Players to Owners: ‘Time to Get Back to Work’


In what has been a drawn out saga through a long spring without sports, it appears that baseball might finally be close to returning.

The owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association have been volleying proposals back and forth for when baseball will return for a couple months. Well, the players have been offering new proposals. The owners have basically been returning the same proposal back, just in slightly different forms. Today, it seems the players union has finally had enough.

In a letter to the owners, the MLBPA stated that they felt that the owners were not actually willing to negotiate, and as such, asked when and where the players should report to start the season.

From the letter from the MLBPA: “If it is your intention to unilaterally impose a season, we again request that you inform us and our members of how many games you intend to play and when and where players should report. It is unfair to leave players and fans hanging at this point.”

The letter also goes on to state, “We demand that you inform us of your plans by close of business on Monday, June 15”.

Jon Heyman and others are reporting that the vote was near unanimous by the players’ executive board to halt negotiations with the owners, presumably because time is slipping away to get a season completed before the September 27th end date self-imposed by the owners. Networks have shown an unwillingness to broadcast playoff games past the end of October.

As of this point, it is also uncertain if owners and players have reached an agreement on health and safety protocols. While we are still in the throws of the pandemic, this seems like important stuff to still be decided.

The coming days will see the details ironed out and when exactly the season will start again. But the animosity between owners and players will linger long beyond the resolution of play for 2020. The inability or unwillingness of the owners to even negotiate with the players will set up a contentious negotiation process for the next Collective Bargaining Agreement coming in 2021.

Regardless, the players seem to be ready to get back to work. Many Dodgers have already taken to Twitter to express their desire to get the season started.

By Monday evening, we should know more of the exact details about the start of the season. Until then, it seems that we finally have a season to concretely look forward to, even if the future of the sport itself is uncertain.


16 thoughts on “Players to Owners: ‘Time to Get Back to Work’

  1. Andy, with most of the discussion centered around no. of games and salaries, I have not heard anything recently about what the sides are proposing for actual playing protocol. E.g. Will games be played in normal home stadiums or will some be held at spring training sites? Will some/all games be played in empty or partially filled stadiums. Will players have complete freedom of movement socially or will players be required to self-congregate. Do you have any feeling for what playing landscape is planned? Perhaps a future article on these subjects?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is just a warmup to the big show down when the next CBA will be negotiated. I thought when all of this started they would be playing by my birthday, wrong….today I turn 72. And I am pretty few up with the players and the owners. And I guarantee that even when they do start playing again, I am not paying any money to see them play.


    1. Hey Rich, are you totally up and running with your practice at this point? I finally got back to my dentist (just a cleaning) last week. She was wearing two masks and a face shield.
      I told her she had to work on me from 6 feet away but that’s where she drew the line.


  3. Doesn’t seem like either side really wants to have a 2020 season. If so then I as a fan really don’t care about a 2021 season! MLB is destroying itself from the inside out!


  4. As long as the owners refuse to show their books, they’re going to come out on the short end of the popularity poll here. I really wonder how united the owners are on the subject of salary or if a few of them are exerting most of the power and the others are just going along?


  5. This is a public relations disaster, and it should all land on the greedy owners. Why shouldn’t the players get the same amount of contract dollars, prorated per game? If a player is worth X amount per game, pre COVID 19 for the 2020 season, he should be worth The same X amount of dollars to play any games this season. I just don’t understand.
    If MLB can get off their butts, and start playing games, they could probably make up some lost revenues with higher TV ratings. Without much competition, and with fans not able to go to games in person, you have to think ratings would be higher, thus commercial adds would be a little More expensive, but we all know owners won’t be happy unless they get to put the hammer on the players.

    This all stinks, and I hope it all lands back on the owners, where it belongs.


    1. Wow, if even mild mannered Keith is upset, the owners are in trouble.
      I am not necessarily on the owners’ side here because if they won’t show their books nobody has to believe anything they say about their finances.
      That said, a player was only worth X amount per game pre-COVID based on fans being in the stands. If the future of baseball is for no fans in the stands, player contracts would come down so fast it would make your head spin.
      Also (and please correct me if I’m wrong) the teams don’t get advertising revenue. That goes to the media company that paid them bazillions for the rights to their games. So higher ratings wouldn’t put any more money in the teams’ bank accounts.


  6. The way I see it Jeff, is the owners are the stewards of the game, players come, then they go, the owners have the long term investment and motivation to see the game, and their investments thrive. if it means that fans can’t sit in the stadiums this season, and revenue is down, then it’s on the owners to take the hit. The players do not share in the profits, the owners shouldn’t expect them to share in the losses.

    I’m a small construction company, luckily we’ve been able to work. COVID19 regulations have decreased our production a little, and increased costs. I don’t get to go back to my customers, to ask for an increase in the contract, and I can’t go tell my guys they have to take a pay cut, it’s not their fault. It’s my responsibility to take less profit, to make sure my employees can feed their families. I have taken jobs in the past for none, or almost no profit to keep my guys working, and to keep my name out there. I just lost a three month job to someone who took the job on for what my cost would have been, but it was signed away before I even knew it. My point is business owners do what ever they have to do to keep the doors open. Why don’t the MLB owners feel the same way, why should they get guaranteed profits, I’m sure there are a lot of businesses in America right now working for less profits than normal, or maybe no profits, just to keep the business open until things get better. MLB is no different.

    I think you’re right and I’m wrong about the ad money Jeff, I didn’t really think it through, I’m sure any increase in ad money goes to the broadcaster.


  7. If more owners of companies thought the way you did Keith the world would be a much nicer place. I applaud how you feel and the actions you’ve taken. And you are certainly less able financially to work at small or no profit for awhile than the ballclub owners are.
    I’ve been thinking about it and I think that if the new CBA had been signed last year instead of coming up after next season, we would be playing baseball now. I think both sides are being really rigid here because they feel whatever they give in to here will hurt their negotiating power on the next contract.

    Liked by 1 person

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