NEW YORK Major League Baseball plans to unilaterally issue a 60-game schedule for the shortest season since 1878 after the players’ association rejected a negotiated deal of the same length, putting the sport on track for a combative and potentially unfortunate return to the field amid the corona pandemic.
Six days after baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and union leader Tony Clark negotiated to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16 teams, broaden the use of the designated hitter for National League games and introduce an experiment to start extra innings with a runner on second base, the deal was rejected by the board of directors of the Major League Baseball Players Association in a 33-5 vote.
Needless to say, we are disappointed by this development, MLB said in a statement. “The framework provided MLB and its players with an opportunity to work together to address the challenges and challenges of the pandemic. It gave our fans the chance to see an exciting new postseason format. And it brought significant benefits to players. ”
The owners of MLB’s control have agreed to go unilaterally with the 60-game schedule if final arrangements can be made, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
MLB has asked the union to comment on Tuesday at 5 p.m. EDT if players can report to the training and if the players’ association will agree on the health and safety protocols manual. The program is said to be the shortest since the third season of the National League.
The union announced her rejection and the total of votes was confirmed by a person familiar with that meeting who spoke to the AP on an anonymous basis because the vote had not been made public. The decision is likely to reveal which numbers will be a lengthy and costly process on the impact of the coronavirus on sport, similar to the instances of collusion that led to baseball lockout in 1990 and a strike of 7 1/1990 Spent 2 months in 1994. -95 that first wiped out the World Series in nine decades.
It also eliminates a post-season $ 25 million player pool, meaning players will receive nothing more than meal money during the playoffs and World Series, and $ 33 million in upfront payment that would have been forgiven to 769 players at the lower salary scale wages in the minors.
“It is a death for this industry to continue to do as it has been. Both sides, ‘Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer tweeted in a rare case where a player criticized the union. “We drive the bus straight off a cliff. How is this good for everyone involved? Covid 19 already had a loss-loss situation and we somehow found a way to make it worse. Unbelievable. ‘
The union said in a statement that the “board confirmed the eagerness of the players to return to work as quickly and safely as possible.”
“To that end, we expect to conclude a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols with Major League Baseball in the coming days, and we are awaiting news from the league about the resumption of spring training camps and a proposed schedule for 2020,” said the union.
With the collapse of a negotiated deal, playoffs on 10 teams continue to expand rather than expand to 16. The framework included the extended playoffs for both 2020 and 2021, and Manfred offered to stop its inclusion in the second season if players feared it would reduce their future leverage.
Spring training was suspended on March 12, two weeks before the planned openings, and the parties have returned to the familiar financial struggles that have broken the sport in the past. An initial deal on March 26 called for players to receive pro rata salaries and gave Manfred the power to set the schedule, but that agreement did not require MLB to play in the empty margin.
Players refused to change their insistence on pro rata salaries, and MLB finally agreed to a one-on-one meeting between Manfred and Clark last week. While Manfred mentioned the framework for an agreement, Clark said it was just a proposal and further angered MLB. At the time, after weeks of talks, the parties split up about $ 275 million. MLB offered 60 games and $ 1.48 billion in salaries originally worth $ 4 billion, plus a post-season $ 25 million player pool. The union wanted 70 games and $ 1.73 billion plus a $ 50 million pool.
Players are expected to file a complaint claiming that MLB has violated a provision in the March agreement that requires both parties to “work in good faith to start playing, and complete the full 2020 season and postseason that is economically feasible is “consistent with different facilities. MLB is expected to file a complaint accusing the union of negotiating bad faith.
Arbitrator Mark Irvings would hear the case. If the union proves that more games were feasible, every game on the schedule would be worth $ 25 million in salary across the 30 teams.
All the while, the coronavirus has overturned many clubs’ plans to resume training at their Florida facilities due to an increase in virus cases in the state. Twenty-nine teams plan to train in their regular season, with Toronto pending additional talks with Ontario’s Canadian federal and provincial counties.
More bickering and turmoil lies ahead. Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement expires on December 1, 2021, and the virus damaged the already deteriorated relationship and became just one of the financial problems that point to a blocking of spring training ahead of the 2022 season.
“If there is a fight coming, it’s time for that fight after the season of 21 when a new CBA is negotiated. 5 years of potential change, ”Bauer tweeted. “We are currently doing irreparable damage to our industry over rules that last at least 16 months.”
This dispute took place after five consecutive years of relatively flat salaries, an unsuccessful complaint alleging that the Chicago Cubs had manipulated Kris Bryant’s spell to delay third baseman’s freedom of choice and allegations that some teams have no money for it. used parts of income when the employment contract specified, part of the union’s claim teams is “refuel”.
MLB says clubs have the right to determine when prospects are ready for the majors and are also free to lower the Major League payroll for reconstruction.
Furthermore, the failed negotiations caused criticism from Clark and chief negotiator Bruce Meyer by agents, although there is no evidence yet that the displeasure has spread to players.
So far, the last openers were on May 1 for five seasons in the 19th century, according to Elias Sports, but since 1900, it had been April 25 after the 1994-1995 strike ended. Players interrupted the 1981 season with a strike that started on June 12 and the second half of a split season started on August 10.