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"Im not splitting no revenue...I aint making shit" #604852
18/04/2020 05:05
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Report: Owners Could Pursue Further Salary Reduction For Players If Season Begins Without Fans

By Steve Adams | April 16, 2020 at 3:05pm CDT
MLBTradeRumors.com

As Major League Baseball ponders various scenarios in which the 2020 season could commence in empty parks without fans in attendance, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic write that empty-stadium games could prompt ownership to ask that the players make further concessions in terms of their 2020 salary.

The two sides already reached an agreement on service time, player salaries and a broad framework for an abbreviated draft late last month. Within that agreement, players agreed to prorated salaries that are directly proportional to the reduction of total games played.

Rosenthal and Drellich suggest, however, that the league “made it clear to the union that economic adjustments would be necessary if games were played in empty parks,” while many on the players’ side of talks believe that the already standing agreement addressed games without fan and/or games at neutral sites. Unsurprisingly, agent Scott Boras ardently pointed to the preexisting “good faith agreement” regarding empty-stadium play while implying that seeking further reductions would be in violation of said good faith.

It seems rather perplexing that the players wouldn’t have pursued precise language expressly underscoring that even neutral-site games without fans in attendance should fall under the purview of the currently agreed-upon salary reduction parameters. That agreement, after all, was unanimously ratified by all 30 owners back on March 27. At that point, the idea of televising games without fans was already widely being speculated upon and surely being discussed by the league and MLBPA. Word of the potential “Arizona” plan trickled out not two weeks after that agreement had been settled.

The owners’ claim in all of this would undoubtedly be that addition of television revenue would not be enough to cover the cost of operations in conjunction with the elimination of gate revenue. Such claims wouldn’t be able to be proven with books closed to the public, but it’s easy to see all 30 owners aligning on that front whether or not the sentiment holds true in actuality.

At this point, all parties involved are flying blind for the most part, as there’s not yet any certainty regarding when or if play will resume, where games will take place or how many games could be played. There’s also been talk of expanding the postseason format, which would create additional revenue on all sides that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Without those details set in place, fiscal specifics are impossible to glean. All of those issues will factor into further negotiations — if it is indeed determined that the existing language leaves ownership ample latitude to pursue such reductions. It’s easy to imagine a contentious set of secondary negotiations eventually being necessary once the logistics can be more clearly defined, though.

At least as pertains to the 2020 season, commissioner Rob Manfred wields the ultimate hammer, as his position gives him the right to unilaterally suspend player contracts due to the declaration of a national emergency. While one would hope that negotiations wouldn’t get to that point, the threat of such extreme action could indeed be powerful leverage against the MLBPA.

All of this comes at a time when the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire in December 2021. Advance collective bargaining talks were already reported to be in place well before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. Any rising tensions that stem from further back-and-forth on more immediate issues figure to impact those CBA negotiations whenever they resume in earnest.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #604853
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Dont wanna hear a single zillionaire ballplayer cryin the blues over this. That goes for any sport. Welcome to reality, a/holes.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #604859
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Wouldn't be surprised if some Scott Boros type agents object to this.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #604900
22/04/2020 09:54
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Originally Posted by SilverFox1
Dont wanna hear a single zillionaire ballplayer cryin the blues over this. That goes for any sport. Welcome to reality, a/holes.



Right, figure out a plan to play in Fla and Arizona and get the season started. If a ballplayer with an eight figure contract doesn't want to show the teams should be able to either 1) void their contract, or 2) have player go unpaid this year and the contract extended another season. Lots of people wish they could work right now, these pampered MLB vets need to STFU and play ball.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605160
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Tampa Bay's Blake Snell is not getting what he wants, and he wants his mommy -- ESPN.com excerpt:

"No, I gotta get my money. I'm not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that's just the way it is for me. Like, I'm sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I'm making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?"

Snell, who was scheduled to make $7 million in 2020, said that he "love(s) baseball to death" but that he is unwilling to accept multiple reductions of his salary.

"Bro, I'm risking my life," Snell said. "What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100% be a thing. If I'm gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I'm getting paid because the season's cut in half, on top of a 33% cut of the half that's already there -- so I'm really getting, like, 25%.

"On top of of that, it's getting taxed. So, imagine how much I'm actually making to play, you know what I'm saying?"

Snell later texted the Tampa Bay Times, acknowledging that he realizes his comments on the video could be perceived as greedy.

"I mean honestly it's just scary to risk my life to get Covid-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to the others,'' Snell texted to the Times. "I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives cause I know I miss mine!"

The former American League Cy Young Award winner also told the Times he would be willing to skip the 2020 season and said the owners' proposal of a revenue split is "is super frustrating because we have way more risk."

Snell emphasized in the video that he is concerned about the long-term health effects of possibly contracting COVID-19, saying the damage to his body is "gonna be there forever."

"I'm just saying, it doesn't make sense for me to lose all of that money and then go play," he said. "And then be on lockdown, not around my family, not around the people I love, and getting paid way the hell less -- and then the risk of injury runs every time I step on the field."

Snell, 27, is entering the second year of a five-year, $50 million deal with the Rays.

MLB met with union officials Tuesday to begin presenting its proposal, but the discussion did not involve player compensation or other economic components, sources familiar with the meeting told ESPN's Jesse Rogers.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605161
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I'm already angry enough at the news, this stuff freaking triggers me, a ballplayer who thinks that $2 million isn't enough for him to play 3-4 months of baseball. What a bunch of jerks this whole class of athletes have become. MLB is getting wrecked by the loss of ticket and TV revenue and he wants his whole $7 million. Then he has the nerve to complain about paying taxes.

Thousands and thousands of people who make less than $100K per year make their money either directly or indirectly from MLB, just get out there and play the games, or don't and forfeit your salaries while your ex-teammates play.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605163
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Dude is trying to make a "I'm risking my life" argument but he falls flat on his face. He makes me no sense. "I'm risking my life sure, but I'll risk my life if you pay me my $7 million, not $2 million". That's as stupid as it gets. I don't think the Covid thing is the REAL issue with him at all. He's just pouting because he aint collecting on his $7 million.

Than he says "I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives". Clearly, that aint gonna happen for a LONG time. Dude can keep dreamin.

It's a free country. He wants to sulk and doesn't wanna play? Fine. Let him get the hell outta the way for someone who wants to play.

This is gonna be the story the national media is salivating about once the pro seasons start. Pick your professional sport. As soon as ONE athlete gets the Covid, the national media will blow it up big time and players will start peeing their pants. And they'll pee too even if it's a clubhouse attendant, a players' parking lot attendant, or a front office employee that catches Covid.





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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605164
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Latest On MLB’s Proposal For Return To Play

By Steve Adams | May 14, 2020 at 11:14am CDT
MLBTradeRumors.com

Since the league shutdown in mid-March, the looming question hanging over Major League Baseball has been one of how a positive test or tests among players and coaches would be handled. Even earlier this week, as the league presented the the Players Association with a proposal to return to play, that aspect remained a critical unknown. This morning, Jared Diamond and Louise Radnofsky of the Wall Street Journal shed some light on those matters, reporting that MLB’s proposal would see players tested multiple times per week.

Major League Baseball, per the WSJ report, is confident in its ability to gain access to tens of thousands of test kits without depleting the supply available to essential frontline workers. The specifics of that arrangement aren’t clear, and detractors will surely argue that multiple tests per week for athletes, coaches, training staff and umpires could be better allocated. Granted, testing capacity is on the rise and could look markedly different by the time play resumes. Diamond and Radnofsky also write that the league will focus on acquiring primarily 24-hour tests as opposed to more immediate, rapid-result tests.

That, of course, comes with its own potential for pitfalls; an asymptomatic player, coach or umpire who tests positive would still have been in contact with others for a full day before learning of the diagnosis under that scenario. Paired with going a day or multiple days between tests, it’s not hard to envision infections spreading quickly.

Notably, Diamond and Radnofsky underline that a positive test would not result in a stoppage of play under the current proposal. Any person or persons who test positive would be immediately quarantined, while those who’d been in contact will be more closely monitored. Specifics on the protocol for contact tracing and increased or more aggressive testing in the wake of a positive test remain unknown.

With all that in mind, it’s not particularly surprising to see SNY’s Andy Martino cite an unnamed agent who states that there’s “no question” some players will opt not to play in 2020. He adds that no specific proposals on how exemptions for at-risk players would be handled — a debate that carries its own set of intricacies regarding service time and salary.

Some players with heightened risk due to underlying medical conditions have recently voiced a willingness to play, but others have been more outspoken about their concern. There are also many players with underlying conditions that aren’t public knowledge, to say nothing of family members and loved ones who could be at greater risk. Concerns figure to be prominent among coaching staffs as well, where numerous personnel are in their 60s and 70s — some with more troubling medical concerns.

Of course, there’s no situation where play resumes and the risk is wholly eliminated. The goal is to dramatically reduce the risk, and regular testing coupled with temperature checks and other regulations will work toward that end. In the Korea Baseball Organization, there’s been a ban on spitting, high fives and handshakes. Similar restrictions will likely be put in place in MLB, and although strictly enforcing them will be difficult, the players know it’s in their best interest to work to curtail those habits. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes that players and personnel will be discouraged from using rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, and they’ll also be advised against signing autographs and taking pictures with fans at their hotels.

MLB is also wary of the potential for another notable wave of virus cases in the fall and winter, Nightengale adds, which is why the league ultimately scrapped a plan that would’ve seen postseason play push into December. The aim now is for an 82-game season with an expanded, 14-team postseason format that can be concluded in early November.

The health component is the most important piece of negotiations between the league and the players union — although it’s certainly not the only one. The two sides still need to reach some kind of agreement on salary, and players appear loath to accept a revenue sharing system that would represent even greater reductions than the prorated salaries to which they already agreed back in March.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605168
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I wonder if the players might wind up making more if they took the revenue sharing, not that they will.

If they don't want to play, I'm sure there is some younger player who will take the opportunity.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605175
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I dont agree with Nolan Arenado's comments yesterday, but at least the guy tried to frame them in a way without sounding so bigheaded and narcisstic


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605214
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Originally Posted by SilverFox1
I dont agree with Nolan Arenado's comments yesterday, but at least the guy tried to frame them in a way without sounding so bigheaded and narcisstic


Unlike blue collar guy Bryce Harper who saw Snell getting raked for being out of touch and decided to jump on that bandwagon.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605219
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They're both completely out of touch with reality. Snell got drafted right out of HS. He and Harper have never worked a day in their life, outside of baseball.

