Pedro Martinez isn’t siding with the owners. He isn’t siding with the players.
Instead, the Hall of Fame hurler is on the side of who he believes matters the most – the fans – in the midst of the dispute into starting the season amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“I hope that they take in consideration who pays our salaries and the people for us and how important the people are and at least bend your arm a little bit to try to find a middle ground for the negotiations,” Martinez said during NBCSN’s “Lunch Time Live” with Mike Tirico.
Owners and players have struggled to come to an agreement over economics as they try to play a shortened season in front of no fans. Owners have proposed an 82-game season that would pay players only a fraction of their pro-rated salaries. The players response was a 114-game season that included deferrals if the postseason was unable to be played due to a second wave of the coronavirus, as is feared. They still remain far apart.
“The economics is the dark part of baseball,” Martinez, the former Expos, Red Sox and Mets ace, said. “The business part of baseball is dirty. It’s dark.”
2020 has been dark, not only due to the pandemic, but also nationwide protests and riots in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Baseball can help the healing process, but only if the owners and players can reach an agreement.
“I’m hoping that both sides stop thinking about their own good and start thinking about the fans,” Martinez said. “I think people deserve to have their baseball teams out there to try to have people forget a little bit about what’s going on. It’s not only the pandemic. It’s everything that’s going on. People need something to actually do and find a way to relax.
“I hope that the Players Association and MLB realize how important it is to bring some relief to the people.”