Rob Manfred said this afternoon that he can’t guarantee there will be an MLB season in 2020, backtracking from previous comments where he said he was 100% sure there would be baseball this year.
Significantly, reports indicate as well that MLB has informed MLBPA in a letter today that there would be no baseball unless the players agreed to waive their legal claims against the league.
Why is this important? After negotiations began last month on the resumption of the 2020 season, the owners wanted the players, who had already agreed to pro-rate their salaries for 2020, to take another pay cut. Players have been adamant they already agreed to a cut with the pro-ration, and wouldn’t agree to another cut on top of that.
MLB has threatened to simply implement a shortened season of 48-54 games — much less than the previously proposed numbers. The players response was, fine, tell us when to show up and we will show up, and we will file a grievance over you choosing to play fewer games, since the agreement MLB and the MLBPA made in March said the league would make best efforts to schedule as many games as possible.
The owners, facing the possibility of a grievance they would lose, appear to now be threatening to talk their balls and go home if the players don’t waive their ability to file a grievance.
If, at this point, you think the players are the bad guys here, you aren’t paying attention.