Commissioner Rob Manfred losing confidence there will be MLB games in 2020

first_img Angels fail to take series in Oakland, lose in 10 innings Less than a week after saying that he was “100 percent” certain that there would be a Major League Baseball season in 2020, Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN on Monday that he’s no longer sure.“I’m not confident,” Manfred said in an interview to be aired Monday night. “I think there’s real risk; and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue.”Union head Tony Clark then issued a statement saying the players are “disgusted” that Manfred “has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season.”Amid the news of the financial impasse came a report that several Major League Baseball players and staff members have already contracted the coronavirus. None were named in the initial report. A Monday letter from MLB to the union, which was obtained by multiple outlets, indicated that MLB would not create the schedule for a season unless the players’ waived their right to file a grievance.Manfred said on ESPN that the union’s positions “were really negative in terms of our efforts.”MLB owners reportedly spoke via conference call on Monday morning to discuss their next move.“The owners are a hundred percent committed to getting baseball back on the field,” Manfred said on ESPN. “Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that I’m a hundred percent certain that’s gonna happen.”Manfred acknowledged in the interview that the sport is taking a public relations hit by having a public squabble over money amid a pandemic that has resulted in more than 100,000 deaths in the United States and an economic crisis.“It’s just a disaster for our game, absolutely no question about it,” Manfred said. “It shouldn’t be happening, and it’s important that we find a way to get past it and get the game back on the field for the benefit of our fans.”Owners had made several proposals to players, each calling for their salaries to be reduced beyond the pro-rated pay agreed upon in March. Owners have insisted that agreement was contingent on games being played with fans, and it does not apply under circumstances in which the season would at least have to begin in empty ballparks.Players have asked for further financial data from owners to substantiate their claims that they couldn’t afford to pay the pro-rated salaries without fans. Owners have so far failed to produce enough to convince the players to accept lower salaries.Clark said in his statement the two sides are close to agreement on the health and safety protocols required to play amid the pandemic, and he added that any delay in an agreement would be strictly because of the owners’ financial demands on the players.“This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning,” Clark’s statement said. “This has always been about extracting additional pay cuts from the Players and this is just another day and another bad faith tactic in their ongoing campaign.”Related Articles Certainly, there will remain questions about whether the resumption of sports is safe, from a health perspective, but baseball players and teams had seemingly bridged many of the logistical issues about how to minimize the risk while returning to action.The major hurdle was determining the financial aspects of baseball’s return. Although there was never an indication that an agreement was close, Manfred said last week, in advance of the draft, that he was “100 percent” certain there would be some kind of MLB season. Manfred has all along held the right to unilaterally set the parameters for the season, as long as players received full pro-rated salaries.Owners, however, have been trying to get the players to accept less than that, in order to offset what they say would be losses from playing games without fans. On Saturday, the union released a statement saying that it was no longer willing to negotiate on salary, and Manfred should just announce his plans for the season.The union, however, planned to file a grievance against MLB for a schedule of less than “as many games as possible,” which was one of the terms of the Mar. 26 agreement. MLB was believed to be willing to pay full pro-rated salaries for only about 50 games, less than one-third of the normal 162.On Monday, though, Manfred indicated that the union’s refusal to continue negotiating, and the threat of a grievance, had damaged the chances of starting a season. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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