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

Minneapolis Millers

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That is exactly correct, but many SOSHers seem to believe the owners should be willing, because they're really rich, to absorb 100% of any downside.
Come on, now. It’s not merely because “they’re really rich.” We’ve gone over this multiple times, in this thread. It’s also - and more so - because they get massive, public subsidies to build their ballparks, which further enriches them, and favorable legal treatment allowing them to maintain a monopoly that’s (arguably) in the public’s interest, also further enriching them. The players are not the direct or primary beneficiaries of this special treatment. So now, we the public expect the owners to step up and act in the public’s interest, to preserve if not save the game, even if they might need to lose a relatively small amount of $ in the short term.
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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That is exactly correct, but many SOSHers seem to believe the owners should be willing, because they're really rich, to absorb 100% of any downside.
Doesn't have anything to do with them being rich. Has everything to do with them taking responsibility for the financial hit, since they reap the profits of the risk of ownership when things go well.

Players are contract employees. Of course they're going to protect their rights and try to maximize their paychecks. That's the owners' problem, not theirs.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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This is really well said and an important point that needs to be pointed out again and again.

This is just one of many reasons that I feel like Manfred is just as incompetent and awful as Tony Clark: he should be making this point to the owners and rallying them to give a little to make the season happen in order to increase their revenues over the next few years. He doesn't have to be their errand boy, he could be their leader if he had that ability, that vision and that desire, but he clearly doesn't.

The owners will make less money in the long run because of Manfred's incompetence. They should be concerned with that, but instead they only care about taking from the players, not growing the pie.

That pie is going to really shrink if there is no season this year. Clark and Manfred are incompetent idiots who are going to take this unique opportunity for baseball and find a way to lose-lose it.
Come on. Most of the owners are extremely successful businessmen and Manfred is going to explain to them they should weigh short-term vs long-term revenues? When it comes to business, Manfred isn't the smartest guy in the room when he meets with owners.

Unless Manfred can fine the owners for not agreeing to the players salary demands, he has no leverage over them.
 

OurF'ingCity

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That is exactly correct, but many SOSHers seem to believe the owners should be willing, because they're really rich, to absorb 100% of any downside.
A lot of this comes down to whether you view owning a baseball team as more akin to owning a business or owning an asset - obviously teams have characteristics of both. If you view a baseball team as purely a business like any other, then, yes, it does make some sense that owners would simply want to maximize profits at all costs. But given among other things the unique nature of sports in general and baseball in particular, I'd argue a team is more properly conceived of an asset, like owning a house.

Looked at in that way, the owners should be willing to eat some additional costs now for the good of the public given that year-to-year expenses are a relatively minor concern compared to the overall growth in the value of the franchise. It's not like any of these teams are on the verge of bankruptcy or anything (if I'm wrong and they are, that just means those teams have been woefully mismanaged and they should probably sell to someone else anyway).
 

nvalvo

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And you know the MLB office has a smart group of quant guys modeling out the potential scenarios for these owners and Manfred. And they STILL have decided to screw it up beyond belief.
I'm sure they do, but the owners are by definition rich guys, and rich guys tend to think they're smarter than everyone else.

So yeah: I bet the league office has some really sharp people who are probably gaming this out really intelligently. That's no guarantee that Jim Crane or John Fisher are going to listen.
 

mauf

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Ok so they got their lump sum that's theirs. No moving forward, players can play zero games and get zero more dollars. Or they can play some games and get paid something, even if it's not as much as they'd like.

Can someone tell me why getting zero dollars for zero games is preferable to players than getting some money for some games? Especially for players who aren't making huge dollars?
The great majority of players either (a) have a long-term contract that doesn’t expire at the end of the 2020 season, or (b) are likely to be tendered a contract for the 2021 season if they don’t play in 2020.

There’s risk involved in playing. If you stay home, you’re unlikely to get hurt or fall seriously ill from COVID-19. (For world-class athletes under age 40 the former is a much greater risk than the latter, but the latter shouldn’t simply be glossed over.) If one of those things happens to you, the money that’s otherwise virtually certain to be there for you in 2021 (and possibly beyond) might disappear. Perhaps the MLBPA is posturing, but I suspect a majority of players have concluded that it’s not worth accepting that risk for less than a full, prorated salary.
 

nvalvo

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That is exactly correct, but many SOSHers seem to believe the owners should be willing, because they're really rich, to absorb 100% of any downside.
American capital owners routinely justify their rents as compensation for risk. Of course, we know they're liars and hypocrites, but...

