Major League Baseball has been dragging its feet on getting back to play in some shape or form. Still unable to come to an agreement, the league has now discussed playing a shorter while the players would still get a full prorated salary.
Although it appears MLB won’t send this proposal to the MLB Players Association, the possibility of going with a 50-game schedule is the equivalent of a last-second Hail Mary play to score a touchdown and win the game. The condensed schedule would start in July, which could essentially be the only way the owners and players get on the same page if it comes to a last-resort type of situation.
Players have been holding out for a full prorated cut of their salaries, based on a March 26 agreement with the league, and Sunday’s offer had a proposed 114-game schedule that would cover 70.3 percent of their original salaries. In comparison, a 50-game schedule only pays the players 30.8 percent of their original salaries.
There is language in the March agreement that could give MLB commissioner Rob Manfred the right to create the schedule after “good faith” discussions between the league and the union.
According to the agreement, “Based on that feedback received from the Players Association, the Office of the Commissioner will construct and provide to the Players Association, as promptly as possible, a proposed 2020 championship season and postseason schedule (or multiple schedule options) using best efforts to play as many games as possible, while taking into account player safety and health, rescheduling needs, competitive considerations, stadium availability, and the economic feasibility of various alternatives.”
Speaking of player safety, it almost seems like a year ago that COVID-19 was the biggest thing on everyone’s minds. Now, the protests and lootings that have derived from the George Floyd murder are the key focus in our world. You have to wonder if those actions will have a direct impact on what happens in the sports world.
Back in 2015, a Baltimore Orioles home game against the Chicago White Sox was played without fans because of a fear of fan safety when the Baltimore Riots spilled out all over the city.
Having a shortened season would go against what the players were looking for in the proposal sent to MLB on Sunday. The league’s first proposal to the union offered an 82-game schedule with significant salary cuts.
Numerous players reached out to ESPN, saying they would not be in favor of a shorter schedule. One of them even said, “We want to play more games, and they want to play less. We want more baseball.”
MLB believes it will lose money for each game played without fans and players making their full salary. Owners have pushed for a shorter season because the coronavirus could possibly resurface, which would take away the postseason and the revenue gained from it.
The economic feasibility language in the scheduling section also serves as a rationale from the teams playing in a shorter season.
In all honesty, it looks like there won’t be a 2020 MLB season. As much as it’s painful to say, the two sides are too far apart, and neither side wants to be the one that budges first.
The good old fashioned tug-of-war battle continues while bettors and fans alike are left with only Korean baseball in the middle of the night.
When looking at the rest of the professional leagues, it’s hard to be empathetic. The National Hockey League already has a plan in place to start its season back up with a play-in round that allows the 5-12 seeds to advance to the next round.