MLB 2020: We're Playing, but We Can't Agree on Anything

uncannymanny

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I really don't understand the "tainted title" argument. They've had shortened seasons before that resulted in champions, and those were shortened by their own doing (strikes, lockouts). This season is shorter for reasons beyond anyone's control. I see no reason to not recognize the last team standing this year as the 2020 World Series champion, same as the Dodgers were 1981 World champs and the 1918 Red Sox were World Champs. Whether the regular season was 50 games, 100 games, 154 games or 162 games, what difference does it make?
Last years WS Champion’s record after 50 games: 19-31. 50 games is just not a serious sample size for baseball. I wouldn’t say it would be “tainted” but I would never consider it a true season worthy of the title.

As I've said before, it seems like some people here want to come up with excuse after excuse of why this season just can't work.
And when you said this before you weren’t able to back it up IIRC.
 

soxhop411

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Manfred is going to become more hated than Bud selig which I didn’t think was possible.
He Might even be looked at as a worse commissioner than him whenever he leaves since everything he has done to “improve” the game has done the exact opposite.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Again, this is essentially Boras (the MLBPA) speaking via Heyman, but owners definitely don't want their books opened and all their bullshit accounting tricks exposed (for instance, Jeffrey Loria paid himself $50M per year when he was the MIA owner and called it 'debt') and if they start the season without an agreement and the players file a grievance, it's possible that could happen.

View: https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1271550507199463425
That's freaking stupid. When you know one party has a baseline, it doesn't make sense to try to move that party off the baseline. The owner's bottom line is that will be doing 48 games, which is approximate $1.03B, and regular playoffs if they are able. I would think the amount going to the players will end up somewhere around $1.5B - $1.8B, depending on whether the players are willing to absorb some risks that playoffs won't occur.

If the players are going to say the baseline is unreasonable, there is never going to be a deal.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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I really don't understand the "tainted title" argument. They've had shortened seasons before that resulted in champions, and those were shortened by their own doing (strikes, lockouts). This season is shorter for reasons beyond anyone's control. I see no reason to not recognize the last team standing this year as the 2020 World Series champion, same as the Dodgers were 1981 World champs and the 1918 Red Sox were World Champs. Whether the regular season was 50 games, 100 games, 154 games or 162 games, what difference does it make?
You and I have different perceptions. A shortened season played in empty stadiums is far better than nothing, but it would feal like an exhibition season. I would not consider the ultimate winner a WS champion and after the 2020 season is over, I doubt if I'll ever think about it again.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I'm not going to dismiss the eventual champions as somehow unworthy or meaningless based on a 50 game season but I might dismiss them based on a 3 game elimination series to start the post season. And why should I care about a 50 game season if two games afterwards can render the result moot?
 

jon abbey

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I'm not going to dismiss the eventual champions as somehow unworthy or meaningless based on a 50 game season but I might dismiss them based on a 3 game elimination series to start the post season.
How did you feel about 2015, where the teams with the 2nd and 3rd best records in all of MLB had to play a single game elimination just to make it into the final eight teams remaining?

 

grimshaw

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Regardless of how many games are played, we won't have to sit through 19 snooze-fests vs the Orioles which is a big bonus. And we won't have to watch our starters struggle to get through 4 innings vs the Yankees for more than 2 series at most.
The schedule is as equitable as could be reasonably hoped for.

For perspective - if you finish with a .400 winning percentage this upcoming season (which all but 4 teams accomplished in 2019) that's about 19-20 wins. If you finish with a .500 winning percentage (the 16th best team last year) that's about 24-25 wins and a playoff spot. Some of the very worst teams will be 5 games out of a playoff spot. Hell even the Tigers would only be 11 games out. Whatever your thoughts are about the legitimacy of the season, it'll be competitive meaningful baseball for 90% of the league which has never been the case.

Even the 1995 35-47 Celtics stole one from the Magic, so you never know.
 
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SemperFidelisSox

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Winning a World Series during a global pandemic in which you had to play a shortened season and extended playoff will be a huge accomplishment for the team left holding the trophy. I’d bet you fans of all sports will remember 2020 and the champions of their respective leagues. Sign me up for a Red Sox championship and bitter trolling from other fans of its legitimacy.
 