It's a free country, so if they dont wanna play because they're afraid of infecting themselves/family, or risking their futures, than dont play -- fine with me. Got nothing against them. Just enough with the "I want mine" temper tantrums


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605226
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Right, I'd have less problem with a guy sitting out a season and taking the salary hit. It's the Doolittle's who not only want to make the decision for themselves, but also for the stadium and network employees who they don't feel should be trusted to choose on their own.

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Absolutely loathe people in the public eye like Doolittle who tweet and run their mouths about political issues and the various "causes" out there. So that they can "enlighten" we, The Great Unwashed. Please.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605259
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The A's held off paying their April stadium rent. They cited terms & conditions in the contract as reason. Angels are furloughing some employees effective June 1. Wonder what other teams will be next. Ahh, but don't tell Snell about all this. Obviously, money grows on trees.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605277
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Cubs just announced pay cuts for non-player personnel. Pirates to furlough workers, and their Executive staff took voluntary pay cuts. Cue images of Snell and Show Me The Money gifs.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605279
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Originally Posted by SilverFox1
Cubs just announced pay cuts for non-player personnel. Pirates to furlough workers and their Executive staff took voluntary pay cuts. Cue images of Snell and Show Me The Money gifs.


Those are just team employees, that doesn't include contractors, TV and radio network employees, the people who make the uniforms, bats, and balls, etc. But Doolittle and his wife would mandate that those people stay at home and live off of government checks indefinitely.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: PowerBoater69] #605320
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Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
Originally Posted by SilverFox1
Cubs just announced pay cuts for non-player personnel. Pirates to furlough workers and their Executive staff took voluntary pay cuts. Cue images of Snell and Show Me The Money gifs.


Those are just team employees, that doesn't include contractors, TV and radio network employees, the people who make the uniforms, bats, and balls, etc. But Doolittle and his wife would mandate that those people stay at home and live off of government checks indefinitely.


Of course. If they're for something, it should be required, and if they're against it, it should be prohibited. Besides, more dependent people mean more votes for the left.

(In the name of compassion, of course.)


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Earlier today I saw Snell's full, unedited comments from earlier this month. Thread title revised accordingly.

Excerpt from MLBTradeRumors.com: The (large market) LA Angels will be furloughing employees from nearly every department, including, in the words of Ken Rosenthal, “weakening its amateur scouting department heading into the draft.”

Some of the readers who comment on these articles gotta be either player agents or just dumb fucks:

Wrek30513 hours ago
Just give the players 100% of their salaries. They get paid while being on the IL. Why would this be different. F

watup0100watup010012 hours ago
This is how I feel. Unless there is a contract clause saying if the league can’t play you don’t get paid, a contract is a contract and they should get paid.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605332
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From ESPN:

The league's proposal, which includes bonuses if postseason games are played, offers lower-salaried players a higher percentage of their expected wages and would give some of the game's biggest stars a fractional cut of their salaries. The formula the league offered, for example, would take a player scheduled to make the league minimum ($563,500), give him a prorated number based on 82 games ($285,228) and take a 10% cut from that figure, leaving him with a $256,706 salary.

The scale goes down as salaries go up, with every dollar:

$563,501 to $1 million paid at 72.5%

$1,000,001 to $5 million paid at 50%

$5,000,001 to $10 million paid at 40%

$10,000,001 to $20 million paid at 30%

$20,000,001 and up paid at 20%

-------------------------

Looks good to me. The young guys in their first three years get a quarter million instead of a half million. A fair deal since they would be playing half the number of games. The vets would take a big hit, based on the fact that there would be ZERO fans in the stands buying tickets, parking, souvenirs, $7 hot dogs, and $15 beers. But the vets don't want to take a pay cut, they'd skip a season and screw over their younger teammates.

MLB needs to make this happen, even if the top five highest paid players on the team sat out the season I'd still watch. My guess is that it would be just like the NFL strike with the replacement players when the stars tried to hold out but caved in week by week.

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Unsurprisingly, the list of clubs talking furloughs, pay cuts, and layoffs just gets longer every day.

The players want to hold the owners to a vague discussion back in March that would ensure the players get full salary. Which was before anyone knew that zero fans would be in attendance. They wanna bend over the the owners and F 'em hard on this issue.
So sick of this BS. The clubs are willing to protect the players from Covid on a level that no other American worker could receive. Play the season, and if you're not shut the hell up and go play golf.


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I found this from a 2005 study of the impact of the MLB strikes:

"Using the baseball strikes of 1981, 1994, and 1995 as test cases, we find the net economic impact for a MLB team on a host city of $16.2 million under one model and $132.3 million under a second model."

Those numbers are 15 years old so they could only have gone up. But guys like Snell, Harper, Cole, and Doolittle don't give a crap about all of the downstream economic impact, they just want all of their millions. Bring on the replacements and let's play ball.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605335
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Didn't Sotomayor tell MLB it couldn't use replacements?


