Red Sox

McAdam: Fans will soon have the power to send MLB players and owners a message

(Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox via Getty Images)M

Bit by bit, details are emerging for the 2020 MLB season -- health and safety protocols, roster guidelines, tweaks to the rulebook and everything associated with returning the game to the field.

As contentious as the negotiations were for the previous three months, resulting in an implemented schedule rather than a negotiated settlement, even the players and owners seem to have made nice.

"As an organization, we were 100 percent and are 100 percent committed to playing,'' said Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy earlier this week, "and wanted to play and get back on the field as soon as possible.''

At the same time, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom reported the Red Sox expect 100 percent participation from their roster -- that is, they've received no word than any players intending to opt-out of the 2020 season.

In the big picture, there might be some lingering ill-will between owners and players, and that undoubtedly will manifest itself in 2021 when a new CBA will have to be negotiated. There's more ugliness ahead. But for now, on a more micro level, the Red Sox are not a divided house. Though the 60-game season may not be perfect, both sides are willing -- maybe even eager -- to get back to work.

So the principals have agreed to work together for the time being.

But what about fans? Chances are, they're not as magnanimous. By whatever measure you choose -- social media, sport talk radio, comments from BSJ subscribers, or just anecdotally -- there is widespread anger if not outright disgust from fans.

Some are livid with both owners and players. Some have chosen sides. In the end, however, what's clear is that months of back-and-forth filibusters -- what took place could hardly be accurately labeled negotiations -- have turned off large segments of the game's already shrinking fan base.

At some point, it doesn't matter who's to blame when fans are sufficiently disillusioned.