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Elephant Rumblings: MLB proposes 76-game season, but at reduced salaries

MLB news roundup

2019 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Good afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The topic of the day is still the labor negotiations between MLB and its players, amid the coronavirus pandemic. The latest development has the owners offering a 76-game season at 75% of prorated per-game salary, which is mathematically equivalent to a 50ish-game season at full prorated pay, just with more work attached to it for the players. The players want to play more games but at full prorated salary. Scroll down to the Twitter section of this post to see all the details of the offer from Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Over the last few years, I’ve reserved plenty of criticism for the players on the matter of labor negotiations and salary complaints, with a tendency to find merits and flaws on both sides of the debate. In this particular case though, after watching this all unfold for months, I’m finding myself changing course. I’m now 100% in the players’ corner. Oakland A’s reliever Jake Diekman summed it up well:

Perhaps I will further expand on these thoughts in another post this week, but I’ve had it with the owners. It really boils down to this: Their argument is based on the claim that they will lose money by playing games with no fans and at full prorated salaries, but they will not offer one shred of evidence to prove it. Until they provide that transparency, they do not get to demand further concessions from their laborers. This kind of open, honest transparency is how things need to work in the 21st century, not only in baseball but in all areas of our society.

I’ll put it as simply as I can: Billionaires, we don’t trust you, because you have consistently given us every reason not to.

What are we even talking about here? The difference of 30 games’ worth of salary? That’s the insurmountable obstacle for a room full of some of the richest people in the world? I’ll sum up with former A’s beat writer Casey Pratt, now with ABC 7 News:

Just give the players their full prorated salaries and 81 to 82 games and get this thing done. The owners are being ridiculous.

Get. This. Thing. Done. Or sell your teams to someone who will. The owners have taken Major League Baseball hostage.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

Details of MLB’s latest proposal (click to read full 5-tweet thread)

A hint on what the A’s are thinking with their 1st-round pick

Why would someone with an awesome name like Mack Babitt want to replace it with a nickname? And yet, the nickname might somehow be even cooler than the original.

Miss you Welchie