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: TBP] #605337
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Originally Posted by TBP
Didn't Sotomayor tell MLB it couldn't use replacements?


By replacements I mean bring up minor leaguers to replace anyone who decides to sit out the season. Would not be an issue unless the players go on strike.

The news today is that Boras is heavily involved in the union push back against the owners. I just read a stat that 55% of the players have careers of five years or fewer, so most never pass the six years of service necessary to make it to free agency. Boras is pushing for the union to make decisions to benefit less than a third of the players. The younger guys need to use their votes to accept this offer.

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MLBPA is making a new case for full salary, to play more than 81 games, and that the owners are intentionally ignoring the gobs of national and local advertising and promotion revenue awaiting. And that businesses are lining up to purchase it all. Which is the kind of BS a 12 year old could sniff out. Most of baseball's big national advertising categories (automotive, airlines, mobile phones) have been hit as hard as other industries by the pandemic. Getting really close to not caring about this.



Joo are da muss haddfull, emo-shore, eel-tamper pusster I'ze ebber engoundered, and I'ze engoundered manny on deez bard. Jore pusts all soun' lige a nut-too-bride sebben jeer ole.


Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605339
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Normally I'd side with the players over the owners but this dispute is really the super rich players (Boras guys) vs the rank and file guys who are looking at a 2-6 season MLB career and can't afford to miss an entire year. The Boras guys like Max Scherzer have been given control of the union and they are the ones leaking the press their displeasure with the MLB offer (not giving a damn about the thousands of other jobs at stake in the middle of a national crisis). Since half the players never make it to their sixth season those guys would be idiots to not jump at the MLB offer. The young guys have the votes, they just need the balls to take over the union.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605341
28/05/2020 12:05
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Boras is telling his players that the pandemic has ZERO to do with the owners problems. According to Boras, the owners' current financial problems are self-inflicted: a result of (get this) poor management debt financing.

Credit to Trevor Bauer for making this statement :

Hearing a LOT of rumors about a certain player agent meddling in MLBPA affairs. If true — and at this point, these are only rumors — I have one thing to say... Scott Boras, rep your clients however you want to, but keep your damn personal agenda out of union business.
5:28 PM · May 27, 2020


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: PowerBoater69] #605342
28/05/2020 12:43
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Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
Normally I'd side with the players over the owners but this dispute is really the super rich players (Boras guys) vs the rank and file guys who are looking at a 2-6 season MLB career and can't afford to miss an entire year.


That seemed to be what Trevor Bauer was implying with his tweet.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605343
28/05/2020 12:44
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I agree with Bauer.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: TBP] #605349
28/05/2020 16:23
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Originally Posted by TBP
I agree with Bauer.


Definitely. More news of layoffs today, including minor leaguers. Meanwhile Max Scherzer sits in his palace and cries about the greedy owners.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605352
29/05/2020 06:39
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MLBTradeRumors: “many” members of the union appear open to deferring salaries beyond 2020, though, which could help ownership to avoid an upfront hit. Rosenthal and Drellich (from The Athletic) detail some other potential compromises that have been “loosely” discussed.

They're still a week or so away from a hard deadline if they want to start the season on time. Most of the current players are too young to remember the '95 strike and the public's wrath. If the NBA, NHL, and the NFL play their seasons but MLB does not, they will look like even bigger a-holes, whether that's right or wrong. The entire baseball industry will face a backlash theyve never seen.

Also, Trevor Bauer is contracted to make $17.5 million this season, obviously not a rank and file salary -- if he were a Nat he would have the 3rd highest salary this season, closely behind Corbin. Boras can go to hell, btw.



Joo are da muss haddfull, emo-shore, eel-tamper pusster I'ze ebber engoundered, and I'ze engoundered manny on deez bard. Jore pusts all soun' lige a nut-too-bride sebben jeer ole.


Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605354
29/05/2020 07:07
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Paying the young guys half their salary for half a season while asking the vets to take the big hit was never going to be too popular with the Boras crew, hopefully the deferred money will be enough to seal the deal.

Thing is that the deferred money will eventually hit the younger guys because there will be a lot less money available for free agent contracts over the next 5-10 years. Not that the fans should care as long as they get the season going.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605355
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Wonder how many more doubleheaders are they planning, and assuming they'll be playing more back-to-backs, would seem that all that puts older teams like the Nats at a disadvantage. Kendricks/Suzuki/Zimmerman/Cabrera cant play every day even in a regular season. Guess the DH helps. Would think the more doubleheaders they're planning the greater likelihood of a 6 pitcher starting rotation imo.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605357
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I don't even care anymore, I just want the season to start. Gibbs and Beathard/Casserly excelled in the strike years and with Plan B free agency, this will be a great test for Rizzo and Martinez. The Nats are a big money team, is our brain trust up to the challenge to adapt?

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605364
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Max has a point about greedy owners, but they do need to make a profit to pay the greedy players the exorbitant amounts of money they make.

Of the eight players on the union's executive board, three are Boras clients. No other agent has more than one.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: PowerBoater69] #605401
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Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
I don't even care anymore, I just want the season to start. Gibbs and Beathard/Casserly excelled in the strike years and with Plan B free agency


Reminds me more of the abundance of players from the USFL implosion, although obviously lesser talented. Mariners alone cut 50 minor leaguers yesterday, gonna be a sh!tload of minor leaguers from all teams for Rizzo to check out. With an aging roster and a so-so minor league system gotta think Rizzo is drooling now. If they end up only finding 2-3 players to develop for the long term that's still ok.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605422
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I kind of like the idea of paying the players theirentire prorated salaries, but deferring some. This addresses the owners' needs up front and the players' need to get the full amount to which they're entitled.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605428
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I'm seeing all sorts of pictures of bars packed with people. If the Nats had a game today I bet they'd fill the ballpark. These ballplayers are young and low risk, this is about the money, nothing else.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605430
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Originally Posted by SilverFox1
Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
I don't even care anymore, I just want the season to start. Gibbs and Beathard/Casserly excelled in the strike years and with Plan B free agency


Reminds me more of the abundance of players from the USFL implosion, although obviously lesser talented. Mariners alone cut 50 minor leaguers yesterday, gonna be a sh!tload of minor leaguers from all teams for Rizzo to check out. With an aging roster and a so-so minor league system gotta think Rizzo is drooling now. If they end up only finding 2-3 players to develop for the long term that's still ok.



The Twins, Royals, Reds, and Astros are paying their minor league guys. Very smart. 5-15 years from now the 18-22 year old players around the league will remember which teams supported them and which dropped them.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605432
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The Dbacks just furloughed 25% of their staff.

Twenty-five percent.

Hey Bro, I need my 7 million.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605449
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It's Not Just The 2020 Season At Stake, but The Future of MLB
Buster Olney, ESPN

Many of the folks inside baseball but outside of the Zoom labor negotiations assume that, eventually, cooler heads will prevail in the talks between the owners and the players' union. Because they have to -- right?

Because the alternative -- no attempted restart of baseball in 2020 because of a failure of the two sides to agree to terms -- bears catastrophic consequences, now and in the sport's future. The leaders on both sides have to see that -- right?

They have to understand this nuclear option is no option at all -- right?

They have to understand how baseball might need a generation or two -- decades -- for some fans to forget or forgive this ill-timed squabble over money, at a time when so many have lost jobs and increasingly struggle to meet the cost of shelter and food. Baseball's owners and players can't be so deeply mired in distrust and doctrine that they don't see this -- right?

But here we are, in a countdown to utter disaster for Major League Baseball, and sources of moderation on both sides are having difficulty identifying the path through which the parties will leave their respective bunkers to reach the agreement the industry must have. As distasteful as the terms might be for the owners and players, they should all recognize that while concern over player and staff safety could ultimately prevent games from being played, they must settle the question of player compensation -- whatever form that takes -- and shake hands on the deal and smile for the cameras. (Actually, please be sure to get it in writing that everybody acknowledges -- more later on how the failure to do that has contributed to the current stalemate.)

Is MLB's proposal the first step to playing ball in 2020 -- or the beginning of the end?

Why many in baseball need reminder of their love for the game
If that doesn't happen -- if they can't agree on a deal to play in 2020 -- baseball will become a loathed presence on North America's sporting landscape, scorned by many fans. The labor fight will merely be deferred, with escalation in some form all but assured because of the unresolved issues.

Next spring, with only months remaining in the current collective bargaining agreement, the players are more apt to use the threat of a strike. Owners, already damaged by the money losses this year, could be more inclined to dig in and wait out the players, aiming for a lasting reconstruction of baseball's financial model. The labor fight could go on and on, and by the time it all plays out, it's impossible to know how many fans, feeling alienated or disgusted, will leave baseball behind once and for all.

The only sure thing is that the owners and players will lose, unless they settle this standoff that risks mutually assured destruction.

So they have to make a deal. Right?

The fractures between the lead negotiating groups -- led by commissioner Rob Manfred and union chief Tony Clark -- have developed into a gaping chasm of suspicion and frustration. But each side will also have to work through competing internal forces.

Sources say there is a group of owners perfectly willing to shut down the season, to slash payroll costs and reduce losses, and the disparate views among the 30 teams have been reflected in the decisions to fire and furlough. The Pirates' Bob Nutting used the shutdown as an avenue to suspend team contributions to employee 401K plans -- savings best measured monthly in the tens of thousands of dollars rather than the millions that would actually be difference-making for a franchise probably worth at least $1 billion. The Oakland Athletics' John Fisher decided to eliminate the $400 weekly salaries of minor leaguers, which might save the franchise about the amount of the team's unpaid stadium rental bill. On the other hand, clubs such as the Tigers, Padres and Royals demonstrated greater humanity, with the Royals' John Sherman deciding to pay his minor leaguers.

The clash of clans on the players' side was illuminated this week by the Twitter spat between Trevor Bauer and Kyle Lohse, client of Scott Boras, after Bauer tweeted, in so many words, that Boras should butt out of union business. Over the past 2½ months of social distancing, raw exchanges like these have me wondering how we are so technologically advanced and yet so many seem unable to place a direct phone call.

'Oh my God, how can we do this?'

