Earlier Monday, the MLB Players Association executive committee and player representatives voted 33-5 to reject MLB owners’ latest proposal for a 2020 season.
Following that, owners had the right to implement their own version of a 2020 season, and now that’s exactly what has happened:
MLB owners have unanimously voted to impose a season.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) June 23, 2020
Per Ken Rosenthal, the “season” will comprise 60 games. In a press release from the Commissioner’s office, MLB laid out the following conditions for players to meet:
In view of this rejection, the MLB Clubs have unanimously voted to proceed with the 2020 season under the terms of the March 26th Agreement. The provisions listed above will not be operative.
In order to produce a schedule with a specific number of games, we are asking that the Players Association provide to us by 5:00 p.m. (ET) tomorrow with two pieces of information. The first is whether players will be able to report to camp within seven days (by July 1st). The second is whether the Players Association will agree on the Operating Manual which contains the health and safety protocols necessary to give us the best opportunity to conduct and complete our regular season and Postseason.
I would think players, who have said, “Tell us when and where,” would be amenable to reporting by July 1. The next part is to agree on the health and safety protocols the two parties have been discussing.
Whether those protocols are the best possible way to keep players and staff healthy is not 100 percent certain, but it’s the best they have right now. Outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in various parts of the country in recent days and weeks might prevent games from happening as we go through the summer.
The following proposals made by owners won’t be part of the 2020 season, as players rejected them. MLB made sure to include them in their press release:
The universal DH for two years
A guaranteed $25 million in playoff pools in 2020
$33 million in forgiven salary advances that would increase the take home pay of 61% of Major League players
Overall earnings for players of 104 percent of prorated salary
Over the last two days, MLB agreed to remove expanded Postseason in 2021 in order to address player concerns
My first feeling about this isn’t happiness or joy that there will be baseball. Nor is it relief that this drawn-out process is over.
I’m not sure what the exact words are that I’m looking for here. Disgust? Sure, some of that. Disappointment? Yeah, that too, that these two parties who are part of a $10 billion business couldn’t figure out a better way to play baseball, and yes, I’m aware that 40 percent of that $10 billion isn’t coming in this year.
Honestly, I’m just exhausted after three months of covering some of the nastiest back-and-forth I’ve ever seen between MLB players and owners, and that includes the labor disputes of 1981 and 1994-95. This has been worse, and it’s going to be a long time before baseball can create the same feeling among fans that it had just three months ago, when the sport shut down.
Maybe I’ll feel different when there’s actual baseball going on. For now, we’ll have a season, unless, as noted, the pandemic shuts things down.
Play ball. I’ll have more on this tomorrow morning.