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mary123 Feb 10
Once upon a time in baseball, it wouldnt have ended like this. Wholesale Nationals Jerseys . And that, of course, is because, for close to 25 years, labor negotiations in baseball never ended like this.With peace. With stability. With a sport that has now gone so long without a work stoppage that the three other major professional sports in this land have combined for six of them since the last time a labor war erupted in baseball. How surreal is that?So even though the labor agreement of 2016 went down almost a week after Thanksgiving, this, my friends, was something to be thankful for. Peace is good. But more than that, peace is essential.As someone who has covered a few of those messy baseball work stoppages of yesteryear, Id be happy to hop up on the stand and testify. Whatever was gained on the inside from those strikes or those lockouts, it wasnt enough to undo the damage it caused on the outside.Baseball will never, ever be the same after the strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series. It will never regain the place it held in the American soul because of that strike. So no matter how vehemently people inside the game might want to defend the stands that they took back then, the truth is that in the big picture, only one good thing ever came of that strike.The people who run this sport got the memo: Peace is good. And they learned that they should never go down that ugly, self-destructive road again. And they havent.Theyve now made it through 21 consecutive years of labor peace since the strike of 1994-95. And thanks to the deal they made Wednesday night, we know theyre about to make it through five more. Hallelujah.As you look over the details of that deal today, could it possibly be more obvious that there was never an issue in the 2016 labor talks that was worth blowing up a $10 billion industry over? Never.Over the qualifying offer for a select group of free agents? Over containing spending on 18-year-old amateur players who happened to be born outside the United States? Over luxury-tax thresholds or tax rates? How did this sport ever drive itself to the brink of a lockout over issues like that? Incredible.We still have a lot to learn about the specifics of this new labor deal. So we cant fully judge the complete scope of everything that was agreed to yet. But the highlights that did leak out were fascinating, all right. Here are some quick reactions:? Wed been led to believe that owners were willing to shred the entire system that required teams to forfeit a draft pick if they signed an elite free agent (i.e., one who received and rejected a qualifying offer). Turned out we were dead wrong. Those teams no longer have to lose their first-round pick. And thats a significant achievement for the players union. But teams will still forfeit at least one pick for signing one of those players. And if theyre a team with a payroll that rises above the luxury-tax threshold, it will cost two picks -- second- and fifth-round picks. And thats still a big deal.Are a second- and fifth-round pick more valuable than a No. 1 pick? Of course not, one agent said Wednesday evening. But are they comparable? Certainly.? We also knew that as the two sides headed toward the wire, the luxury tax -- or competitive balance tax, if youre a fan of legalese -- was a major issue. Well, now we know why. Under previous versions of the luxury tax, the highest tax rate a team could pay was 50 percent, no matter how many times its payroll went beyond the tax threshold. But not anymore.If the Dodgers dont get their 2017 payroll under $235 million, it appears as if their tax rate would rise to an astounding 92 (yes, ninety-two) percent as a third-time offender subject to a 50 percent tax plus a 42 percent surtax for being $40 million over the threshold. Wow. Two different agents used the term soft cap on Wednesday night to describe the effect of a rate that high. But no matter what you call it, its the strongest deterrent to spending to ever appear in a baseball labor agreement. Theres no debate about that.? The union fought for months against the owners push to institute an international draft -- and ultimately won that fight. Instead, the two sides agreed to a hard cap on total annual spending for foreign-born amateur players, of about $5 million for every team. With no exceptions. And no flexibility to go above that amount.So the days of a Yoan Moncada raking in $31.5 million are over. As are the days of teams like the Dodgers blowing through their international bonus pool and then spending whatever they chose because they didnt mind the penalties. So it will take a while before we completely grasp the effect of this change on teams and players alike. But one thing to file away is this: Its the first time the union has ever agreed to any sort of hard cap in any area. Interesting.? The players did come away with a couple of scheduling concessions that theyd made a major priority in these negotiations. Starting in 2018, the season will start four days earlier, so that four extra off days can be included in the schedule. And there are new provisions requiring more teams to play day games when one or both teams face long flights after the game.In a sport that is now paying more than a half-billion dollars a year to players on the disabled list, these are more important elements of this agreement than you might think. If the primary cause of injury is fatigue, it makes sense for everyone to do what they can to combat as much fatigue as possible.There is so much more to sift through when the details get announced. So there will be more surprises and more changes, many of them subtle, some of them not so subtle. And only then will we know how all the pieces of this puzzle fit together.But Ive covered enough labor talks in my day to know that most of you dont care about any of that. You only care about one thing:Did they get this frigging deal done or not?Well, ladies and gentlemen, the deal got done. Woo-hoo. The hot stove can keep on burning. The trade rumors can keep on flowing. The game can keep on growing. And that, in the end, is what had to happen. Any other outcome would have been an embarrassment. Not to mention a disaster.Once upon a time in baseball, it wouldnt have ended this way. So thank heaven we dont live in that time anymore. Thank heaven we live in this time -- because no matter who emerges from this agreement unhappy about how this deal affects them -- peace always beats the alternative. And never more than right now. Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic . I cant pinpoint a date, but I do remember a player from my youth. Brian Downing was with the Chicago White Sox at a time when I listened to every game I possibly could on the radio. That particular season the late great Harry Caray was calling the White Sox games. Cheap Nationals Jerseys Authentic . The team also announced Tuesday that the Braves will wear a commemorative patch on the right sleeve during the season. The patch, shaped like home plate, carries the number 715, Aarons autograph and a "40th Anniversary" banner. . -- About a third of the way through the regular season, the Washington Wizards are at . TORONTO -- After 13 months of preparation and practicing, the World Cup of Hockey championship will be decided in a three-game series between Team Canada and Team Europe beginning Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).It might not seem like a perfect championship matchup between the powerhouse Canadians and the underdogs of Europe, but this has the potential to be a fun finals. On paper, the Canadians are stronger, deeper, more talented and playing great hockey in this best-on-best tournament.The Europeans, representing eight countries, have formed a cohesive unit and surprised the entire hockey world that it was able to win and reach the finals, especially with a victory over Team Sweden in the semifinals. The one thing Team Europe is banking on is its pride, knowing this team will never exist again. Talk to any of the players on that team, and to a man, they all believe they can beat Canada.However, this could be the greatest collection of hockey talent Canada has ever had on one roster. If this was a one-game, winner-take-all situuation, Europe could pull out a stunner, but no way it does that in a three-game set. Cheap Nationals Jerseys China. Europe goaltender Jaroslav Halak will need to be the best player on the ice to keep his team in this series.Line match: From top to bottom, theres no denying Canadas potent lineup. Its top line of Brad Marchand, Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron has been outstanding. Crosby has three goals and four assists for seven points in four games, while Marchand has three goals and two assists for five points, and Bergeron has two goals and two assists for four points. The chemistry that line has created is off the charts. Even if Europe tries to focus on that line to shut it down (likely using Zdeno Chara on Crosby), then Europe still needs to worry about Canadas other three lines, which are just as dangerous offensively. Europe received an important offensive surge by Tomas Tatar, who had two goals against Sweden in the semifinals. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '