There are no threats, no allusions of intimidation ... really, not even raised voices.
Yet there also is not the slightest tinge of fear.
Major League Baseball players representing their brethren at the All-Star Game in Cleveland made it quite clear this week that they want changes, big-time changes, in the next collective bargaining agreement, or there will be significant consequences.
Yes, even if it takes a work stoppage before the CBA expires Dec. 1, 2021 — the first strike in baseball since 1994-95.
“We are together on this," Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Josh Bell told USA TODAY Sports. “I know work stoppages in the past have worked to our benefit for the longevity of the game, the longevity of the player, and for the compensation of the player. Just for equal rights.
“We’ve met for years for preparation, and we’ll definitely see what happens in the future. Hopefully we can find common ground, but if not, we’re more than prepared. The one thing we’ve been taught, and we’ve heard it countless times, is to save your money the best you can because you never know what the future holds."
There’s not a single active player who has endured a work stoppage. The average age of the National League’s starting lineup was 25.8, the youngest in baseball history.
They certainly aren’t eager to be the first class to end labor peace, but then again, they’re ready to take whatever step is necessary to restore cracks in their economic system.
“We're very concerned. It’s been a little lopsided the last couple of years," Boston Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez said, “and I know the association definitely wants to do something about it."
Does that mean a willingness to strike?