It hasn’t looked too rosy for the MLB season of late as other leagues solidify plans and dates. The MLBPA and MLB owners have butted heads at every turn during the negotiation. But perhaps this latest development could have some upside to get a season off the ground.
The good news for players is that there wouldn’t be the egreious drops in salary for some of the highest paid among them. Many teams have also cut minor league pay while they furloughed employees. These players and employees would hopefully be less affected if an agreement were reached as well.
The bad news is that these players do not seem very much in a compromise state of mind. Any good will the negotiations started with has likely quickly disspiated by the owners’ perceived low ball effort to start. Additionally, players previously countered the owners’ 82-game proposal with one that had 114 games and would run through Halloween:
The MLBPA delivered a proposal to MLB on Sunday afternoon, a source familiar with it tells ESPN. It includes 114-game season that would end October 31, the right to opt out of the season for all players and potential deferral of salaries if 2020 the postseason were canceled.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 1, 2020
Given how much baseball players love both money and the “unwritten rules” tied to the legacy of the game, a 50-game season may just be a non-starter for them to agree to.
But, much like a shotgun wedding, there’s no happier and healthier relationship than one that began with a “mandate.” We’ll see if the league actually forces players to play with a quicker turnaround planned than the NBA or NHL’s far more thought-out efforts. All the navel gazing, none of the foresight or changes to make things better.
That’s the baseball we know and love, a truly apt metaphor as America’s Pastime.