Major League Baseball is in danger of causing irreparable damage to its reputation if money ends up being the reason why an actual season cannot played in 2020. The key holdup in negotiations is players not wanting to give up any more money after already agreeing to signifiant sacrifices, while the owners want to go either with a scale of slashed salaries or a 50-game season with prorated salaries, both of which were essentially dead on arrival with the players’ union.
Fans were hoping for a positive update this week at a time when the NBA has agreed on a plan to return to play. However, the latest update is far from optimistic. All told, the MLBPA is not budging on additional financial concessions.
Here is Tony Clark’s full statement after the MLBPA’s leadership meeting today. pic.twitter.com/JRYaddbQSU
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 5, 2020
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark has made it clear the players and owners may be at a permanent standstill. He did mention that players want to get back on the field, but the money issue remains a serious holdup.
And it really could end up torpedoing the season if one side doesn’t blink.
MLBPA issued a statement today after a conference call with what it said was more than 100 players, committing to want to return to play. Perhaps most important: “The league’s demand
for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.”
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 5, 2020
The players do have some leverage with the fact that the owners will incur bigger losses if they refuse to play. The problem is the damage that would cause the sport, and a number players may not be able to survive a full year without their expected pay.
One side will have to budge soon, and it appears the players have officially put their foot down with their demands. The owners can either give in or remain stubborn. Doing the latter will make it tough to get a season going, as we are now in the first week of June with no end to the standoff in sight.