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

PseuFighter

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Really don't understand the 10% bonus option. In order for it to have any value next season, tickets have to go up in price. What happens if they stay the same or go down? Incentive to pay the playoff bill? 2022 credit? No thanks.
 

Gdiguy

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Really don't understand the 10% bonus option. In order for it to have any value next season, tickets have to go up in price. What happens if they stay the same or go down? Incentive to pay the playoff bill? 2022 credit? No thanks.
Unless I'm crazy, my interpretation is that they're saying that they're going to pro-rate the season ticket payments from 2020, and so the first two months worth of the 2020 season ticket amount will either be refunded to you or added with a 10% bonus as pre-payment for 2021.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Today's mail to season ticket holders from the Seattle Mariners
If you use at least 85% of your original 2020 season ticket investment during the 2020 season or roll it over to the 2021 season, you will receive complimentary tickets to the first 11 games of the 2021 season at T-Mobile Park, including Opening Day*. Your 2021 Season Ticket plan pricing will remain the same as 2020, and the cost of the 11 complimentary games will be deducted from your 2021 invoice. This equates to a 15% discount off of your 2021 season tickets.

*Dependent on 81 games scheduled at T-Mobile Park in 2021.
 

PseuFighter

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Unless I'm crazy, my interpretation is that they're saying that they're going to pro-rate the season ticket payments from 2020, and so the first two months worth of the 2020 season ticket amount will either be refunded to you or added with a 10% bonus as pre-payment for 2021.
That makes sense but what happens when the rest of the season is cancelled and/or not played with fans?
 

tonyandpals

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That makes sense but what happens when the rest of the season is cancelled and/or not played with fans?
If you want a refund on the rest of the season, they'll give it. Or you carry it over to 2021 and they'll add 10% on for you. So you may get % back next year...unless they increase 10% to cover it :)
 

Comfortably Lomb

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The Sox really need to refund purchases for the entire season. There isn’t even a likelihood crowds will be allowed in a stadium this year but even if it becomes permissible I think many people won’t want to risk it. Maybe they end up issuing a full season refund and are just kicking the can so they don’t take flack for April and May.
 

PseuFighter

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Have a feeling MLB is telling them not to go beyond May. I don't think any team is reimbursing behind May in this first wave.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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The Sox really need to refund purchases for the entire season. There isn’t even a likelihood crowds will be allowed in a stadium this year but even if it becomes permissible I think many people won’t want to risk it. Maybe they end up issuing a full season refund and are just kicking the can so they don’t take flack for April and May.
They could also wait and see after refunding April and May now.
 

pk1627

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I'll take the refund. My worst case scenario was somehow these games would be rescheduled in the freeze of the late Fall. 10% isn't enough to take on all the uncertainty and I can't imagine feeling comfortable enough in 2020 to attend a game (hope I'm wrong).

Good year to reset the cap and get Sale's surgery. Maybe see what Darwinzon can do as a starter. Anything else from the Sox would be a bonus at this point.
 

Ale Xander

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I'll take the refund. My worst case scenario was somehow these games would be rescheduled in the freeze of the late Fall. 10% isn't enough to take on all the uncertainty and I can't imagine feeling comfortable enough in 2020 to attend a game (hope I'm wrong).

Good year to reset the cap and get Sale's surgery. Maybe see what Darwinzon can do as a starter. Anything else from the Sox would be a bonus at this point.
It doesn't even matter if you're comfortable. Other people won't be comfortable.

There will be pentup demand but it will be less than the people not wanting to go. Especially with how crammed Fenway seating and aisles and concourses are.
 

geoflin

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The Sox really need to refund purchases for the entire season. There isn’t even a likelihood crowds will be allowed in a stadium this year but even if it becomes permissible I think many people won’t want to risk it. Maybe they end up issuing a full season refund and are just kicking the can so they don’t take flack for April and May.
They are just following the instructions of MLB. It isn't a coincidence that all teams announced a refund policy for April and May games yesterday. When MLB gets around to addressing games for the remainder of the season the Red Sox will do the same. Now Stub Hub, Ticketmaster, and the like need to follow suit for April and May.
I took the 10%. There's no way I expect to be able to make that in these times by investing the money should I take the refund. I don't need it for day to day expenses. And, with season ticket renewals due in December, that's about 8 months away so an effective 15% return on investment. If I end up having to use the credit to buy extra tickets to premium games and then sell them so be it, it still doesn't cost me anything and maybe I make even more money.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Somebody who works a bunch with MLB and the MLBPA told me that the plan to start the season in MLB ballparks starting on July 4 was gaining steam and may be announced soon. Three 10-team mixed-league divisions, no fans in the stands. Players all travel and stay isolated when on the road.

