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Opening day on July 4 could have been something special. Too bad MLB blew it

Major League Baseball missed a golden — actually, a red-white-and-blue — marketing opportunity by failing to launch its season on July 4. <span class="copyright">(Mark Brown / Getty Images)</span>
Major League Baseball missed a golden — actually, a red-white-and-blue — marketing opportunity by failing to launch its season on July 4. (Mark Brown / Getty Images)

If only baseball had gotten its act together this spring, it could have staged a grand reopening act this summer, a kickoff to a pandemic-shortened season for America’s pastime on the most American of holidays — the Fourth of July.

“Oh, you mean baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?” sports business consultant Andy Dolich, 73, said, recalling the television advertising jingle that first aired in 1975. “Fireworks, families and communities coming together for a celebration … who’d be interested in that?”

The sarcasm in Dolich’s voice was as clear as his message: Major League Baseball missed a golden — actually, a red-white-and-blue — marketing opportunity by failing to launch its season July 4.

Sure, there would have been less pomp under the circumstances. With stadiums empty, there would be no need for the unfurling of giant American flags, military flyovers and extravagant postgame fireworks shows.

But if owners and players hadn’t spent three months haggling over money, a dispute that pushed what is now a scheduled 60-game season to July 23, baseball could have had the domestic sports stage to itself for weeks, returning well before the NBA and NHL.

And MLB could have produced a Fourth of July extravaganza, airing multiple season openers throughout the day to a country craving live sporting events and a distraction from the coronavirus

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On Father’s Day, let’s celebrate what’s normal (not special) about dads caring for kids

For the past five years, up until the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve traveled the country talking about modern fatherhood. As a modern dad myself, I limit my travel to five days a month and work from home the rest of the time. So I’m the one generally home with the kids when they get home from school.

Often, when I speak to businesses and organizations, women tell me that they’re “lucky” because their husbands are so hands-on with the kids, equally committed to family life. I always respond the same way: “That’s terrific, but you’re not lucky. You’re normal.”

This is the secret, unknown reality of the modern dad, a fact buried beneath TV stereotypes of bumbling, lazy or incompetent fathers, as well as misleading data. In reality, time use surveys show that while mothers and fathers divide their time differently, both are working hard on behalf of their families through a combination of paid work, unpaid work and childcare.

‘Mad Men’ workplaces can be a barrier

The biggest force holding back gender equality at home isn’t laziness or lack of interest among fathers. It’s a set of workplace structures, vestiges of the ‘Mad Men’ era, that push women to do more of the caregiving, while also pushing men to spend more and more hours in paid work. My book, “All In,” is filled with research and stories of men who were fired, demoted or lost job opportunities for daring to take paternity leave or seek a

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