Yes, that headline reads harsh and frightening if you, like I, are looking forward to the return of baseball and our Dodgers this year. Thankfully, it’s more of a formality than anything.
Major League Baseball made official what was expected since Sunday in formally rejecting the MLB Players Association’s 114-game proposal, sources tell ESPN. MLB is not countering, which brings the possibility of it implementing a 50-game season into play. First: @Ken_Rosenthal.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 3, 2020
When the players proposed a 114 game season last Sunday, they were shooting for the stars. MLB came back playing hardball with its “50-60 game season” rumor. Instead, now baseball won’t send players an official counteroffer, and yes, that is a scary line to read.
First, a sidebar.
Through all this, however, the drama continues to spill into the public eye and severely tarnish the perception of the game.
The drama? The argument? It’s not about games played, it’s about money. It always has been.
Billionaire club owners are fighting millionaire players over money.
Some clubs are even more than willing to punt the season in 2020 without the foresight into the ramifications for future seasons. Over money. Yes, MLB and its clubs will lose more money this year if they play under the current plan with no fans in the stands. But this shouldn’t be about money in 2020 — this is really about 2022 and beyond.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2021 season. Suffice it to say that this current CBA failed. More and more players found themselves without work as the new analytics of baseball hurt their stock.
For owners to fight with players over money when they’re already mostly upset with you over money isn’t exactly the power play you should be making at a time like this.
Keep in mind that baseball made over $10B in 2019.
MLB has already failed, swinging around it’s you know what while the NBA announced its welcome (almost) return. Baseball missed its window of relevance. Moreover, it missed the opportunity to have players return to the field and look like heroes for the nation.
Now? The sides are deadlocked. More games equals more money for players; players that will not give up a greater percentage of their salary than they already have agreed upon. More games means less money for owners.
But no games might mean no money for owners in years down the road.
Back to the news
MLB will not send a counteroffer in terms of number of games played — it doesn’t have to. Commissioner Rob Manfred and his office have the ultimate power to create and assign a schedule.
At the moment I feel confident enough that there will be baseball in 2020. But I do not feel confident in the leadership behind the wheel.