The Gray Eagle

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When are we going to realize that it's the thread title?
You're at least the third person to point that out in this thread over the past few days, but apparently no one cares that the most relevant thread on the main board has a title that is months out of date and at this point is nonsensical.
 

jon abbey

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You're at least the third person to point that out in this thread over the past few days, but apparently no one cares that the most relevant thread on the main board has a title that is months out of date and at this point is nonsensical.
OK, I was hesitant to change the title before since I already started a similar thread in the MLB section, but I changed it now.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Winning a World Series during a global pandemic in which you had to play a shortened season and extended playoff will be a huge accomplishment for the team left holding the trophy. I’d bet you fans of all sports will remember 2020 and the champions of their respective leagues. Sign me up for a Red Sox championship and bitter trolling from other fans of its legitimacy.
Yes. Does the line form behind you? I'll take this in a heartbeat. I miss baseball.

I understand the quirks of a shorter season, but I don't see how that de-legitimizes the results or makes it unworthy to watch. As has been pointed out before, there was nothing quirkier than the 1981 split season. Around 105-110 total games, expanded playoffs featuring the best teams from each half of the year (roughly 55 games each). The Yankees got to the World Series despite having the fourth best overall record in their division. The team with the most wins in the NL didn't make the post-season at all (Reds). In fact, the team with the best winning percentage in each NL division missed the playoffs (Cardinals in the east). There's no asterisk next to the Dodgers championship. They got a parade.

The 2020 World Series champs will too. Provided there is a 2020 World Series.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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How did you feel about 2015, where the teams with the 2nd and 3rd best records in all of MLB had to play a single game elimination just to make it into the final eight teams remaining?

That was certainly not optimal. There are definite issues with the present structure, most particularly the one game wild card playoff, which I hate. However, having the occasional 2015 now and then seems a lot better than having a system that seems purposefully designed to produce random, season invalidating outcomes.
 

bosockboy

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Yes. Does the line form behind you? I'll take this in a heartbeat. I miss baseball.

I understand the quirks of a shorter season, but I don't see how that de-legitimizes the results or makes it unworthy to watch. As has been pointed out before, there was nothing quirkier than the 1981 split season. Around 105-110 total games, expanded playoffs featuring the best teams from each half of the year (roughly 55 games each). The Yankees got to the World Series despite having the fourth best overall record in their division. The team with the most wins in the NL didn't make the post-season at all (Reds). In fact, the team with the best winning percentage in each NL division missed the playoffs (Cardinals in the east). There's no asterisk next to the Dodgers championship. They got a parade.

The 2020 World Series champs will too. Provided there is a 2020 World Series.
Yes. If anything this adds an element of legit hope as the Red Sox didn’t have the pitching depth for a 162 game marathon. They have enough talent to steal a championship in this model. Potent offense and without worrying about innings limits it’s 50-60 games of all hands on deck for our pitching.
 

BaseballJones

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Yes. Does the line form behind you? I'll take this in a heartbeat. I miss baseball.

I understand the quirks of a shorter season, but I don't see how that de-legitimizes the results or makes it unworthy to watch. As has been pointed out before, there was nothing quirkier than the 1981 split season. Around 105-110 total games, expanded playoffs featuring the best teams from each half of the year (roughly 55 games each). The Yankees got to the World Series despite having the fourth best overall record in their division. The team with the most wins in the NL didn't make the post-season at all (Reds). In fact, the team with the best winning percentage in each NL division missed the playoffs (Cardinals in the east). There's no asterisk next to the Dodgers championship. They got a parade.

The 2020 World Series champs will too. Provided there is a 2020 World Series.
So your post made me look that season up on baseball-reference. I was 11 years old that summer and completely forgot about its quirkiness. I looked up the Yankees and omg their lineup was dreadful. And I thought, how did they do it? Then I looked at their pitching.

63% of their team's starts went to these four:

Guidry: 2.76 era, 0.99 whip
John: 2.63 era, 1.24 whip
Righetti: 2.05 era, 1.07 whip
Reuschel: 2.67 era, 1.20 whip

And then their bullpen. Holy smokes:

Gossage: 0.77 era, 0.77 whip, 9.3 k/9
Davis: 2.71 era, 0.99 whip, 10.2 k/9
Bird: 2.70 era
LaRoche: 2.49 era
Frazier: 1.63 era

They just didn't give up any runs is all.
 

snowmanny

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So your post made me look that season up on baseball-reference. I was 11 years old that summer and completely forgot about its quirkiness. I looked up the Yankees and omg their lineup was dreadful. And I thought, how did they do it? Then I looked at their pitching.

63% of their team's starts went to these four:

Guidry: 2.76 era, 0.99 whip
John: 2.63 era, 1.24 whip
Righetti: 2.05 era, 1.07 whip
Reuschel: 2.67 era, 1.20 whip

And then their bullpen. Holy smokes:

Gossage: 0.77 era, 0.77 whip, 9.3 k/9
Davis: 2.71 era, 0.99 whip, 10.2 k/9
Bird: 2.70 era
LaRoche: 2.49 era
Frazier: 1.63 era

They just didn't give up any runs is all.
By OMG “how did they do it????” you mean how did they manage to have the third best record in the AL East, ahead of the Tigers and Red Sox by half-a-game? How did they manage to be a hair above mediocre?

