Boston Red Sox

Jun 21, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Major League Baseball Player Association executive director Tony Clark speaks during a presentation at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson,

With yet another unsuccessful negotiation and rejected offer behind the parties, MLBPA head Tony Clark has made it clear that his side is officially done trying to negotiate with MLB.

“Players want to play. It’s who we are and what we do. Since March, the Association has made it clear that our No.1 focus is playing the fullest season possible, as soon as possible, as safely as possible,” Clark wrote in a statement. “Players agreed to billions in monetary concessions as a means to that end, and in the face of repeated media leaks and misdirection we made additional proposals to inject new revenues into the industry — proposals that would benefit the owners, players, broadcast partners, and fans alike.

“It’s now become apparent that these efforts have fallen upon deaf ears. In recent days, owners have decried the supposed unprofitability of owning a baseball team and the Commissioner has repeatedly threatened to schedule a dramatically shortened season unless players agree to hundreds of millions in further concessions. Our response has been consistent that such concessions are unwarranted, would be fundamentally unfair to players, and that our sport deserves the fullest 2020 season possible. These remain our positions today, particularly in light of new reports regarding MLB’s national television rights — information we requested from the league weeks ago but were never provided.”

That last point is especially noteworthy, too. As the sides have squabbled over the financial losses that will come in a 2020 season with games lost and fans banned from stadiums, the league went ahead and signed a billion dollar agreement with Turner Sports to continue to air MLB postseason contests. Yes: Billion. The original deal with Turner, for what it’s worth, paid the MLB about $350 million, adding $650 million to the league’s pocket. And that went over with the players, who have been asked to take additional cuts of their prorated salaries, about as well as you’d expect.

It’s all enough for Clark to finally come to terms with the reality of the dispute between these sides, essentially admitting defeat at the negotiating table (though not for a lack of trying) and calling for the league to let them know when and where to report in 2020.

“As a result, it unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile,” Clark said. “It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”

And Clark wasn’t the only one making his opinions known on Saturday.

“Players remain united in their stance that a day’s work is worth a day’s pay, particularly in a situation where players and their families are being asked to take additional burdens and risks,” an obvious agitated MLBPA negotiator Bruce Meyer wrote in a letter to MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem. “Given your continued insistence of hundreds of millions of dollars of additional pay reductions, we assume these negotiations are at end.”

Unable to come to terms on a deal, and unwilling to return to the table for more, the fate of the season will come down to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, who can implement a season length of his choosing for 2020. That will likely be around 50-ish games, according to most reports, which is about 31 percent the length of a ‘normal’ season.

Earlier this week, Manfred ‘100 percent’ guaranteed that there would be a 2020 season.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.

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