Lots of the conversation now around whether individual players can choose to opt out for the year If they don’t feel it’s safe, don’t want to be isolated from their families, etc. Fundamental change in working conditions, etc. One MLB superduperstar is expecting a child in August and reportedly said NFW to missing out on that.

All sounds pretty risky to me...Arizona bubble plan makes more sense.
 
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Ale Xander

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Somebody who works a bunch with MLB and the MLBPA told me that the plan to start the season in MLB ballparks starting on July 4 was gaining steam and may be announced soon. Three 10-team mixed-league divisions, no fans in the stands. Players all travel and stay isolated when on the road.

Lots of the conversation now around whether individual players can choose to opt out for the year If they don’t feel it’s safe, don’t want to be isolated from their families, etc. Fundamental change in working conditions, etc. One MLB superduperstar is expecting a child in August and reportedly said NFW to missing out on that.

All sounds pretty risky to me...Arizona bubble plan makes more sense.
What are they going to do with the autograph seekers? You know there are going to be kids at Gate D unless they close the sidewalks.

I like the 3 state solution. Northeast teams that play spring grapefruit in FL, west coast/cactus in AZ, others/midwest/mutts in TX.

Would go FL:
Red Sox
Yankees
Mets
Orioles
Nats
Phillies
Pirates
Rays
Blue Jays
Marlins


TX:
Indians
Reds
Brewers
Cubs
White Sox
Tigers
Rangers
Astros
Twins
Braves

AZ:
Dbacks
A's
Giants
Dodgers
Angels
Padres
Mariners
Rockies
Royals
Cardinals
 

geoflin

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One problem is the players don't like the 3 state solution or the Arizona bubble plan and may not agree to either. They don't want to be separated from their families for that length of time particularly under the current circumstances.
 

Manuel Aristides

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One problem is the players don't like the 3 state solution or the Arizona bubble plan and may not agree to either. They don't want to be separated from their families for that length of time particularly under the current circumstances.
I think it's THE problem that will ultimately end sports for the year. If you were a millionaire, would you want to return to work right now? Unless the less financially secure union members can band together and push something through, most of the Major League members are going to resist returning (as is their right and, IMO, as well they should,) anytime soon.
 

RedOctober3829

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Highlights of the proposal being sent over to the MLBPA
--50/50 revenue split (not in this article but was updated by Bob in a later tweet)
--82 game season
--No All Star Game
--Training camps to begin in June with a target opening day of July 1-4
--Option to hold spring training at either their home ballpark or their spring training facility
--Teams will play their own division plus the NL division in their geographical area
--Expanded playoffs from 10 to 14 teams.
--Universal DH
--Active rosters go from 26 to 30
--Teams have the option to play in another team's ballpark or their ST facility
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Does the luxury tax reset the minute a real-life game is played or is it going to be contingent on this hypothetical shortened season making it through to the end?
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Why would there be a universal DH? Seems like a disadvantage for NL teams who presumably built their 2020 rosters with the expectation that they wouldn't have one.
 

RedOctober3829

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Why would there be a universal DH? Seems like a disadvantage for NL teams who presumably built their 2020 rosters with the expectation that they wouldn't have one.
You could look it from an AL perspective too. Having the pitcher hit for a good majority of the season is not how they built their teams either. Having the universal DH makes sense so the game is the same all year long.
 

JCizzle

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This is a sample of what the players might counter back with. Most of what Doolittle makes 100% sense and why it will be so complicated to get back on the field. Read the whole thread.

View: https://twitter.com/whatwouldDOOdo/status/1259920490992410626
All totally fair and valid concerns. There's been enough time for the MLB to think through those issues, hopefully this plan demonstrates that a lot of thought went into it. I wonder how the players react if most concerns are addressed while some concerns are not. Are they willing to lose a year's worth of earnings? I'm guessing there will be a divide between the players vs. owners, but also within the union itself.
 

lexrageorge

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With the expanded rosters, it should be easier to find a DH for the NL teams.
I wonder if this leads to a permanent adoption of the DH by NL teams going forward. Would they really go back to pitchers hitting in future seasons? Seems pointless.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I wonder if this leads to a permanent adoption of the DH by NL teams going forward. Would they really go back to pitchers hitting in future seasons? Seems pointless.
This is likely something the players association was going to push for during the next CBA negotiations anyway. Depending on how this season plays out, it will be tough to talk the players off that ask. I don't see why anyone still wants to hold on to pitchers hitting anymore. Tradition? Phft.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Peter King has a write up in SI of his interview with Dr Fauci regarding the NFL season. Legit questions raised about what happens when 3 or 4 players test positive the Saturday before a game. Whole team gets quarantined for 2 weeks? Seems to me that the country is going to have to see a significant improvement for MLB to be able to reliably resume games in July.
 

lexrageorge

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I cannot blame Clark or the MLBPA. They need to look not only at 2020, but also at future years. And he needs to be sure a concession does not set up a defacto salary cap in 2021 and beyond. It's a negotiating position, and the PA and MLB will need to find a middle ground. After all, the players are putting themselves at some risk while the mostly septuagenarian owners watch from their socially distanced living rooms.
 

