Keeler: If Rockies and MLB don’t get their acts together, they’ll lose the best fans in the world — forever

Mike Trout’s number that should scare each of them back to the negotiating table isn’t $ 37.7 million, the man’s contractual salary for 2020. Or $ 5.7 million, and that’s what the economic proposal of Major League Baseball owners who would shave bad boy.

It’s 44.

As in percent.

As with the percentage of Americans, according to the polling site, who say they actually are heard by Mike Trout.

LeBron James? 92 percent.

Peyton Manning? 88 percent.

Tim Tebow? 83 percent.

John Elway? 70 percent.

Conor McGregor? 62 percent.

So yeah, fine, baseball. Continue. Attitude. Dare to blink the other man. Spit in the wind. Just don’t be surprised by what blows back in your face.

MLB owners cry poorly, which is a joke. The MLB Players Association doesn’t want to give an inch, so those same owners don’t take miles when the CBA expires in 2021.

Profits on the one hand. Principle, on the other hand.

We understand it.

Just guess who ends up in the middle. Again.

The 44 percent.

The 44 percent who, you know, have heard of Trout. The 44 percent who actually give the back of a rat. Still. Despite everything.

It is a week of abandonment or abandonment. While baseball takes part in the world’s longest cataract match, languishing, the half-clue leagues don’t wait.

The NBA reportedly takes her talents to Disney World. The NHL jumps straight to the postseason, in place, with potential host sites on call. Even the Premier League of England, where owners agree on nothing but how they set huge piles of money on fire, has a new start date for next month.

Meanwhile, Rob Manfred is there in his 1948 Ford Woodie and is absolutely teased by … Gary Bettman. Grace.

“I think public people tend to characterize it as a fight every time there is a discussion of economics,” MLB commissioner Manfred since 2015 told CNN earlier this month.

“For me personally, I am very confident that we will reach an agreement with the Players Association, both that it is safe to return to work and to work out the economic problems that need to be resolved.”

That was two weeks ago.

Memorial Day came and went. As of Friday morning, so did 28 Rockies home games, 34.5% of the scheduled season’s dates at Coors Field.

Out of sight.

From the heart.

Oh, we heard the yes-buts. It is a regional sport. A provincial sport. If this game is on such a thin ice, why does MLB Advanced Media print money?

This is why: when Gallup polled more than 1,000 Americans in January 2018 as for their favorite sports to watch, the shock wasn’t that soccer bumped into everyone or that soccer was on the climb.

It’s the extent to which baseball has slipped from national pastime to niche in five decades.

Among respondents aged 55 and over, the sport finished 14 percent in distant No. 2 football. Under 35-54, it came in fourth, with just seven percent, lagging behind in football, basketball, and soccer. Among respondents 18-34, the same deal: fourth, with six percent.

Nothing remains uncool forever. Vinyl made a comeback. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, drive-ins have that too. Never say never.

But it wouldn’t take a plague if people figure out how to fall in love with you again. The only thing that MLB takes for granted than its fans are the stars.

That brings us back to the kids on

Von Miller? Ring a bell with 45 percent of America.

Nikola Jokic? 35 percent.

Nolan Arenado, the best third baseman of his generation? 30 percent.

Mike Trout. Eight times All-Star. MVP three times. Nearly 60 percent of the country never heard of the man.

So yes, baseball. Continue. Be macho. Do not give up. Keep on staring. Lose the season. Just don’t be surprised by who you lose forever along the way.