Sports Have Never Felt More Meaningless Than Right Now

Not the person we need to hear from right now.
Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

One of the many frustrations people have had with the ongoing battles between Major League Baseball owners and the players union about how to get the sport going in 2020 — currently, neither party can even get the other to review their proposals, let alone negotiate on them — is that the two sides are blowing an incredible opportunity to return on July 4. The idea that baseball — a sport whose best players left at the height of their careers to fight in World War II, whose New York teams were a balm after September 11 — is inextricably tied to trying moments in American history is ingrained in the romanticism of the game. Surely owners had that in mind when they proposed Independence Day as a resumption point in the first place. July 4! America! Hot dogs! Apple pie! How could baseball miss such a fastball right down the middle?

But suddenly, after the last week of American history, the idea of a glorious return of the game on the nation’s birthday seems less triumphant than almost unseemly. After two months inside, the populace seemed starved, downright lustful for live sports. But now? Would you find it appropriate to sit down and watch a baseball game? Or would you find it obscene?

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