Optimism is Low All Around for a Baseball Season
The Major League Baseball Players association finally threw their hands in the air over the weekend. MLB was either going to default to a 48- or 50-game season, or discount pro-rated salaries to spread that same amount of money over more games. So the players deferred to MLB's position, which would be to implement the schedule they choose, probably the 48- or 50-game season. But that probably will not happen.
On Monday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred backed off his "100 percent" declaration of a season. There are two new issues now. One is health. The other is that the MLBPA could file a grievance.
A couple of Phillies players, Bryce Harper and Rhys Hopkins voiced their displeasure with the commissioner on social media.
For the first time, Manfred noted that many MLB players have tested positive for COVID-19. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported late Monday night that several players and coaches have tested positive for the virus and therefore it might not be safe to play. Nightengale writes:
The news of the positive tests, and fear of a second wave of the virus wiping out the postseason, MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem says, is the primary reason they are adamant about finishing the regular season on Sept. 27.
Other published reports including SNY indicate that MLB has blamed the national television networks for the need to end by September 27, as the National Football League and election coverage in early November necessitate that the season ends on time.
The issue of a potential grievance looming has led MLB to mandate that they will request that MLB waive their right to file a grievance. The players could look to argue that they have been denied salary due to the MLB interpretation of the now-infamous March 26 agreement that today appears to have holes and essentially is no agreement whatsoever.Trevor Bauer
Bauer argues in the thread that MLB could be kicking the can two weeks forward so that the desired number of games by MLB.
Also a potential problem for MLB: additional playoff dollars. The previous negotiations included extra playoff teams, which would boost revenue. If MLB simply implemented a 48-50 game season and there was no further agreement about playoffs, MLB would have no right to implement that.
Therefore, the end result is we could be further from baseball than ever before.