They have a state-sponsored legal monopoly and 27 of them (I think that's right; correct me if I'm wrong) received considerable public subsidies for their ballparks.
 

nattysez

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Heyman seems to be the only one suggesting they're close to a deal. All the other writers are only reporting that negotiations have restarted in earnest.
 

Leftsox13

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True, and as much as I can't stand Boras he said earlier he would pay all of the Minor Leaguers he has their full pay for this year.
 

nattysez

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I believe Passan over Boras Heyman. Room for optimism, but a ways to go...

There is no agreement between MLB and the MLBPA. MLB knows players must get full pro rata. League wants players to waive right to grieve. Expanded playoffs a part of this. Number of games is vital. Other issues, too. There is work to be done. But a pathway to a deal does exist.
View: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1273328456084979712
 

ifmanis5

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Yeah, it's a huge good faith step made by the players but the owners and Bob can still screw this up. Reason for optimism though.
 

Pitt the Elder

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I believe Passan over Boras Heyman. Room for optimism, but a ways to go...



View: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1273328456084979712
So the questions is, how much are owners willing to pay the players, in terms of games, to waive the right to grieve and therefore keep their books closed ahead of the next CBA? The owners seem *deathly* afraid of their MLBPA getting access to their books, probably because I think it will show they're doing much better financially than they're claiming.
 

jon abbey

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To be clear, they wouldn’t be ‘waiving the right to grieve’ if they actually came to an agreement. The grievance was going to be if the owners started the season without an agreement, but if they agree on a deal, it’s not possible to have a grievance.

(just a clarification as this is being reported incorrectly by some)
 

nattysez

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Olney says on Twitter that the owners' offer is 60 games, full pro-rata, starting July 19.

Trevor Plouffe predicted this end-state three weeks ago:

View: https://twitter.com/trevorplouffe/status/1266006321238704130

Here’s a theory that makes too much sense not to post:

Owners want to play the least amount of regular season games possible. 60 is the number baseball needs to have a full postseason. They will continue to run the clock out until 60 games is the only possibility.
 

jon abbey

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Also if it wasn't clear to everyone before, the players have handled this about as well as they possibly could. I think the shift to competence from the side of the players has shocked the owners, which is why we saw a temporary freeze before this thawing.
 

jon abbey

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I don't know if the players should accept anything that waives grievances.
The only grievance they would waive is the ability to contest the entire deal, which they quite obviously can't do if they agree to a deal.
 

jon abbey

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I was going to link that Stark tweet except I thought it made no sense since most interleague rivals are already in the set of interleague opponents, plus I thought the two sides already agreed that the regular season would consist solely of East/East, Central/Central, West/West, with no facing teams from the other divisions until the postseason.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I was going to link that Stark tweet except I thought it made no sense since most interleague rivals are already in the set of interleague opponents, plus I thought the two sides already agreed that the regular season would consist solely of East/East, Central/Central, West/West, with no facing teams from the other divisions until the postseason.
Stark has it right. East vs East means 5 interleague opponents...you play two at home (3 games each), two on the road (3 games each) and one as a home and home (6 games). That gives every team 33 home and 33 away games.
 

crow216

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Also if it wasn't clear to everyone before, the players have handled this about as well as they possibly could. I think the shift to competence from the side of the players has shocked the owners, which is why we saw a temporary freeze before this thawing.
I genuinely don't know how you can possibly believe this. The only smart thing they've done was end negotiations and at best that was a smart gamble. The played it as best as they could which may get them 10-15 games more than the owners wanted? Expanded playoffs were already conceded so thats nothing new to this. Yikes.

Not trying to be argumentative but it feels like you're so much on the players side (as we all should be) that you're not seeing the ineptitude of this entire debacle from both sides.
 

jon abbey

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I genuinely don't know how you can possibly believe this. The only smart thing they've done was end negotiations and at best that was a smart gamble. The played it as best as they could which may get them 10-15 games more than the owners wanted? Yikes.

