Back-and-forth. Back-and-forth. Say it with me now: Back-and-forth. That seems to be all we are hearing from the Major League Baseball owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The players have certainly come a lot further in negotiating away from their initial position than the owners, who basically have offered the same total dollar deal a bunch of times just spread out over a different number of games. But after the last proposal from the owners for 60-games of prorated pay, the owners moved a little bit in their offer. The players countered with an offer for a 70-game season and a split of the postseason revenue. The owners said the most games they were willing to play was 60.
Yesterday saw a bunch of information get out that players around the league on several teams had tested positive for COVID-19, along with staff members (and players and staff members families) while at various spring training facilities in both Florida and Arizona. Major League Baseball decided to shut down all spring training facilities for cleaning before re-opening, and anyone showing up must test negative before being allowed to enter. All teams also decided that “spring training 2.0” will now take place at their home ballpark rather than their spring training site – though most had already been planning for that.
With that news, the players had decided to seek out further information on the recent outbreaks of COVID-19 before voting on the owners 60-game offer. But that has reportedly changed today as it seems that getting the information would take too long. They will be voting today, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The players now have decided to take a vote Sunday, instead of waiting on COVID-19 test results, on whether to accept or decline #MLB’s offer to play 60 games at full prorated pay.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 21, 2020
Yesterday, when the MLBPA was reportedly going to wait to vote until they had further information, rumors had leaked out that among the MLBPA Executive Board – eight players in total – only one player was going to vote yes on the plan according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, while the other seven were going to vote no. Perhaps that’s changed in the last 20-something hours.
Update at 4:00pm ET
There was no vote today according to Bob Nightengale.
There was no vote taken today by the players with the recent outbreak of COVID-19 potentially changing the dynamics of #MLB's 60-game proposal.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 21, 2020
MLB has been the villian throughout this process, despite the apologists out there.
The players had held the high ground morally throughout this while giving the owners and their high priced lawyers a run for their money.
But now…all of the weight is entirely on the players. Barring any issues on health protocol and COVID procedures to play, they must accept the offer. Otherwise, that whole “tell us when and where” seems less and less like getting back to work, and more and more like a negotiation tactic only. The players at least had the connection with the fans as we are the ones watching and rooting and purchasing.
But when and where, while invoking fans and the desire to get back to work, has to mean something more than money.
All of those players who aren’t millionaires, supporting their families and looking towards the future of life after baseball, really need this to start.
You got 60 at full pay, plus post season profit sharing, the DH…what honestly could be important enough at this point, besides COVID procedures, that would make this stall? A good offer is on the table. Take it, and let’s get to it.
I wish nothing but health to everyone, just know, we are going to have to learn to live with this virus. If we shut everything down time and time again while we wait on science, collectively in the world, to figure this out…community slips more and more from our grasp. And we need it as humans. Baseball is part of that community. All we have are our differences and our anger, while in the midst of an election cycle, while trying to grow as a society and country…and social media…which is a burning barn full of cow dung and our life savings.
well said CallowayPost
I think he will try to implement a shorter than 60-game season if this vote doesn’t go through.
My guess, is if the players say no.
MLB says Cancel the season due to the newest Covid breakouts.
Note, this is not what I want, or what I hope for. Just a wild guess.
I do not know anything.
If the official vote is only of the eight members of the executive board, it for sure is a no. If they allow the entire union membership to vote, it will be closer. The overall group knows that if they vote no, they are in effect saying they are willing to give up their entire 2020 paycheck if the owners decide not to schedule a shorter season.
Best guess is that the overall membership will side with the union leadership and vote no, and where we go from there I have no idea.
All sorts of warn out cliches are flooding my brain. Emotions too, are at the boiling point. My gut tells me that considering the late date, and all the back and forth wrangling that has taken place the last few days, that we are now at the (wait for it), point of no return, do or die, now or never.
In all seriousness, 60 games is barely more than a third of a regular season. That is a travesty in itself. If they vote no and Manfreddy says 50…then what? My guess is there would be no season if this is not approved, and it feels like that is a tossup.
On top of all that, these flare ups across the nation, including players, could be the tip of the iceberg, considering the efforts to return to ‘normalcy’. My observations indicate much of the populace is still not taking this pandemic seriously. That does not seem to bode well for an interruption of an already truncated schedule, or the return of fans to the stadium. Hope I am wrong in these assumptions, however…this is really, really bad!
Good advice. Don’t miss the Reds museum at GABP. A fascinating history.
And look at what is going on with the virus in Florida (2 teams), Texas (2 teams), Arizona and California (5 teams). This represents essentially a third of all the MLB teams. Are they really going to try and play games in these states even with empty stadiums? Short of a bubble set up, they have no chance of keeping the virus out.