MLB Losing Ground
As other sports leagues move the prospects of resuming play, Major League Baseball is facing major roadblocks. After previously reporting on an early plan from the league in the form of a 67-page memo to players, baseball is going around in circles. Here is a summary of the back and forth.
The Major League Baseball Players Association submitted a counter plan that included a 114-game season, salaries for high risk players who opt out, as well as other revenue generating opportunities.
However, now baseball is stuck. Among the major sticking points are the obvious health concerns and then salaries. Players want a longer season in order to raise what will likely be prorated salaries. Owners and the league want less games to keep costs lower. Further exacerbating the need for a solution are collective bargaining agreement negotiations prior to the 2021 season.
Buster Olney recently wrote for ESPN describing there is much more at state for baseball than just this season due to the upcoming negotiations. Given the possibility of a strike to start the 2021 season, MLB cannot afford to lose 2020 as well. And this extends to the sport in general, not just the professions. With the reduction in the sport’s popularity already compared to other sports, the possibility of two back-to-back mired seasons could only exacerbate the situation.
While his concerns may seem hopefully unlikely to come to pass, MLB made it more likely with its response yesterday to the players’ counterproposal. The league not only rejected it but also declined to counter. This move puts the pressure on the players while protecting the organization potentially in the eyes of the public. As it stands now, the ball is in the hands of players for better or worse.