Bernie Sanders blasts MLB owners 'greed' after games were canceled amid a lockout
Bernie Sandersweighed in the MLBlockout by calling on owners to "negotiate in good faith."
- Commissioner Rob Manfred canceled a handful of games on Tuesday as the worst labor dispute in decades drags on.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is still mad that the Dodgers broke his heart by moving to California, blasted MLB owners on Wednesday after the league announced it would delay opening day and cancel a handful of games amid an owner-imposed lockout.
"Mr. Manfred: End the lockout," Sanders, an independent from Vermont, wrote on Twitter. "Negotiate in good faith. Don't let the greed of baseball owners take away our national past time."
On Tuesday, Manfred announced the league was canceling its scheduled March 31 Opening Day and the first two regular-season series. The MLB Players Union responded by characterizing the situation as "the culmination of a decades-long attempt by owners to break our Player fraternity."
The two sides have failed for months to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. They disagree about a litany of issues, which ESPN's Jeff Passan called"a self-inflicted wound borne of equal parts hubris, short-sightedness and stubbornness from a class of owners who run the teams."
Sanders pointed out the MLB's 30 clubs are worth a staggering amount of money. The exact value varies depending on the source. Sportico pegged the league's collective worth at $66 billion last year. Forbes found that teams still gained value in 2020 despite the lockdown for COVID-19.
Like other professional leagues, MLB owners count some of the most powerful and wealthiest Americans among their elite group.
Steve Cohen, a hedge-fund investor who bought the New York Mets in 2020, is the 120th richest person in the world, according to Forbes. The Chicago Cubs are owned by the Ricketts family, whose patriarch Joe Ricketts made a fortune by founding Ameritrade. He and the rest of his children, including Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, are estimated to be the 647th wealthiest people in the world.
Sanders has tangled with MLB before.
He and other lawmakers also rose up in 2019 when MLB proposed the possible elimination of 42 minor league teams. Forty cities later lost the coveted MLB-affiliate status.
In a testament to his love of the game, Sanders and some of his campaign staff played a softball game against journalists in 2019 at the site of the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.
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