The hopes were MLB and the MLBPA would find an agreement this week. So far, it hasn’t happened. Comments by the players haven’t helped either.
The war over dollars has instilled fear in many that there won’t be a baseball season this year. While some players returned for voluntary practice, others are pushing back. Known outspoken players such as Blake Snell and Bryce Harper made it clear, they don’t feel it’s worth playing for too little money.
They received reinforcements this week. Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer spoke out against MLB’s latest proposal on twitter.
— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) May 28, 2020
This is Scherzer’s first tweet since April 14. To sum it up, he feels that the players have reasons to keep discussions going.
The MLBPA and the outspoken players have been in favor of MLB sticking to the original deal. So far, they haven’t budged after each new proposal. There is too much skepticism over the data being presented by the owners.
It’s expected that the players association will extend a counteroffer. According to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, the players will likely counter with more games (to make more money) instead of reducing pay for a shorter season. Another issue that lies here is the owners claim they lose too much money per game with no fans. The players, as mentioned before, don’t trust the numbers.
If the stalemate lasts too far into June, the chances increase that baseball may not be played in 2020.
No Season is Still the Worst-Case Scenario
No matter who one decides to side with in this debate, everyone loses if there is no season. There’s an argument to be made that baseball has never recovered from 1994 Players Strike. In that case, we lost the last six weeks of the season, along with the postseason and the World Series. Now, it could mean no season and complete loss of all potential money to be made.
It looks even worse when the season is canceled over money, and the other leagues come back. When looking back, like in 1994, it will just be seen as a quarrel between the rich and richer. Both sides will look greedy.
More fans will simply say “who needs you” and tune into different sports or get there fix from different leagues like the KBO.
Baseball has a huge opportunity to capitalize on the extreme want for sports. It could very help boost their popularity if they come back.
However, if they don’t, all baseball will be able to do is watch itself slip further behind the NFL and even the NBA. Maybe this is an exaggeration, and everything will be alright regardless. But MLB would have to hope that the love game is strong enough to bring everyone back.