The MLB recently announced that the owners and players association have come to an agreement on terms for a 2020 MLB season. After months of negotiations between the two parties that went nowhere, the League decided to impose a 60 game season to the players agreed upon. While it’ll be great to have baseball back, this entire thing will go down as one of the most embarrassing moments in baseball.
From start to finish, neither side gave an inch to the other in their proposals. The players (who had already taken a pay cut to begin with) refused to play games in which they weren’t paid for, regardless of the number of games, and the billionaire owners wanted to make sure they protected their own pockets by having the players take even bigger pay cuts.
It was a battle that split not only the players and the owners, but the fans as well. Some people thought the owners needed to be more realistic with their offers, and take a cut to help supplement the lost salaries that the players would face. Others believed that the players were being selfish for asking for what they’re contractually obligated to, and that they should just take the pay cut and play ball.
Regardless of what side people were on, everyone was in agreement on the fact that baseball had botched the entire conversation.
In terms of Covid-19 issues, working out the kinks of an MLB season should have been the easiest sport to work out. There’s minimal human contact, a fairly solid amount of social distancing on a regular basis, and even two different areas for pitchers and position players. The Covid rules set in place were a slam dunk and the league should have already been near the beginning of preseason training.
When it comes down to it, there’s only one man to blame for the fact that it went this far… Rob Manfred. The commissioner of the MLB is on an absolute roll as far as terrible decision making goes, and he kept the streak going throughout all this.
Most of the confidence in Manfred’s abilities was lost after he botched the punishment for both the Astros and Red Sox, so going into these negotiations the bar was set real low. All he had to do was assert himself in the situation to make sure the MLB started in a timely fashion. He couldn’t even manage to do that. It got so bad that even the players began calling him out on social media, before finally telling them they’re done negotiating and that they should set a date and they’ll show up.
His incompetence was downright embarrassing, and in no way should he be applauded for the shortest season in MLB history finally commencing. Take a look around North America; facing nearly identical situations, both the NHL and NBA managed to put an entire plan in place and already have tentative dates in place for the recommencement of their season.
Baseball, meanwhile, was doing everything they could to save a bit of cash for their billionaire owners and to try and pay their players less than they were worth. All the while, some owners knew full well that they plan on doing whatever they can to open their stadiums so that they still make the cash back regardless.
Though the entire negotiation ended in us fans being able to watch baseball at some point in time, it was an embarrassment from start to finish. In no way should anyone be proud of this outcome and how the talks between both sides went down. All parties alike should reflect on this time and try to do whatever they can to ensure nothing like this will ever happen again.