Good morning, Athletics Nation!
We had a nice break from 2020 reality last week, when the MLB draft brought us a brief taste of normal baseball for a couple days. It was only five rounds, but that was enough to add some fun new prospects to the Oakland A’s organization and dig around for stats and scouting reports and highlight videos. It was baseball, at least.
But now that fleeting moment is over, and we’re back to the grind of an interminable labor dispute between MLB and its players. In the latest episode of the worst TV show ever, the gulf widened even further between the two sides, as negotiations appear to simply be over. Players Association leader Tony Clark released the following statement on Saturday:
Players want to play.
It’s who we are and what we do. Since March, the Association has made it clear that our No.1 focus is playing the fullest season possible, as soon as possible, as safely as possible. Players agreed to billions in monetary concessions as a means to that end, and in the face of repeated media leaks and misdirection we made additional proposals to inject new revenues into the industry — proposals that would benefit the owners, players, broadcast partners, and fans alike.
It’s now become apparent that these efforts have fallen upon deaf ears. In recent days, owners have decried the supposed unprofitability of owning a baseball team and the Commissioner has repeatedly threatened to schedule a dramatically shortened season unless players agree to hundreds of millions in further concessions. Our response has been consistent that such concessions are unwarranted, would be fundamentally unfair to players, and that our sport deserves the fullest 2020 season possible. These remain our positions today, particularly in light of new reports regarding MLB’s national television rights — information we requested from the league weeks ago but were never provided.
As a result, it unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.
The league responded with their own statement later that day:
We are disappointed that the MLBPA has chosen not to negotiate in good faith over resumption of play after MLB has made three successive proposals that would provide players, Clubs and our fans with an amicable resolution to a very difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The MLBPA understands that the agreement reached on March 26th was premised on the parties’ mutual understanding that the players would be paid their full salaries only if play resumed in front of fans, and that another negotiation was to take place if Clubs could not generate the billions of dollars of ticket revenue required to pay players. The MLBPA’s position that players are entitled to virtually all the revenue from a 2020 season played without fans is not fair to the thousands of other baseball employees that Clubs and our office are supporting financially during this very difficult 2020 season. We will evaluate the Union’s refusal to adhere to the terms of the March Agreement, and after consulting with ownership, determine the best course to bring baseball back to our fans.
To sum all that up: The players are done negotiating, and want the league to go ahead and implement whatever length of season it wants to with full prorated pay — and they want the plans for that season to be presented by the end of Monday, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The league is very disappointed in this position (and surely regretting that their poorly written March contract is coming back to bite them).
And so we continue to sit in idle, no closer to the destination of a 2020 season. We’ll probably get baseball this summer, but it’s looking more and more like it’ll be something like a 50ish-game campaign, which will be more than nothing but far less than satisfactory. Whatever it is, though, let’s get on with it please.
- Hickey: Athletics May Be Back at Coliseum Sooner Rather Than Later as MLB Talks Break Down
- Hickey: Emanuels Anticipates Smooth Transition from UW to Athletics
- Hickey: Will Athletics Be Sending Draftees and Signees to Mesa Complex?
- Nico: When This Fan Loses Interest, MLB Has A Big Problem
- Hall: A’s sign undrafted catchers William Simoneit and Cooper Uhl
- Hall: Watch Dane Acker, Oakland A’s 4th-round draft pick, throw no-hitter against LSU
- Hall: 2020 MLB draft review: A’s picks, scouting reports, and analysis
MLB News, & Interest:
- Swartz: Resolving This Player-Owner Dispute Should Be Easy
- Sherman: Player and MLB pitching coach tested positive for coronavirus
- Marchand: MLB lands billion-dollar deal with Turner Sports to broadcast playoffs
- Drellich: Judge orders 2017 MLB letter to Yankees unsealed; plaintiffs say it details sign stealing ($$$)
- Franco (roundup): Court Orders MLB, Yankees To Unseal 2017 Letter Regarding Rules Violations
- Hickey: Even Cash-Inhibited Athletics Disprove DeWitt Saying MLB is a Money Loser
- Castrovince: Which state is best at baseball? All 50 ranked
- Leitch: Each team’s best season by a player over 40
- Zencka: The Longest Flirtation In Baseball (Gio Gonzalez)
- MLB Trivia: How well do you know unbreakable records?
- Today in Baseball History
Non-Sports Things by a Sports Person:
Best of Twitter:
Preliminary details of contract for 1st-round pick Tyler Soderstrom
Tyler Soderstrom, highly touted catcher out of Turlock (Calif.) High, is expected to sign with the A’s for about $3.3M, an over slot deal for pick No. 26. Should be wrapped up fairly soon. Son of former Giants first rounder Steve Soderstron. @KyleAGlaser on it.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 12, 2020
Inflammatory around here, but tough to argue
I think Kyler Murray made the right decision— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) June 14, 2020