Will 2020 be seen as a tipping point for Major League Baseball?
It’s already looking like a missed opportunity for a league that could’ve been playing games with no other major sports to compete with for the past few weeks. That window is closing, and now the question surrounding the league has become more ominous: Is there even going to be a 2020 MLB season?
Until the MLB Players Union and the league’s owners come to an agreement on compensation, the answer is no. As of now, the two parties are still far enough apart that experts are uncertain enough to pose the above hypothetical.
The players want their full prorated salaries. They say the owners agreed to that payment plan months ago. The owners don’t want to pay that much money, and some say they can’t, unless the season is cut to around 50 games.
The latest reports indicate the owners are conceding ground, offering to pay players 75 percent of their prorated salaries in a 75-game season. It’s not what the players want, but it’s better than the original proposal which included huge salary cuts. Now we wait, once again, for the players counter.
Longtime baseball writer Tim Kurkjian is discouraged, but he’s not naive. In fact, Kurkjian told Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks on Monday that there are probably some owners who are rooting for a lost season.
“There are certain owners out there who in a real private honest moment, would probably tell you ‘We’re better off not playing at all this year, than playing 60 games when we have to pay the players 100 percent without any fans in the stands,'” Kurkjian said on KNBR.
“That’s not a very good dynamic for certain owners and they’d just as soon say ‘Alright, let’s shut it down, restart, maybe we can break the union, put some pressure on them.’ Sadly that’s just not the way you have to be going about this now. You have to recognize this isn’t about 2021 and post-2021. This is about right now. About fixing the game and preventing enormous damage and helping the country. Creating a one-month window, where you get the whole sporting landscape to yourself. How can that be a bad thing?
“I’m just perplexed to no end that they have this window, and they’re not taking advantage of it.”
So are we Tim, so are we.
Listen to the full interview below.