MLB commissioner Rob Manfred just can never seem to figure it out.
Last year, Manfred struggled to reach an agreement with the players union on their contracts for a shortened season. The negotiations stalled, and we only got a 60-game season because of it. Now, players are at a crossroads with Manfred once agin. This time, it’s because the union thinks there might be something sketchy going on with a Spring Training memo.
The Cactus League made news today when a memo was released asking that the MLB pushes back Spring Training due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) January 25, 2021
According to Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein, the union believes that Rob Manfred had this letter leaked on purpose in a chess move to push back the start of the regular season. The report indicates that the players are prepared to play a 162 game season, while the league would prefer to shorten the season, once again.
“A person familiar with the union’s position suggested to Sports Illustrated that MLB pushed the Cactus League to leak the letter, as a chess move in its larger squabble with the union over the length of the season,” Apstein wrote in an article published earlier today.
The MLB sent out a tweet to confirm their stance that they would like to start Spring Training on time shortly after the Cactus League memo was leaked over social media.
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association regarding the Cactus League letter: pic.twitter.com/5j0vGewKC7
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) January 25, 2021
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With Opening Day about two months away, this is setting up to be another disaster. The disconnect between MLB players and the Commissioner’s office is very real, and it could continue to haunt the game for many years to come.
This is just another bad look for Rob Manfred.