You know, we really could have had all this done a month ago if MLB players and owners had sat down in a room — well, in their own rooms and done it by Zoom call, anyway — and hashed things out rather than just sent snippy letters back and forth by email.
But here we are.
Late Saturday, the MLB Players Association rejected the latest owners offer of a 72-game season with 80 percent of pro-rated pay, which essentially was the same as previous offers money-wise and would be roughly equivalent to a 50-game season at full pro-rated pay:
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/d1p3Oj4K70— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 13, 2020
A letter with more details was sent by the MLBPA to team owners, and boiled down to this:
From MLBPA letter: "We demand that you inform us of your plans by close of business on Monday, June 15."— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 13, 2020
This isn't to suggest Monday will be the end of this and we'll know what sort of baseball season there will be, but the players are asking for a season and asking by Monday.
Jeff Passan is correct. By Monday, we should at least know something. When that happens, further action likely boils down to this:
Players’ position becomes clearer: let MLB decide how many games willing to impose at full prorated, then file a grievance that MLB failed best efforts to play as many games as possible.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 13, 2020
MLB owners could have avoided all this by not dithering for almost a month and going back and forth. I have often felt that previous MLB labor disputes could have been solved more quickly if the parties had simply gotten into a room and talked until they came up with a solution, rather than bargain in the media. That’s worse now with social media, incidentally.
Of course, meeting face-to-face isn’t possible with the novel coronavirus pandemic ongoing, but seriously, I have had many Zoom calls during this time and you’d think someone from MLB would have heard of this technology.
Regardless of who’s at fault here, at this point I don’t really care. From the MLBPA statement:
Players want to play. It’s who we are and what we do. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.
I’m not a big fan of Tony Clark’s public statements since he’s been MLBPA executive director, but that one hits the spot.
Get going, please. Play ball.