After the Major League Baseball Players Association offered up their plan to the owners on Sunday, the owners have privately balked at the idea. That’s not surprising given the offer and what the owners want – which is basically a guarantee for the playoffs to happen, where they make a very large chunk of money, and lower in-season salaries. While the proposal hasn’t been officially denied, it’s dead in the water.
Jeff Passan of ESPN reported on Monday evening that Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred could invoke a 50 game season. The agreement in March allows that to happen as long as the players get their prorated salary. It’s being reported that this is not what Major League Baseball wants to happen, but that it is an option. If MLB were to implement this plan, the season would reportedly begin in July and is considered a “last resort” in the situation that the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement.
This could be, and almost certainly is being leaked as a negotiating tactic. The players want more games, the owners want fewer games because for each side it means more money for their side (the owners claim they would lose money with each game played, though that is a rather disputed point. The players of course would make more money with each game played as they are seeking prorated by game salary).
Back and forth we go. There’s a “deadline” date, but the idea that there’s actually a deadline is silly. Both sides at the virtual table know it, I know it, you know it, and your best friends cat knows it. And that’s doubly true if Rob Manfred can simply “force” a 50-game season to happen. You can play 50 games and still have a full on playoff in October if you began the season in early August without a single problem related to game schedule. There’s plenty of time to work this out IF they want to – at least in the sense that they can continue to negotiate for a very long time before having to invoke the “commissioner says the season is starting” plan.