Not trying to be argumentative but it feels like you're so much on the players side (as we all should be) that you're not seeing the ineptitude of this entire debacle from both sides.
They had close to no leverage and actually made the owners move towards them, we will see how much in the end. I haven't agreed with you one bit about any of this from the start so no reason that should change now. :)
 

grimshaw

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I thought they were doing 3 10 team divisions? Why wouldn't they play (close to) an even number of games against those 9 teams?
 

crow216

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They had close to no leverage and actually made the owners move towards them, we will see how much in the end. I haven't agreed with you one bit about any of this from the start so no reason that should change now. :)
FINE!

Well, on that point we agree. I just don't see how players will walk away from this playing 65 or so games and feeling like they won. If the owners somehow convince the players they've won with what seems like a meh deal for the players, I think they're gonna be snickering as soon as they hang up the phones.
 

jon abbey

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JimD

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Full prorated salaries is the only win that Clark and PA care about - getting the owners to cave on this was huge.
 

crow216

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I hope that service time isn't strictly prorated. Would be really great if there was a multiplier or some concession there
 

nattysez

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I hope that service time isn't strictly prorated. Would be really great if there was a multiplier or some concession there
The original March agreement said that the players get full credit for 2020 no matter what. That's why it looked like Mookie may never play in a Dodger uniform.

This article says "Players and MLB agreed to a deal on March 26 calling for prorated salaries, $170 million in salary advances and a guarantee of service time for 2020 even if no games are played."

Here's a better article:
A report indicated yesterday that players would get credited for a full year of service time for games played in 2020. However, per Passan, every player on an active roster will get service time whether or not there is a 2020 season. That means players like Mookie Betts, J.T. Realmuto, Trevor Bauer, and Marcus Stroman will become free agents heading into the 2021 season
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The owners think they make a higher profit margin on playoff games.
Players don't get paid during playoffs; they just get a % of the gate if I understand correctly.

I've always been confused why the players want to play as many games as possible given the limited pot of $ they are agreeing to. I mean if they were given a choice to play 81 or 70 or 60 or 50 (+playoffs) for the same overall total, they would choose 81. I personally would choose 50 in the current situation.

Seems like fewer games would be safer but what do I know.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The owners think know they make a higher profit margin on playoff games.
Fixed that for you. The players get no salary for the postseason, just a percentage of the gate in the form of bonuses. But they only get a percentage of the minimum number of games in each series. So they get their cut of the first three games of a five game series, or first four games of a seven game series but if the series goes beyond the minimum, it is 100% profit for the owners.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Players don't get paid during playoffs; they just get a % of the gate if I understand correctly.

I've always been confused why the players want to play as many games as possible given the limited pot of $ they are agreeing to. I mean if they were given a choice to play 81 or 70 or 60 or 50 (+playoffs) for the same overall total, they would choose 81. I personally would choose 50 in the current situation.

Seems like fewer games would be safer but what do I know.
I don't understand your middle paragraph. The players are being paid pro-rata per game, so the more games they play the more money they get.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Players don't get paid during playoffs; they just get a % of the gate if I understand correctly.

I've always been confused why the players want to play as many games as possible given the limited pot of $ they are agreeing to. I mean if they were given a choice to play 81 or 70 or 60 or 50 (+playoffs) for the same overall total, they would choose 81. I personally would choose 50 in the current situation.

Seems like fewer games would be safer but what do I know.
The players want as many regular season games as possible because that would increase how much of their paychecks they'd get. 100% pro-rata on their salary is determined on a per game basis. Better to have 80 games worth of pay than 50, no?
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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Doesn't have anything to do with them being rich. Has everything to do with them taking responsibility for the financial hit, since they reap the profits of the risk of ownership when things go well.

Players are contract employees. Of course they're going to protect their rights and try to maximize their paychecks. That's the owners' problem, not theirs.

The players also benifit from increased future revenues so if there being no 2020 season will impact future team revenues they should be motivated to want to play as well. You use the terminology of "reap the profits of the risk of ownership when things go well", but they will also suffer the losses if things don't go well.

The players are contractors and contract terms are frequently negotiated in business. I've never heard it said that any such negotiation is one side's problem and not the other.