1981 counts 100%, but nothing they come up with this year will be less legitimate than 1981
 

axx

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The Yankees got to the World Series despite having the fourth best overall record in their division. The team with the most wins in the NL didn't make the post-season at all (Reds). In fact, the team with the best winning percentage in each NL division missed the playoffs (Cardinals in the east). There's no asterisk next to the Dodgers championship. They got a parade.
IIRC, that is misleading since the first half winners didn't have anything to play for in the second half.
 

staz

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Sounds to me like all roads are leading to 50 games at 100% prorated salaries and some share of payoff revenue.

And I'm fine with that. So often, the trophy goes to the team that gets hot in October anyway. Besides, the best record over 162 freakin' games gets you exactly what? Homefield advantage in the sport where it means the least? I'm not going to get all pearl-clutchy over such nuance. You work for a checkmate in chess, try to be the last one standing in Fortnite, and win as many regular season baseball games as possible. Play the same game everyone else is playing.

And if the schedule ends up being a majority versus your division foes (say 7 each) and a minority versus the same division in the other league (say 4 each), exactly how many times do you need to face these 9 teams to overcome small sample sizes?
 

richgedman'sghost

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You and I have different perceptions. A shortened season played in empty stadiums is far better than nothing, but it would feal like an exhibition season. I would not consider the ultimate winner a WS champion and after the 2020 season is over, I doubt if I'll ever think about it again.
No I consider the 1919 World Series title won by the Reds to be tainted since the White Sox literally threw the Series on purpose. Maybe you consider the 2017 Astros title tainted as well since they obviously cheated as well. In my opinion, as long as all the teams play the same amount of games and the conditions are the same, then the title would be be legitimate. I just hate the word tainted. I'm trying to think of a better word but the title definitely would be legitimate.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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Yes. If anything this adds an element of legit hope as the Red Sox didn’t have the pitching depth for a 162 game marathon. They have enough talent to steal a championship in this model. Potent offense and without worrying about innings limits it’s 50-60 games of all hands on deck for our pitching.

I don't see a shortened season helping the Sox. They're still going to play 6-7 per week with a pretty bad rotation and a 50 game season doesn't mean they can go deep into the bullpen more often. They would still be risking ineffectiveness and/or injury. A team can make up for an inferior rotation over a 7 game series with travel days, but not over 50 games.

If I was the manager, I wouldn't want to put my pitchers at a increased risk of injury, so my game management would be no different than If it was a 162 game season.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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No I consider the 1919 World Series title won by the Reds to be tainted since the White Sox literally threw the Series on purpose. Maybe you consider the 2017 Astros title tainted as well since they obviously cheated as well. In my opinion, as long as all the teams play the same amount of games and the conditions are the same, then the title would be be legitimate. I just hate the word tainted. I'm trying to think of a better word but the title definitely would be legitimate.
Rather than saying the 2017 WS Astros title is tainted, I consider their championship to be like an Armstrong tour win; it shouldn't exist.

When it comes to playing a shorter season, I consider the Dodgers win to be mildly tainted. However, this year will be more than just fewer games. If the WS is played in empty stadiums, it just isn't going to be the same for me.
 

jon abbey

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So that’s an increase from $350M to $500M per year starting in 2022, or $5M per team added starting two years from now. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m a hundred percent on the player’s side here, but this is close to irrelevant.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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IIRC, that is misleading since the first half winners didn't have anything to play for in the second half.
Fair enough, but both World Series participants made the post-season based on a 56-57 game sample, and participated in an expanded post-season (double the normal number of teams). The likely outcome of this season is still not a unique circumstance that should be treated as illegitimate relative to other seasons.
 

jon abbey

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The unwritten part there is that while Manfred can institute a regular season of any length (and the players get full pro rata), MLB needs the players to agree to the extended postseason that MLB badly wants.
 

crow216

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Players miscalculated and handled this whole thing as poorly as possible. Tony Clarke needs to go.

Edit: Owners suck and are despicable. Doesn't change what happened.
 

Pitt the Elder

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Players miscalculated and handled this whole thing as poorly as possible. Tony Clarke needs to go.