An oral history of the 1994 MLB strike that nearly destroyed baseball. Tim Kurkjian »

I know what you're thinking: "OK, Boomer. That conversation stuff is so old-school." But better communication will be needed to overcome the union's internal division, to band the baseball brothers together and present a united front that was once a reflex position among the players.

The labor relations scars of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine are well-earned from his time as a union frontman during the '94-95 players' strike. He has never had a sledgehammer personality, so the message he seemingly tried to impart in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the other day was subtle and indirect but hardened. "If it were to come down to an economic issue and that's the reason baseball didn't come back, you're looking at a situation similar to the strike of '94 and '95 as far as fans are concerned," he said. "Even if the players were 100% justified in what they were complaining about, they're still going to look bad."

Keep in mind that the players' strike in '94-95 took place during a time of relative national prosperity. There was no global pandemic, record unemployment or growing civil unrest.

Looking back, Glavine said, "The accessibility thing was a miscalculation on my part. I just felt like if I did an interview on the radio or TV, or if I had five or 10 minutes, I could make somebody understand what was going on and come to our side. That just wasn't going to happen."

From the early-April interviews Boras gave to the statements released by Clark to Blake Snell's Twitch feed, it's as if there has been an effort to win a public relations fight. If asked -- and yes, the union would be well-served to seek the counsel of Glavine, David Cone, Todd Zeile, Johnny Bench and others who helped to construct the world's strongest union the current players inherited -- Glavine would seemingly tell them: Don't bother; you're not going to win in the court of public opinion.

Perhaps old union warriors Don Fehr and Gene Orza could offer useful reviews of the players' association's current logjam, given their knowledge of the baseball landscape and their decades-old understanding of the owners and leverage. Clark played 15 years in the big leagues, accomplishing things Fehr and Orza could only dream of -- 251 big league homers, the stature of a respected clubhouse leader. But Clark does not have a legal background, and in his one major negotiation, the CBA talks of 2016, the union lost enormous ground in agreeing to a deal that effectively fostered soft salary caps and continued tanking.

Bruce Meyer, Clark's right-hand man, has been in baseball for less than two years. The perception of Bauer, many other agents and management officials is that Boras is in a position of high influence right now, and while Boras is the most celebrated player representative in U.S. sports history, with record-setting deals, he also lacks front-line experience in negotiations that possess such long-standing ramifications for this and the next collective bargaining agreement.

Clark, Meyer and Boras have stood firmly behind an assertion that the late-March agreement between the union and MLB made clear that players would be paid their prorated salaries for any games, even without fans in the stands. On the other hand, management contends that the agreement contained an understanding that the question of player compensation would be revisited if there were no fans in the stands, and Joel Sherman wrote recently about the contemporaneous internal management memo that backs this position. There are players and agents who would like to see comparable documentation from union leadership, in the form of memos and emails.

The talks between the two sides are stalled over this important point, and if clear-cut language recognized by both sides does not exist, "it's the fault of the lawyers," said one agent. "The result is devastating."

One way or another, this issue has to be resolved. A question asked by moderates on the players' side: Who will make a deal?

And a question asked on both sides: Is it possible for the owners' side to refrain from the destructive practice of leaking offers to the media? This practice has repeatedly undercut the effort to construct a bridge of trust and shaped the perception of owners' motives. After MLB's most recent proposal was published before it was presented, pitcher Jake Diekman wrote on Twitter, "It's getting very irritating that all of the information regarding the start of the baseball season is getting leaked before 95% of the players can even see it."

On Memorial Day, union moderates thought some conceptual traction had started to build toward a deal, with some salary considerations swapped for some protection of the upcoming free-agent classes. But because the offer was so stark, with the highest-paid players asked to take cuts of up to 80%, and because of how it leaked, many moderates thought that the owners' offer backfired and pushed the players closer to Boras' position -- that negotiations about salary are over. The highly respected Max Scherzer, a member of the union's executive committee and a Boras client, tweeted that "there's no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions," citing conversations with "the rest of the players."

Thus, 80 days after baseball was shut down over the coronavirus pandemic, the two sides are completely at odds -- the owners asking for major salary concessions without being willing to open their financial books, and the union leaders settled behind what might be an unsettled issue, depending on what the negotiated language says.

Meanwhile, they're like two second cousins arguing loudly in the back pews during a memorial service. Everyone watching the spat is mortified and embarrassed for them.

They have to work it out. Don't they?

• Paul Hembekides sent along some notes about baseball's financial landscape:

1. MLB's financial proposal would be a big financial hit for high-earning players (obviously), but that is a really small subset. There were 1,410 players who appeared in an MLB game in 2019. There were 124 players who earned at least $10 million in 2019 (9% of the player pool); there were 140 scheduled to earn at least $10 million in 2020. Forty players earned at least $20 million in 2019 (3% of player pool); there were 47 scheduled to earn at least $20 million in 2020. (This does not account for those who did not play a game in 2019, such as Yoenis Cespedes.)

2. Over the past decade, the value of the average MLB franchise has increased by approximately 300%, to $1.85 billion. The annual contract of the average MLB player has increased by about 40%, to $4.4 million. As The Associated Press reported, salaries have stagnated over the past five years.

