McGregor Retires Again, Books Not Buying It: MLB's Demise?

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:

Conor McGregor has announced his retirement....again.

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On Sunday morning, McGregor told ESPN that he has lost his excitement for the sport.

"The game just does not excite me, and that's that," McGregor said. "All this waiting around. There's nothing happening. I'm going through opponent options, and there's nothing really there at the minute. There's nothing that's exciting me.

"They should have just kept the ball rolling. I mean, why are they pushing [Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje] back to September? You know what's going to happen in September, something else is going to happen in September, and that's not going to happen. I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with. And they always want to balk at that and not make it happen or just drag it on. Whatever I say, they want to go against it to show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight -- me and Justin for the interim title -- and just kept the ball rolling."

McGregor said he had written a draft of his retirement tweet two weeks ago and was "just tired" of the sport.

"I'm a bit bored of the game," he told ESPN. "I'm here watching the fight. I watched the last show -- the [Tyron-Woodley-Gilbert Burns] show -- I watched the show tonight. I'm just not excited about the game, Ariel. I don't know if it's no crowd. I don't know what it is. There's just no buzz for me."

McGregor has announced his retirement on two previous occasions.  At 31 he's still considered in his prime and will likely be back.

The books were still offering odds on McGregor fighting various opponents.

vs. Justin Gaethje he's at -130.

vs. Kamaru Usman he's at +280.

vs. Anderson Silva the fight is around EVEN odds.

For, fights featuring McGregor have proven to attract the most traffic of any sporting event, including the Super Bowl.

It's too late to save the industry from all of the damage leaking from the toxic working relationship between the owners and players. The chance to present a united front in the face of national trauma is gone; the opportunity to own the sports stage for a lot of the summer has been squandered. Baseball has generated more disgust than inspiration. 

But there is still a chance to move the game forward and generate a product collaboratively. The worst-case scenario for all of them is no baseball at all, but a close second is an owners' system rammed down the throats of the players, with the labor problems merely deferred to a later date. 

As soon as the armistice is forged -- and that's probably all it will be, a short-term cessation of hostilities -- both sides need to take the time for an internal audit and ask themselves: What did we do, on our side, to help create the absolute mess we have made and damage the golden goose product of baseball? And moving forward, how can we be better when we attempt to pick up the pieces of our 2020 disaster? 

- Don Shapiro,

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