Major League Baseball has rejected the Players Association’s proposal for a 114-game season and will not send a counterproposal, as first reported on Wednesday by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
MLB rejected the union’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter, sources tell The Athletic. The league said it has started talks with owners about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 3, 2020
On Monday, it was reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan that MLB would propose a season “somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 games,” with players receiving a full prorated rate of their salaries. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports that’s indeed the “internal consensus” for MLB, “unless the players are willing to play around 82 games at less than [full prorated rate of their salaries].”
MLB rejected the Players Association’s proposal for a 114-game season and is building internal consensus around implementing a season of roughly 50 games for full prorated play for players, unless the players are willing to play around 82 games at less than that, sources told The Post.
While the two sides have seemingly never been close in these discussions, the belief has still been that a deal would ultimately be worked out. Heck, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale has constantly been tweeting how there will be a season. And while Nightengale has a well-documented tendency to be wrong on such things, it really does make all the sense in the world for two sides to figure *something* out that results in a 2020 MLB season happening.
But following Wednesday’s news, Sherman said that he has “heard greater pessimism today from folks on both sides about MLB launching a season than at any point.”
I have heard greater pessismism today from folks on both sides about MLB launching a season than at any point. People who previously thought the sides would find a way, now expressing at least greater doubt (often more than that).
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 3, 2020
So, we’re now at the point where there’s apparently serious doubt from both sides, and it’s already June 3. In order to start a season by early July as had been hoped by everyone involved, things would likely need to come together *quickly*. Keep in mind that some form of a Spring Training II will be necessary for a few weeks, and it’s not like these players are all sitting by their team facilities at the moment.
Now, there was plenty of doubt weeks ago about a season happening, but that was completely due to concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic: safety, being able to find locations to play, etc.
Right now, (while the COVID-19 pandemic is still a thing) the hold-up is far more about money, and it’s a particularly bad look for the billionaire owners. It’s also a very bad look (yet another) for commissioner Rob Manfred, while the rest of the pro sports leagues are making clear progress on having a season (and NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been heavily praised by his league’s players during the process).