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Elephant Rumblings: If the players are united, they will never be divided

MLB news roundup

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

The MLB lockout drags on, leaving us wondering when the regular season will actually begin. Lead negotiators for MLB and the MLBPA met on Thursday, but it isn’t apparent that anything concrete came from yesterday’s discussions; one might presume the parties were seeking to reset the tone for talks going forward.

Meanwhile, some MLB players, locked out of the official Spring Training venues in Mesa, AZ, are convening to train at an alternate site, reported Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. Kawahara spoke on Thursday with Giants outfielder and union representative Austin Slater, who declared that players are unified and determined to fight for a fair deal. Slater acknowledged players’ disappointment with the 91 regular season games that have been canceled so far, but doubled down on their commitment to stand up for their best interests:

“...this is the strongest, I think, and most unified we’ve been in 30 years. And I think owners and the league office maybe saw that [at the failed Venus, FL negotiations] and maybe saw it as an opportunity to see if that was actually true or not. And I think they’ll find out quickly that it is: We’re strong, we’re united, everyone’s informed and on the same page, and that we’re just fighting for a fair deal here.”

All-Star reliever and MLBPA executive subcommittee member Andrew Miller indicated at a press conference on Tuesday that the players are prepared for a long stoppage if need be:

“We’re prepared. We’ve seen this coming in a sense. It’s unfortunate but this isn’t new to us. … Our communication, our willingness to see each other’s points of view and to find solutions and to fight for what’s right is nothing like I’ve seen before.”

The message seems clear: the players won’t back down and they are prepared to make sacrifices for the future of the game. The owners seem pretty entrenched for their own part: MLB insider Andy Martino reported that the league’s “best and final” offer on Tuesday was opposed by four team owners. Yet that offer was roundly rejected by the MLBPA. Economic costs will mount for both sides as this impasse persists, but given the high long-term stakes of the disputed issues, we could be waiting a while yet for the season to commence.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

Puason and the other Max Muncy drillin’.

Intersport solidarity!

Not a terrible idea to mine the glory days while we wait for live MLB action.

More arcane procedurals in Oakland.

On the relatively low cost of early season cancelations.