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Rob Manfred joined the MLB/MLBPA negotiations Friday, for the first time

There’s no deal yet. But the two sides met, and went back and forth, for nearly six hours.

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An exterior view of Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, where MLB owners and players are negotiating
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Commissioner Rob Manfred showed up at the MLB/MLBPA negotiations for the first time, after four days of having others negotiate for the owners side.

We have proof that he was there!

The two sides caucused separately, then met together and went back and forth at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida several times:

Here’s what happened during Friday’s meetings:

That appears to be it for movement today, but at least there was some movement. It doesn’t appear the CBT was discussed, or if it was, not very much was done on it.

For the rest of the wrap of Friday’s events. let’s go back to this morning and these numbers revealed by Eric Fisher:

Now, let’s be clear. These are only certain numbers from one MLB team. We don’t know all the financials or the exact profit figure (OIBDA stands for Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization). Still, it would seem to indicate that while teams took a major hit in revenue in 2020 due to the absence of ticket sales, it was all made up and more for at least one team in 2021. This article by Jeff Schultz in The Athletic elaborates a bit further:

The Braves posted a record $568 million in revenue from baseball and development (up from $178 million in the pandemic season 2020). The 2021 revenue far exceeded the previous record of the last pre-pandemic season of $476 million in 2019. This effectively amounted to a 2021 profit of $111 million (baseball and development combined) in adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA, in geek-speak).

This is also worth noting:

Yes, I remember hearing about that potential streaming deal. It was reported by CNBC and others about six weeks ago. And yet, since then? Crickets. I believe Maury Brown is right, that the CBA negotiations might have held up this deal, which would have produced quite a bit of revenue for MLB. CNBC’s article suggests such rights could have been worth $350 million per year — that’s a little less than $12 million per team. Not a huge amount, to be sure, but again, additional revenue for MLB that they didn’t previously have.

Now, let’s go with a bit of humor to start off today’s wrap, and I’m going to go through events chronologically. It’s clear that Evan Drellich of The Athletic is getting bored with holding vigil outside Roger Dean Stadium. He’s now tweeting videos of people walking through a parking lot:

Per several of the writers holding court in Jupiter, owners and players met together for about 75 minutes, then broke into caucuses separately. A little less than three hours into the sessions, this happened:

Anything to break up the monotony of waiting, I guess. A couple of other humorous tweets about today’s session:

Lastly, more writer art:

My usual signoff is “As always, we await developments.” With the meetings going for several hours, and having several back-and-forths between the two sides’ meeting places (owners in a suite, players in the Cardinals clubhouse), there might be some tiny cause for optimism going into tomorrow’s session. Hopefully, more developments to come.