MLB Overnight: Labor pains

The baseball season is long. And we’re here to help: MLB Overnight covers the interesting night-in, night-out goings-on of The Show.

Things Just Got Real

The MLBPA may not be able to say the C-word publicly or officially, but this is the first real salvo fired between players and ownership after the hot stove simmered into a cold war. The Rays, Marlins, Athletics and Pirates are all being charged with not spending enough of their revenues–particularly revenue sharing money, ostensibly required to buttress the quality of on-field play–and pocketing that capital as profiteering. This in and of itself is a tracer shot, designed to see how the league responds, but it nevertheless is a sign that the MLBPA, outed as toothless in Jeff Passan’s ground-shaking piece from January, may be, for better or worse, finally showing some fight. While Passan has led the charge in rousting the rabble, a deeper look at the math might suggest that concern about a disparity in revenue may be overstating the matter some. Baseball has its best on-field product in a generation, and it is doing everything in its power to screw this up from pitch clocks to pace of play to extra innings men on base to best hitters in the ninth to labor discord. Adding the specter of labor strife right now sets the game back 25 years. Please don’t screw this up.

Keep Arlington Weird

Tim Lincecum used to be one of the best pitchers in baseball. Then he virtually disappeared. Lincecum had one of the strongest three-year stretches of any pitcher in this generation, garnering two Cys and striking out three batters to every walk in the process. The little guy had his day and then faded into obscurity after a botched attempt to reinvent himself as a reliever. The Freak is back, having agreed to a deal with the Texas Rangers.

The fact that the Rangers, really not in the strongest position to compete in the American League, are taking a chance on a has-been pitcher on a guaranteed Major League deal to work out of their bullpen doesn’t speak well to either the Rangers nor the Freak.

Kluber Doing Kluber Things

Bad news for the American League: Corey Kluber is in regular season form and he’s only made his spring debut.

Three strikeouts, one run on one hit and one walk, which is remarkably within what Kluber did all last season: strikeout a lot, give up an early run, then strikeout a lot more. What a time to be a baseball fan, and treated to what might be an all-time bumper crop of aces.

Christopher Perez Wins Brewers Twitter; also, Twitter

Milwaukee Brewers super-utility guy Hernan Perez has been teaching his son the really important things.

Brent Sirvio is a co-founder of Bronx to Bushville. Jonathan Powell and Khurram Kalim contributed to this post.