3. Baseball is a young man's game. The percentage of players by current service time (from 2019 40-man Opening Day rosters):

0-1 year: 30%
1-2 years: 16%
2-3 years: 11%
3-4 years: 9%
4-5 years: 6%
5-6 years: 6%
6+ years: 21%

Note: This does not add up to 100% because of rounding.

• If the two sides forge an agreement and baseball is played in 2020, it will be interesting to see if some players eligible for free agency in the upcoming offseason choose to not participate for reasons similar to why some NFL and NBA prospects bypass combines and bowl games -- out of concern for short-term risk.

Let's say a 29-year-old pitcher is set to become eligible for free agency in the fall and is leery about the possibility of injury, perhaps enhanced by the odd work schedule this year or some performance struggles in what promises to be a small sample size. That player might choose to sit out whatever season is played, opting to take his 2019 résumé into market.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605450
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In lieu of unemployment rampant across the US, Olney correctly states that the owners and players are messing around with a nuclear button the likes theyve never played with before.

Main story on ESPN. Good. And let every one of these a-holes from both sides squirm in their $4,000.00 plush seats when they read it. In addition to unemployment, hopefully these jackoffs get the fact that we have a race riots going on, and no one gives a shit right now about pissy ballplayers complaining about their $7 million annual salaries.

Heyman from MLB Network shines a brighter light: he reported this afternoon that despite their differences, both sides are optimistic that a deal will get done, and understand the remifications of a cancelled season. We'll see.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605453
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The players have offered a counter proposal. So all the crying about worrying about their health was just a negotiating tactic. Chances are the two sides will make a deal.

The latest thing to really piss me off was that last night Sean Doolittle dunked on Mark Lerner hard for not paying the minor league guys to not play baseball, Doolittle and the other players announced that they are going to pay their minor league brothers and the press and fans slammed the greedy owners all night. But meanwhile Max, Zimmerman, Corbin, Doolittle, and the rich Boras client types around the league have been demanding more money for themselves for the past two weeks. In a year with half a season and no fans the richest of players have been looking out for themselves, do they think that the owners are going to continue to pay everyone at every level for the year? Probably the players should be allowed to loot the team offices too since the team is insured.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605456
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Agree 100%. Pissed me off when I read that this morning. A pathetic attempt by the players to look like the good guys to the fans. Look at us, the knights in shining armor arriving to save the day because Lerner is a Scrooge, and I want mine, bro.

Besides, The A's cut the stipend ENTIRELY last week, so what The Nats did is not earth shattering. Matter of time before more clubs take a knife to the stipend.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605457
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Excerpt from Boswell in today's Q&A. Clueless.

"The Lerners should be ashamed. They can give out championship rings with 108 diamonds, 32 sapphires and 30 rubies but they have released 30 minor leaguers and cut the pay of all their other minor leaguers by 25% --down to $300-a-week!?

I guess it's no fun these days to be heavily invested in commercial real estate or in malls --both of which are getting crushed by long-term trends and now by the pandemic accelerent to those changes. And owning an MLB team isn't quite the money-printing machine it used to be. If the Lerners aren't careful they'll be down to their last few billion."


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605458
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What do you expect from the Washington Post?

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As a diehard Nats fan, I love Max as a player and role model. And I also know that the owners are far better able to weather a summer without baseball than the players, and they will use that advantage to screw as much money as they can back from the players. But to date there are 40 million Americans out of work with 0% of their salaries, and most of those have lost their health insurance as a result. I really cannot understand how the stance of the players now is that they will accept no further cuts or even negotiate with the owners over this. So Max only gets a quarter of his $30 million per season for playing a game for half a season in 2020, and he won't even negotiate? Yes, I get it--it's usually the owners who screw the players in every work stoppage. But don't the players understand that the fans generally blame the players for this? The absolutist rejection of the owners' offer now makes it impossible for them to compromise without looking weak. They have really boxed themselves into a corner and don't seem to know it.

A: Thomas Boswell
I agree with every point that you make.

One of the ways out of the box, in theory, is to play more games --more than 100, not 82-- so that the revenue "pie" is bigger. The theory is simple: Tghe players have agreed to a pro-rated salary structure. If they play 81 games, they get 50% of their salary. But if they play 114 --the latest number mentioned-- the players make more money while the owners (probably) lose less --at least in the player's views.

The players need to understand two unique aspects of their current situation.

This is the first time EVER that owners may be BETTER off --or "less badly off"-- financially if they do not play at all in '20. Aside from "continuity" and the general health of the game, their motivations --to play in a money-losing environment, like a restaurant that feels is HAS to open, even at 50% capacity or less, are more limited than in the past.

The owners are like very wealthy business people --who own a Fortune 500 company-- who also own a nice restaurant, but one which is almost financially insignificant compared to their main business. So, unlike a restaurant owned by a small business person, the billionaire can yawn and say, "It's a good restaurant. People will come back next year. So, we'll just wait until there's a treatment and a vaccine."

Second factor: Players may not understand how LITTLE WE CARE whether there is a 2020 season. I get a lot of e-mail from fans who say, "Just keep it simple --no '20 season. Come back in '21. I can live with that."

OK, I care. But not as much as I thought I would.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: PowerBoater69] #605461
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Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
What do you expect from the Washington Post?


