- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 3, 2022

Vermont may not have a Major League Baseball team, but that didn’t stop Sen. Bernie Sanders from giving his thoughts on the league’s lockout.

In no surprise, Mr. Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” is siding with the players’ union in the labor dispute that’s caused a three-month lockout and the cancellation of the first two series of the MLB season. The former Democratic presidential primary candidate urged MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to stand up to the owners’ “greed” and “end the lockout” in a tweet Wednesday. 

“The 30 Major League Baseball owners are worth over $100 billion,” Mr. Sanders tweeted. “The value of their teams increased by more than $41 billion since they bought them. Mr. Manfred: End the lockout. Negotiate in good faith. Don’t let the greed of baseball owners take away our national past time.”

Mr. Sanders regularly advocates for unions and bashes billionaires and corporations, recently supporting the unionization efforts of Starbucks and Amazon employees. 

He’s also a big fan of baseball and sometimes weighs in on the goings-on of the league. Mr. Sanders, a Brooklyn Dodgers fan growing up, was also critical of Mr. Manfred in 2019 when the league proposed cutting 42 minor league teams, 

“@MLB is proposing to cut 42 Minor League Baseball clubs,” Mr. Sanders tweeted in 2019. “This has nothing to do with what’s good for baseball and everything to do with greed. It would destroy thousands of jobs and devastate local economies. I’m urging @MLB Commissioner Manfred to stop this proposal.”

Mr. Sanders is far from the only person to give his opinion on the work stoppage. 

Angels outfielder Mike Trout, the league’s best player who rarely gives his thoughts on controversial topics, even gave his two cents Wednesday. 

“I want to play, I love our game, but I know we need to get this [collective bargaining agreement] right,” Mr. Trout tweeted. “Instead of bargaining in good faith — MLB locked us out. Instead of negotiating a fair deal — Rob canceled games. Players stand together. For our game, for our fans, and for every player who comes after us. We owe it to the next generation.”

Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman continued to be critical of Mr. Manfred. A day after he posted that “Manfred gotta go,” the former Mets and Blue Jays pitcher tweeted that the MLB commissioner “doesn’t care” about the fans. 

“FANS…this man doesn’t care about any of y’all,” Mr. Stroman tweeted. “Don’t get it twisted. The players are ready to perform, compete, and interact with all of you! However, Manfred has been ruining our game while playing puppet boy to the owners. That’s a fact. We remain ready and anxious to play!”

Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine, who played for the Braves during the strike that shut down the 1994 season, told The Athletic that the lockout will “do damage to the game.”

“This is going to do damage to the game, there’s no question about that. How much? I guess we’ll see. I still talk to people who swore off the game after the strike, and they haven’t gone back,” Mr. Glavine said.

“On the heels of COVID and people having their lives being altered and not being able to go to baseball games for a year, there’s going to be some hurt feelings.”

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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