Earlier this week, we looked at the lingering effects of MLB players who crossed picket lines during the 1994/95 baseball strike. These scab players, who were young guys and minor leaguers that took a chance to prove themselves on a larger stage by joining replacement rosters, are now forever banned from entering the MLBPA. As such, they cannot receive official licensing money, which prohibits their likenesses from appearing in MLB-licensed video games.
Both MLB 2K10 and MLB 10 The Show will release on March 2.
Brendan Donnelly, who just signed a 1 year deal with the Pirates, is one of the 5 remaining scab players still in baseball. He will not be playable in either of those video games, and will likely be replaced by some generic name/face.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who covered the strike while at ESPN, had some choice words for the video game blog that initially brought up the issue with the 5 remaining scab players. In short, video game blog wants the MLBPA to erase the last memory of the nightmare strike by allowing these members into the union and video games. Olbermann disagrees, citing that the players knew the inevitable consequences.
People naturally conflict, which makes up 99% of sports (my own statistic). If we didn't have differing opinions and the need to make our opinions heard, we wouldn't write blogs, insult rival fans at games, complain to coworkers that their ideas/teams are no match for our ideas/teams.
So I was prepared to let Olbermann slide, until he threw in a low blow to the new Pirates pitcher at the end of his article:
"If you feel your video game is incomplete without Brendan Donnelly, you may be a little too into video games."
Really, Keith? A blog 100% about the intricacies of video games wouldn't be obsessed with minor details of an obviously-adjusted roster in a major sports release? Sure, they didn't cover the actual strike for the largest sports network in the world, but they have every right to inquire about these oddities. Besides, is keeping Brendan Donnelly out of the union and video games really bettering the MLBPA's image in some way? Will letting him in destroy the very fabric of labor negotiations?
So chill, Olbermann. And grow back the mustache.