Ale Xander

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The billionaire MLB owners are taking advantage of an international health crisis to push through CB changes that they couldn't earlier. Not a good look for them either. Players are the ones taking the health risk.

#TEAMPLAYERS
(even though they're f'ing over the minor leaguers and the to-be-draftees)
 

keninten

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The players are taking more of a risk healthwise. The players are generally healthy. Some have conditions we don`t know about which could effect them more. For this reason alot of players may not play. My biggest concern besides millionaires vs the billionaires is the workers around the games, groundskeepers, clubhouse attendents, maintenance workers, etc. They are risking as much and get paid very little comparatively.
 

Average Reds

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The billionaire MLB owners are taking advantage of an international health crisis to push through CB changes that they couldn't earlier. Not a good look for them either. Players are the ones taking the health risk.

#TEAMPLAYERS
(even though they're f'ing over the minor leaguers and the to-be-draftees)
The players are taking more of a risk healthwise. The players are generally healthy. Some have conditions we don`t know about which could effect them more. For this reason alot of players may not play. My biggest concern besides millionaires vs the billionaires is the workers around the games, groundskeepers, clubhouse attendents, maintenance workers, etc. They are risking as much and get paid very little comparatively.
100% agree.

Only risk the owners are taking is financial. Players are risking their health and living on the road for the entire “season”. If I’m the MLBPA, I take a hard line and don’t agree to play unless I get every single item on my wish list.

Otherwise, see you in 2021. (Maybe.)
 

lexrageorge

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Are the players getting Paid during the shutdown? They are right? So why would they ever agree to this?
There are clauses that if there is no season under certain circumstances, the players will not get paid. Some veterans are getting paid $143,000 per month right now, far less than their normal salaries:

 

jose melendez

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Ah, so they are only getting a fraction. Got it.

I assume what the players will push for is a pro-rated version. 81 games=half the salary.
 

donutogre

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This is a sample of what the players might counter back with. Most of what Doolittle makes 100% sense and why it will be so complicated to get back on the field. Read the whole thread.

View: https://twitter.com/whatwouldDOOdo/status/1259920490992410626
Just wanted to hop in and say this was an excellent read. Doolittle seems like a really smart guy and I definitely appreciate him speaking up and clearly laying out the many, many potential issues with this plan.

I feel like the idea of playing sports in the US in 2020 is a ridiculous pipe dream that needs to die. Can't we just put that on hold for the year? This is about as far from essential services as you can get.
 

JCizzle

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Ah, so they are only getting a fraction. Got it.

I assume what the players will push for is a pro-rated version. 81 games=half the salary.
A very small fraction in some cases. Another article cites that players like Cole and Trout will be getting ~2.5% of their normal daily earnings. If the season gets cancelled, they shouldn't get paid and likely won't. It's not like the owners would be pocketing money outside of merchandise sale - I'm guessing TV contracts will get cut for the year. I think there's incentive for both sides to work out a one or two year fix to this.
 

joe dokes

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Not a good look for the players if they hold this up over money. This is not a regular year. Everyone will have to make concessions.
View: https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1259957402377617418
What concessions are the owners making? Will they *ever* be in a locker room or hotel? The minute they care about "how it looks," is the minute they (or their relatives) start getting sick.

Just wanted to hop in and say this was an excellent read. Doolittle seems like a really smart guy and I definitely appreciate him speaking up and clearly laying out the many, many potential issues with this plan.

I feel like the idea of playing sports in the US in 2020 is a ridiculous pipe dream that needs to die. Can't we just put that on hold for the year? This is about as far from essential services as you can get.
Agree. Especially team sports. It sounds flip, but "25 guys, 25 cabs" is going to have to be the minimum requirement.
 

jose melendez

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Just wanted to hop in and say this was an excellent read. Doolittle seems like a really smart guy and I definitely appreciate him speaking up and clearly laying out the many, many potential issues with this plan.

I feel like the idea of playing sports in the US in 2020 is a ridiculous pipe dream that needs to die. Can't we just put that on hold for the year? This is about as far from essential services as you can get.
Doolittle is probably one of the smartest, and definitely one of the most liberal (at least among white players) in all of MLB. His wife is a smart cookie and an activist too.
 

TheGazelle

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Ah, so they are only getting a fraction. Got it.

I assume what the players will push for is a pro-rated version. 81 games=half the salary.
This is the MLBPA's current position, based on an agreement they struck with the owners back in March. The owners are relying on some wiggly language about "good faith discussions" re: economic feasibility.