Edit: Owners suck and are despicable. Doesn't change what happened.
I'm curious, what would you have done differently? No snark, I'm wondering how they could have played this better.
 

grimshaw

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I don't buy that owners aren't making money from games with empty stadiums and the players don't either. If you factor in that there could be fans in the stands by late summer, the owners would look even more foolish by not scheduling more than 48 games.

Put me down for 70+ games and further driving a wedge between them and the players union. Especially with the players not having to agree to extended playoffs.
 

amfox1

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The players association is waiting for Manfred to make his decision, then the MLBPA is likely to file a grievance that would be heard by arbitrator Mark Irvings, arguing that MLB did not negotiate in “good faith” under the March 26 agreement. Presumably, the arbitrator will rule at some point, but unclear whether it would be before the season starts. In other words, it's a complete sh*tshow.

If hockey and basketball get started up in July, I'm likely to pay way less attention to baseball this season and pick it back up in the offseason. A 40-50 game season looks like a glorified exhibition and not a real season.
 

Awesome Fossum

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I'm curious, what would you have done differently? No snark, I'm wondering how they could have played this better.
If the players weren't willing to play a short schedule at a pro-rated rate, they shouldn't have agreed to let the commissioner set the length of the schedule at a pro-rated rate back in March. That was the big mistake, IMO.

I do think they made the right move today.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I haven’t followed super closely, but the “no fans” thing continues to strike me as odd. The owners stated “conditions” initially, so seems likely to me they were aware this was a possible scenario. Do we think the players just missed that this was possible (and if so, did the owners think of it and not say it explicitly just to get the March deal signed?)

Seems like bad performance from each side any way I can slice this.
 

JimD

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Given that the PA has telegraphed its intention to file a grievance, seems like MLB should up the number of games from 48-50 to perhaps 60 games in any imposed schedule - thus increasing the total payout to players as a way to blunt any accusations of not negotiating in good faith.
 

staz

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Could have settled the No Fans scenario back then.
The no fans scenario was just 1 of a hundred message board theories back then. That the owners did not address the financial implications of such an acute revenue-impacting situation tells me it wasn't being seriously considered. But now empty stadiums is the only path forward and the original agreement does not address the current economic reality.
 

EvilEmpire

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What is considered good faith in this mess?

Even if the teams don't open their books, calculating an estimated loss of revenue based on no fans probably isn't hard. The owners are obviously negotiating with the intent to limit those losses.

Do owners have an obligation based on the agreement to do otherwise? Is limiting the number of regular season games based on financial considerations a violation of that agreement?

I'm not sure what the basis for a successful grievance would be. It will be interesting to find out and see how it all develops.
 

crow216

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I'm curious, what would you have done differently? No snark, I'm wondering how they could have played this better.
For the record, I'm 100% on the players side here and will be during the next CBA negotiations. Well, to the degree that they get their shit together and stop the twitter outrage. There are problems with the sport but hearing the highest paid players complain about the financial aspects of the game is not accomplishing what they want. It's the young kids who get screwed the most, not the guys on 7 year contracts making 20 mil a year. Separate conversation there, though.

Regardless, their first big mistake was the deal in March that they never should have agreed to. As soon as that became the baseline for more concessions, they regretted it. Much like the current CBA. Tony Clarke strikes again. Stop making agreements you're gonna regret later. Later was like 2 weeks in this case.

Beyond the original deal, can anyone sum up their negotiation strategy and what leverage they had to continue to make hard demands? Sure, they can file a grievance. Sure, they try to set the groundwork for 2021/22. But what exactly was the expectation when they kept demanding more games with nothing to back up what they wanted other than "fairness?" The owners very smartly said the reason for their negotiation position was profitability. The players response should have been an offer where the lever was attendance. For example. First 50 games are prorated at 100%. Games 50-80 are tiered as follows 1) games with no fans are 70% of prorated salary 2) games with 0-25% average home capacity are +10% salary, 26-50% avg home capacity are +20%, and 50+ = 100% salary.

Instead, they just kept trying to get more games at full salary. If they had directly responded to the owners with an attendance based offer, they would have attacked the owners' position head on. There is at least some chance fans will attend games. Especially August/September. To me, this was just a poor showing by the players all around who have every reason to be pissed but should only blame themselves.
 

jon abbey

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What is considered good faith in this mess?

Even if the teams don't open their books, calculating an estimated loss of revenue based on no fans probably isn't hard. The owners are obviously negotiating with the intent to limit those losses.

Do owners have an obligation based on the agreement to do otherwise? Is limiting the number of regular season games based on financial considerations a violation of that agreement?

I'm not sure what the basis for a successful grievance would be. It will be interesting to find out and see how it all develops.
60 games pro rata, expanded playoffs, the rest is details. Play ball.