Many of the folks inside baseball but outside of the Zoom labor negotiations assume that, eventually, cooler heads will prevail in the talks between the owners and the players' union. Because they have to -- right?

Because the alternative -- no attempted restart of baseball in 2020 because of a failure of the two sides to agree to terms -- bears catastrophic consequences, now and in the sport's future. The leaders on both sides have to see that -- right?

They have to understand this nuclear option is no option at all -- right?

They have to understand how baseball might need a generation or two -- decades -- for some fans to forget or forgive this ill-timed squabble over money, at a time when so many have lost jobs and increasingly struggle to meet the cost of shelter and food. Baseball's owners and players can't be so deeply mired in distrust and doctrine that they don't see this -- right?

But here we are, in a countdown to utter disaster for Major League Baseball, and sources of moderation on both sides are having difficulty identifying the path through which the parties will leave their respective bunkers to reach the agreement the industry must have. As distasteful as the terms might be for the owners and players, they should all recognize that while concern over player and staff safety could ultimately prevent games from being played, they must settle the question of player compensation -- whatever form that takes -- and shake hands on the deal and smile for the cameras. (Actually, please be sure to get it in writing that everybody acknowledges -- more later on how the failure to do that has contributed to the current stalemate.)