Owners dis everyone again: Meet the new offer, same as the old offer

Aaron Judge - New York Yankees Dugout

Owners of the 30 MLB teams sent the MLBPA another letter yesterday. It contains a “new” offer the players surely will reject. Another day of deception…

The owners act more and more like the realtor who suggests to the seller, “Put a new coat of paint on that rickety old front porch, buyers will be impressed”.

This buyer is not impressed, and neither are the players, the media, and most significantly, fans of baseball. Because once anyone peels away a sliver of paint, the rouse is revealed.

The Athletic first reported the latest and most recent snub by owners in a story by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich.

A concise summary of the 76-game regular season proposal is summarized for us by .

  • Players will get $443 million if playoffs are played, up from $200 million in the last proposal
  • Regular season finishes September 27, and the playoffs end in October.
  • The proposal adds two postseason teams to make it as many as 8 per league, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Sherman reports, “the plan calls for 1 to play 8, 2 to play 7, etc. In best-of-3 first round. Right now, five teams make it in each league. The initial proposal asked for 7.”
  • Revising the Operations Manual to says, “players would have to sign an ‘acknowledgment of risk’ before playing. Players believe it is designed to undermine their right to challenge MLB if it fails to provide a safe working environment,” according to the Los Angeles Times’ Jorge Castillo.

Owners To The Players: “You’re On Your Own, Kid”

The escalating arrogance of the owners is most telling in that section, which requires players to sign a waiver before playing that seems intended to release MLB from all responsibility in the event a COVID-19 related disaster strikes a player.

Rob Manfred giving everyone a headache (USA Today)
Rob Manfred giving everyone a headache (USA Today)

This is akin to reminding a U.S. soldier who loses a leg fighting in Afghanistan of the piece of paper he signed in the recruiter’s office.

You know, kid, the one that you and your family must pay all medical bills – and as far as future employment – we thank you for your service and good luck.

While most of the fighting between owners and players has centered on financial issues, the question of a safe work environment, provided by MLB for its players, is coming into increasing scrutiny.

In a Pulitzer winning style, the New York Daily News published a story over the weekend, Bradford William Davis developed a logical theory in which he wondered:

“Since teams play in different cities with different health protocols, one would expect local health departments to be involved and consulted, both ensuring the safety of the players and allowing the community to prepare for the reintroduction of baseball.”

Davis’s exhaustive research revealed an alarming trend that owners do not seem concerned about.

Major League Baseball (MLB), representing team owners, has had little if any contact with the local Department of Health agencies to ensure agreement between the two entities regarding proper safety protocol when play resumes.

Owners: How Do You Intend To Schedule 76 Games In 79 Days

They are adding to the absurdity and disingenuous nature of the owners’ proposal to have teams play 76 games in 79 days. The plan sent to the MLBPA calls for a July 10 opening with the regular season ending on September 27.

Our first-grade math tells us teams will have a mere three days off during that span. Unless, of course, owners have in mind scheduling a slew of double-headers, further increasing the chances of fatigue and subsequent injuries sustained by players.

The owners’ main interest is to close out the regular season as soon as possible, paving the way for an expanded postseason when the dollars roll in from the T.V. networks.

In a game of Beat The Clock, the owners have read the warnings of Dr. Fauci and others calling for a new wave of the coronavirus to hit during the fall when cooler temperatures prevail.

Owners Entice The Players, But Will The MLBPA Bite?

Slyly, but perhaps effectively, MLB owners hope to entice the players with the provision calling for the players getting $443 million if playoffs are played, up from $200 million in the last proposal toward their 2020 salaries.

MLB owners pushing everyone into darkness
MLB owners pushing everyone into darkness

In effect, though, the owners’ offer is not an incentive but a gamble for the players to roll the dice along with the owners requiring Dr. Fauci to be wrong before players get their money.

Generally, the playoffs mean very little to MLB players as they are paid only for their play during the regular season. Everything else is a “bonus” after that.

Last year’s World Series Champions, the Washington Nationals, saw each of their players receive $382,385, a drop in the bucket for nearly everyone on the team.

Big-league players play for pride in the quest to capture a title. This was seen so forcefully in the outcries from all quarters and players like Aaron Judge, who repeatedly voiced his disgust in being “robbed” when the Astros were found cheating.

MLB Owners Risking The Future Of Baseball

It’s not overdramatic to suggest that MLB owners and MLB itself are jeopardizing the future of baseball, as seen in their latest volley across the bough.

Storm Clouds Over Baseball 2020 (washingtonpost.com)
Storm Clouds Over Baseball 2020 (washingtonpost.com)

That’s not to excuse the players who come into question as well regarding the intentions behind their proposals and counter-offers sent to MLB.

But the players come nowhere near where the owners seem bent on taking us.

As I indicated yesterday, as fans, we are not glued to the game of baseball. We love it, and we hope it comes back.

But the coronavirus has forced us to adapt to a lifestyle without church services, theatres, bars, restaurants, hair salons, et.al.

MLB owners are walking a slippery slope here, and their actions and inactions today will have widespread effects on baseball tomorrow.

And they won’t be able to say, Gee, no one told us that could happen.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.