pete's sake? — so the city big shots didn't know. Well, Tuesday, with egg on their face, the city council resented the offer. Now Sarah Grace reports that an outside investigation told the city council Kate Farmer — the treasurer in question — was solid and posed little risk. That revelation came a few hours before the council cut bait. Anyone else have little confidence that City Hall could order lunch properly, never mind run a mid-sized city facing real issues?  

— Is there a dumber criminal out there than Pete, Pete Zacharine, the guy who is breaking into an armored truck with a fishnet panty hose over his face in the Snickers commercial? Side note: When you start most mornings the same way — handle the dogs, make the coffee, start the 5-at-10, listen to Golic or Wingo or Get Up in the background — you notice that a lot of the same commercials get played over, Over and OVER again. And yes, we're talking about the couple who has a Ratt problem, too.

— Stupid Rams. Why change one of the best uniforms not only in the NFL but across pro sports?

— You know the rules, TFP college football expert David Paschall writes about college sports, I read and link Paschall's views on college football. Here, he continues his countdown of the five best University of Georgia football players ever. Today's No. 2 makes it clear who will be numero uno mañana, and that was pretty clear when he started this endeavor. Side question, especially for Alejandro and Jules: Despite Georgia' strong run of the last decade plus, is a testament of how good Georgia has been as a program through the decades or kind of troubling that on Paschall list is only one name since the first Reagan administration? Discuss.

— Here's today's A2 column on the simple fact that I don't know much of anything in regard to The Corona, but I do know that HCDE superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson has go a tough, Tough, TOUGH summer ahead of him.

— Here's a 60-year-old amateur golfer who won his flight of a local tournament shooting an 84 — and only using a putter to do it. Crazy.


Today's questions
Have you offered a mailbag question? We're filling up rather quickly, friends.

Stupid Rams, who made a great uniform much worse with the chances. If I offered the Yankees as the last professional sports franchise that will — or should — change their uniforms, do you have one that would be less inclined to change than the Bronx Bombers?

As for today, May 14, let's explore.

Happy birthday to Mark Zuckerberg (36) and Rob Gronkowski (31). Also, George Lucas is 76 today. It's national dance like a chicken day. It's also national buttermilk biscuit day. Friend. Bestie in fact.

Lewis and Clark started their expedition on this day in 1804.

On this day in 1998, the first of the two-part Seinfeld finale aired.

Have we ever done a Rushmore of TV finales? Let's give it a whirl, and while more than 76 million people watched the Seinfeld send-off, it does not come close to this Rushmore.Go and remember the mailbag.