Well folks, we’re in the zero hour for the 2020 MLB season — there’s no doubt about that. Public arguments over money, private discussions about health concerns and how many games could be played this season divide players and club owners.
But that divide seems to run deeper than just the two sides.
Players for the greater part seem to be galvanized. Even a financial proposal from MLB loosely designed to create two sides of the room failed. The union stood arm in arm behind veteran leader and three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer in telling the owners to do better and try again.
However, in-fighting and disagreements between club owners are becoming more and more apparent. Bottom line, it comes down to the money (because of course).
Teams are set to lose money in 2020 any way you cut it, but some teams are in better positions to foot that bill. Moreover, their clubs are built to win now, as opposed to those awful teams that disrespect the game and their fan base by tanking for higher draft picks.
Now the spotlight is shining brightly on those tankers, and ESPN’s Buster Onley is reporting as much in an in-depth column.
Owners, already damaged by the money losses this year, could be more inclined to dig in and wait out the players … Sources say there is a group of owners perfectly willing to shut down the season, to slash payroll costs and reduce losses, and the disparate views among the 30 teams have been reflected in the decisions to fire and furlough.
Would Baseball Recover?
The greater narrative of Onley’s column says it’s not just the 2020 season at stake for Major League Baseball. No, if baseball is potentially the one sport that doesn’t return this year and it’s mainly over the money, that’s a black eye that the game may never be able to recover from.
In fact, we asked folks on Twitter if they’d return to the game in 2021 or if they’d be handing in their fan card thanks to the greedy billionaires and millionaires not coming together…
Understandably there are much bigger things going on in the world, but in our world of baseball, would you come back to the game in 2021 if they couldn't figure out 2020 over money?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) May 31, 2020
While early voting paints a picture that might not be as drastic as Olney is painting, still there would trust lost amongst the fans.
Players have earned the right to fight for their proper valuation, that much is not in question. Unfortunately, some club owners are trying to make them look like the bad guys in this nightmare negotiation — a negotiation that looks like it will miss its soft deadline of June 1.
No evidence of progress yet in MLB/ players talk so no realistic hope to meet the “soft” deadline of tomorrow June 1 for deal. That deadline was soft for a reason, and hope remains to start season July 4 weekend — if a deal can be done by range of June 5-June 9.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 31, 2020
The two sides remain at odds as we eclipse the 80 day mark of no baseball. Eventually someone needs to be the adult in the room for the greater good… or they can just pull the damn plug already and let us focus on something that cares about us the way we care about it.