of course, the problems in cleveland and seattle were largely resolved by shining new temples to the sport, whose new revenue streams propelled those teams into consistent competition, in the indians' case, for the first time in decades. if it's understood that what challenges the challenged markets of baseball is often less the city they're located in than the stadium they play in, the logical foundation for the players to resist contraction on the grounds that stadium financing is the solution to the problem -- and not job cuts -- is set, along with the stage for yet another labor confrontation in baseball.
the threat of contraction never materialized despite ownership's clear prerogative, and that certainly set the stage for a more positive labor dynamic. the good news is that players and owners have come to an agreement without rancor. this small bit speaks volumes:
They set aside their long history of bitter negotiations to reach a tentative agreement on a five-year contract, the first time the sides have achieved labor peace before their current deal expires.
there's a first time for everything, and this page for one is happy to see it come.