Well, here we go again. Or something.
On Wednesday, we got to witness a great fiasco. It started with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and players union chief Tony Clark meeting; briefly featured reports of an agreement between MLB and the Players Association; and ended with the two sides still far apart, reinforcing the knowledge that the two sides hate each other more than the protagonist and their in-laws in a bad romcom.
So naturally on Thursday, we were gifted some new news, which is basically the same as the old news. Which is to say, the sides remain far apart and angry at each other.
With both sides seemingly claiming that the other one led them on, MLB and the Players Association once again submitted proposals. And they are, once again, far apart.
It would seem that the primary differences at this point is the number of games proposed (60 by MLB, 70 by the PA).
Owners are believed ready to sign off on what they see as a deal — 60 games at prorated pay, plus $58M in playoff pool/salary forgiveness, waiver of grievances, expanded playoffs for 2 years — but the ball is in the hands of players, some of whom see it as a proposal, not a deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 18, 2020
Among the details in MLBPA’s new proposal, sources tell ESPN:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 18, 2020
- 70-game season from July 19-Sept. 30
- $50M in playoff bonuses
- 50/50 split of new postseason TV revenues in 2021
- Forgiveness of salary advance for Tier I-III players
- Universal DH
- Mutual waiver of grievance
And ahh, yes, the owners aren’t too pleased with that counterpropsal, seemingly believing that Manfred and Clark had reached an agreement:
Owners are not responding positively to players counterproposal. Owners believed they’d had a meeting of the minds and the number was 60 games.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 18, 2020
But the players aren’t stoked either, and released a statement showing displeasure at reports that they had agreed to the ideas the owners had put forth.
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/MNAVfzx75C— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 18, 2020
Manfred also spoke up, and stated that the Players Association’s 70-game proposal isn’t feasible given the fears of a second wave of coronavirus in the fall. That’s a fair point in a vacuum, but loses legitimacy when you consider that an agreement could have been reached a long time ago had the owners not been greedy.
Manfred did tell Clark in phone convo last night that he could make a counterproposal but made clear that 70 games was “simply impossible” due to 2nd wave fears and health experts suggesting doubleheaders were inadvisable thanks to fear of players spending too much time together— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 18, 2020
And so we end this pessimistic and snarky article with the questionable words of a commissioner who seems wildly uninterested in the sport we’ve entrusted him with.
MLB’s main goal remains to reach agreement with players, but Manfred is continuing to talk with owners before deciding their next move. Time is short he acknowledged. “This needs to be over. Until I speak to owners I can’t give you a deadline.”— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 18, 2020
Manfred; “We’re committed to doing whatever’s necessary to play, hopefully by agreement.” Amplifying that, word from owners seems to be that the second choice if they can’t reach agreement would be for the commissioner to implement the slightly shorter season, not to call it off.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 18, 2020