As for the debate over a revised salary structure, the genesis of that can be found in the March 26 agreement struck between MLB and the Players Association, which granted a full year’s credit of service time — even if the season is canceled — and a $170 million advance on salaries through the end of May. The latter was critical because of the fact that players’ contracts were suspended once President Trump declared a national emergency.

The agreement also called for players to be paid on a prorated basis depending on the number of games played once the season did resume. Given that MLB’s current proposal calls for roughly 81 games, for example, that would mean a player signed to a $10 million deal for this season would earn $5 million.

At issue, however, is the accompanying clause that states: “The office of the commissioner and players association will discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at appropriate substitute neutral sites.”
 

Max Power

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I cannot blame Clark or the MLBPA. They need to look not only at 2020, but also at future years. And he needs to be sure a concession does not set up a defacto salary cap in 2021 and beyond. It's a negotiating position, and the PA and MLB will need to find a middle ground. After all, the players are putting themselves at some risk while the mostly septuagenarian owners watch from their socially distanced living rooms.
I see it the opposite way. They should agree to revenue sharing as long as it also applies to future years. The players have been taking home a smaller and smaller percentage of revenue over the last few years. Teams have figured out that young players are producing all the value and passing on handing out free agent deals when team control ends. It doesn't seem like anyone is interested in paying young players what they're worth, so pegging total player pay to a fixed percentage of league revenue would stop that trend.

Of course it's impossible to know what revenues are going to look like in the next few years. I'm sure they'll be down in the next couple of years because of depressed attendance. But it seems like the best long term play is to make sure you're always getting the same slice of the pie.

And none of that has anything to do with safety during a pandemic. If that's not the top priority, I don't see how you can play no matter how the money is split.
 

Mystic Merlin

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This is the MLBPA's current position, based on an agreement they struck with the owners back in March. The owners are relying on some wiggly language about "good faith discussions" re: economic feasibility.



Thanks for the reminder of the March deal.

That good faith clause doesn’t give the owners any leverage beyond requiring the players to entertain negotiations/not undermine them. Proving bad faith by the union here....good luck.

The union leadership, of course, knows this.
 

RedOctober3829

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What concessions are the owners making? Will they *ever* be in a locker room or hotel? The minute they care about "how it looks," is the minute they (or their relatives) start getting sick.


Agree. Especially team sports. It sounds flip, but "25 guys, 25 cabs" is going to have to be the minimum requirement.
The owners are most likely not getting gate receipts for an entire year so it should be obvious that the pool of money is not going to be as big for both them and the players.
 

IpswichSox

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I assume what the players will push for is a pro-rated version. 81 games=half the salary.
It is tough to get too worked up as millionaires and billionaires brawl, but allowing players to earn half their salaries if they play half the regular season games would make sense if we're back to baseball as we've previously known it. But it's likely that at least some -- and potentially every -- game played this year would be without fans. That means no ticket revenue and no revenue from concessions, apparel, parking, etc.

From The Athletic last week:
“If we ended up playing and playing in front of full fans, for 82 games, it makes total sense that we would pay players’ full salaries,” one industry executive said. “If you’re in the more extreme where we have to play empty everywhere, that’s half the revenue that would have come in that’s not coming in anymore. We weren’t equipped or budgeting to pay full salaries for that.”

Some insight, from the same article, into the financing and what the gate means to certain teams:

How much of the league’s revenues depend on the gate? Gate-related income encompasses not only tickets and suites sold, but concessions, merchandise bought at the stadium and parking. Industry sources estimated the league’s gate-related income represented about 40 to 50 percent of its overall haul.

If one looks only at gate-related revenues as a percentage of teams’ local revenue — excluding national revenue from TV, sponsorships and other deals — industry sources said it is more than half.

But those figures vary by club. In a fan-less scenario, the teams hurt the most are those with relatively low-figure television deals that draw well at the gate: the Nationals and Astros, for example. The teams that are best insulated have above-average TV deals in markets where attendance is not particularly strong, such as Seattle or Tampa Bay. But any team that has strong attendance, including the major market teams that also carry robust television deals, will feel the hit.

Corporate sponsorship and signage are not typically included in the gate-related tally, but ultimately are affected areas as well. When advertisers pay for a sign in the park, their expectation is that viewers will see it in person as well as on TV.
Without the fans and the revenue they generate, I don't see how the players could demand full salaries. Why not do a structured deal -- players would receive a certain percentage of their salaries if there are no fans, and then receive a sliding scale percentage linked to the allowable attendance figures based on local health conditions? If we're packing 37,000 fans into Fenway in August, the players should get their full salaries. If literally no one is in the stands or if the park is only allowed to be at 20 percent capacity, the players' salaries should be proportionately impacted, too.