Just days after both the NHL and MLS announced their plans to continue their 2020 seasons, (albeit with some major, asterisk-worthy adjustments), fans of America’s national pastime have begun to read between the lines of every statement coming out of the MLB offices.
Major League Baseball is inarguably a piece of America herself. The game is cemented within our DNA and, despite the fact that the NFL has garnered more attention in recent years, there is no denying that baseball is America’s true passion when it comes to sports. That’s why recent statements from the league’s commissioner are so worrisome.
Commissioner Rob Manfred pronounced less than a week ago that “100 percent” that “we’re playing Major League Baseball” in 2020.
MLB’s posture on Monday in words by Manfred and in a letter by deputy commissioner Dan Halem was to imply that either the sides reach an agreement to restart play that will include the union forgoing filing a grievance that the league did not act in good faith to play as many games as possible or else there will not be a 2020 season.
Just how bad are things?
As part of a show with commissioners from the other major sports, Manfred told ESPN, “I had been hopeful that once we got to common ground on the idea that we were gonna pay the players full prorated salary, that we would get some cooperation in terms of proceeding under the agreement that we negotiated with the MLBPA on March 26. Unfortunately, over the weekend, while Tony Clark was declaring his desire to get back to work, the union’s top lawyer was out telling reporters, players and eventually getting back to owners that as soon as we issued a schedule — as they requested — they intended to file a grievance claiming they were entitled to an additional billion dollars. Obviously, that sort of bad-faith tactic makes it extremely difficult to move forward in these circumstances.”
Further complicating the situation is the fact that the several teams and their staff have already tested positive for COVID-19, which raises concerns about amassing the entire league in only a few select locations throughout the proposed, abbreviated season.
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