Why Aren’t We Playing Baseball

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We’ve covered the trials and tribulations baseball’s owners and players have dealt with over the last month and a half while trying to find a proper solution to return to play. It’s been frustrating for both parties and naturally for the fans as well. Every time there seems to be a step forward, it’s followed by a step back, which has been exemplified by what we have seen this week.

After guaranteeing baseball for the 2020 season last week, commissioner Rob Manfred backtracked on Monday saying he now wasn’t too sure there would be baseball. Then there was good news that he and MLB Players Association head Tony Clark had a positive meeting, but when the two went back to their parties, there was more disagreement. So why isn’t there baseball right now? Here are the three main reasons. 

COVID-19

The obvious. If the COVID-19 pandemic never swept the globe like it has, baseball would be nearing the mid-way point of its season right now. The discussions would be totally different. Trade deadline moves, playoff races, who’s hot and whose not. COVID-19 was out of everyone’s control, so only our response to it is to blame for a missing 2020 baseball season. 

Money

The players wanted prorated salaries, the owners wanted to pay players based on a revenue sharing scheme. With no fans in the stands and no concessions for any of the MLB games this season, organizations are set to operate at a negative no matter how many games are played. They want the players to share to pain with them, which the players didn’t believe is fair, especially since in March it was agreed that when there was a restart, players would receive a prorated salary. 

Number Of Games

This ties into the money theme. If owners agree to a prorated salary based on total games played, they are naturally going to want to play fewer regular season games. The players don’t want that, they want to play more games to get closer to their expected salary and also to have a more credible season. The owners would have no problem playing more games if they didn’t have to prorate the salaries. 

Ultimately, it’s the players calculating risk verses reward while the owners are trying to limit their losses. It’s a classic standoff, and one we are losing confidence can be resolved. All we can do at this point is hope the owners and players can find a middle ground. If they don’t, there probably won’t be baseball in 2020.

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