By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Already unable to agree on pretty much anything, the standoff between the MLB and MLBPA regarding the fate of the 2020 MLB season shows absolutely no signs of ending anytime soon after the MLBPA’s two-hour video conference reportedly ended with the players deciding not to make another offer to the league.
In case you’ve decided to skip this entire saga, here’s the latest: With the MLB reportedly wanting to go with a 50-game season with prorated salaries, the MLBPA presented owners with a 114-game counterproposal. The MLB, to the shock of no one, turned that down. That alone speaks to the game between these parties… with prorated salaries the name of the game, the MLBPA wants as many games as possible (a 114-game season would’ve pushed the World Series to December) and the MLB wants as few games as possible.
It’s a tug of war for dollars and nobody wants to lose another dime.
But in a statement released Thursday, the MLBPA’s Tony Clark made it clear they have no plans on taking any additional cuts.
“Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions,” Clark said in a statement. “The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon. This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.”
What a complete mess.
Instead of following through on a legitimate chance to step up to the plate as the first major sports league back in action, the billionaire owners are fighting with the millionaire players over who deserves more. The league is reportedly expected to lose $4 billion as a result of these empty-ballpark games, and one of their most recent offers to the MLBPA would’ve seen top-of-the-market players take a 70-to-80 percent paycut. There’s just no middle ground to be found on either side, it feels.
Nevertheless, Clark says the Players’ Association is willing to negotiate. But they won’t negotiate against themselves.
“The overwhelming consensus of the board is that players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well,” Clark’s statement read. “The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected. Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season.
“We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.”
Easier said than done.