On the eve of Major League Baseball’s Open Day, following a lengthy Lockout this winter, new revelations have come to light on how the lockout ended. During an April Fools Day news conference held at New Gordon Field, Tapey Beercone Commissions Kelly “The Coach” and Eric “The Hammer” revealed the unprecedented steps they took to assist, and potentially save America’s Pastime.
This saga came to light after the Commissioners where questioned on their whereabouts in early March, after these missed a previously scheduled charity banquet at a distant Waffle House. “The Coach” explained that following MLB’s fruitless marathon negotiating session held in Juniper, Florida in late February, he contacted MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and demanded that Tapey Beercone step in as lead mediators to get a deal done. While Manfred was initially hesitant, as Kelly explained, “The allure of free beer changed his mind. Within hours, Eric and I were on a chartered flight to Florida, while truckloads of Coors Light where being hauled inbound directly from Boulder, Colorado.”
The Commissioner’s plan sounded simple: Get the owners and players together over some pints of brew, and allow them to realize that their interests were far more aligned than they may have thought, and that neither side was interested in seeing the season cancelled. The expectation was that social lubricants would loosen most of the deadlock, and that rock-paper-scissors and chugging contests could be reserved for settling the most tightly held issues. This wouldn’t be a hard proposition for the Commissioner’s to convey, as they had just recently ended their own Lockout, the longest in Tapey Beercone history. The commissioners salvaged Season 7 of Tapey Beercone by hammering out a new Commissioner’s Bargaining Agreement over multiple lengthy and inebriated negotiating sessions. With this experience under their belt, as Commissioner Eric “The Hammer” explained, “solving MLB’s issues would be a cake walk.”
But Eric’s optimistic statement belies the subtleties of the Commissioner’s plans. While Commissioner Kelly took on the initial role as lead mediator, inviting key MLB and MLBPA leaders to an informal drinking session on March 3rd intended to map out further negotiations, it was Commissioner Eric who would be working behind the scenes to generate greater urgency among the participants to get a deal done.
As Eric explained in the new conference, “Tapey Beercone has it’s own interests in seeing a successful Major League Baseball. MLB is a feeder league for Tapey Beercone, and an avenue for the promotion of the Sport of Kings. For that reason we knew if the Major League season would be cancelled it would be up to Tapey Beercone to pick up the slack.”
So while Kelly distracted the negotiators, Eric was working the back channels. He coordinated with stadium owners, independent leagues, and minor league players. If the MLB season was cancelled, Eric was making sure that the fans would still have baseball, just with fewer “balls” and more “beercones”…
It was during a follow-up drinking session on March 10th, that the plan was deployed. Kelly was officiating a chugging contest between MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark and Met’s Owner Steve Cohen, when Eric dropped the hammer. “We gave them an ultimatum”, he said, “End the lockout today or Tapey Beercone goes public tomorrow announcing the formation of a rival league, Major League Beercone.
As Kelly described, “We had 16 teams already signed, with 8 other on options for expansion, all composed of Beercone veterans, minor leaguers, and refugees from Venezuela. We already had contingent TV deals with TLC and TV Land, and Sunday night games would be streamed worldwide on Total Buckos Sports networks.” “There was a list of potential owners a mile long.” Eric added, “Either MLB and MLBPA came to a deal, or there would be no more deal to be had.”
And it appears the gambit worked, as later that evening the lockout was officially lifted. And while MLB was not available for comment to corroborate this story at this time, it certainly sounds legit…
As for the future of Major League Beercone, Eric would only say that as part of MLB’s new CBA, both of the Tapey Beercone Commissioners agreed to sign a non-compete clause with MLB, the terms of which he was not at liberty to disclose. For now the commissioners have returned to their full time focus on The Sport of Kings, and the ongoing season. But keep in mind this Opening Day how the baseball season was saved, and raise a cold one to the Commissioners.