Politics is only half of it for me. Would often complain to my bosses about the idiots in the editorial depts where i worked (broadcast, newspaper, etc). Not about politics, but about sh!t they did (or didnt do) that would cost me and my colleagues there money.




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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605462
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Q: MLB and the can of gas
Not a sympathizer of either the owners or players. But to me, the MLBPA needs to be careful of what line in the sand they draw. If they persist to insist that they get full salary this season (deferred or otherwise) for a sub-162 game season, than they are basically saying: "Sure, the country is approaching 20% unemployment, and fans, front office staff, minor leaguers, basically EVERYONE IN THE COUNTRY has been impacted by this pandemic with layoffs, pay cuts, furloughs, et al. But we're digging our heels in for full salaries just because we should" -- ?! -- most of the players are not old enough to remember the fallout from the '95 strike. They are playing with matches and gasoline here. If there is no season - but the NFL, NBA, NHL, and college sports DO play this season - it will make them look even more like Ebenezer Scrooge. And I will make it a point to cancel my season tickets and make sure neither the players or owners get a DAMN CENT FROM FOR ME for as many years as it takes. And I'll feel REAL GOOD doing it, too.

A: Thomas Boswell
This is a very well framed counter-argument to a previous chatter's post --the one to which I answered, "Thanks, Marvin (Miller)."

Players AND owners should look at BOTH of these types of sentiments because both are strongly felt and both will have damaging repercussions for MLB if there is no season when/if it seems that there could/should been one.

IOW, if there is no season because of money-fighting the game will get blown up FROM BOTH SIDES.

It could be one of the few hot topics in '20 on which >90% of Americans can agree: Baseball is out of its mind if it doesn't settle its problems when everybody else has much BIGGER problems.

(They CAN'T be this dumb. Even I don't think they are this dumb. And part of my job for almost all of my adult life --from early labor fights to the canceled '94 World Series through PEDs and now Astros cheating-- was to cover "MLB dumb.")

— JUN 01, 2020 1:15 PM


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605473
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To date:

1. Owners propose 81 game schedule.
2. MLBPA counters with a 112 game schedule.
3. Late yesterday: owners apparently discussing dropping the 81 game schedule idea to a 50 game schedule. Which is basically a F**K You at the players' 112 game idea.

The problem with the 50 game proposal for the owners is simple: if you say playing MORE games will make you lose MORE money, than why propose the 81 game schedule in the first place? MLBPA will use that against them in the media.

Both sides will posture til the hard deadline, and even that will probably be extended. Both sides can go to hell, especially the players.





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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605479
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The sides can posture all they want, I just wish they did it behind closed doors, making this dispute public makes both sides look bad. The players were dopes for suggesting the 112 games. How do they expect more games to make more money when the stands are empty?

I'm waiting to make a decision on whether to take the refund or the 2021 credits but watching the rich owners fight with the rich players really makes me want to pull my cash out.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605484
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With proratred salaries, the 50-or-so game schedule would get the salaries down to the level the owners had originally proposed, while letting the players claim they got their prorated salary. Clever, but a bad idea.

If the owners say they'll lose money, open the books and prove it.

Right now, both the owners and players are destroying the game. Is it time to start taking another look at the antitrust exemption?


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: TBP] #605495
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Originally Posted by TBP
With proratred salaries, the 50-or-so game schedule would get the salaries down to the level the owners had originally proposed, while letting the players claim they got tehir prorated salasy. Clever, but a bad idea.

If the owners say they'll lose money, open the books and prove it.

Right now, both the owners and players are destroying the game. Is it time to start taking another look at the antitrust exemption?


Yep, the issue is tying the salaries to the number of games, the numbers don't work when there are no ticket sales, but the rich Boras players don't care they just want their money.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605496
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Open the books, my ass. The owners are not destroying the game to the extent that the players threaten to. You have a business where a HUGE chunk of dollars is gone because paying customers are prohibited. That's a legit concern to the owners. No one knew back in March that there would be fan-less games. But the players to this point want to be paid like it's a 162 game season: "We want ALL of the gain and NONE of the pain".


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: PowerBoater69] #605525
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Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
Yep, the issue is tying the salaries to the number of games, the numbers don't work when there are no ticket sales, but the rich Boras players don't care they just want their money.


That + all of their BS "concern" about catching COVID. Yeah, so concerned about it that they proposed a 112 game season that pushes the playoffs into late November, when the flu season is surging. Bro, I'm risking my life.

Owners are saying the season will finish in October. No November baseball, it's flu season then. MLBTradeRumors.com excerpt: the league has concerns that additional spikes in COVID-19 cases could jeopardize the postseason, where they’d stand to make considerable revenue from national television broadcasts (particularly with an expanded playoff field).




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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605528
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I could see the World Series going into November in a neutral location. I think that 50 games is fine for the regular season but it would be int to have 112, with daily double headers. I'd have to set up a TV in my office.

Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605530
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Owners definitely taking note of this: 2 players in Japan just tested Covid positive on the FIRST day of EXHIBITION baseball there. Both quarantined. Bro, I’m not playing unless I get mine


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605532
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The owners rejected the players' offer and don't plan on making a counteroffer. They may just implement the schedule they want.

This is a bad sign, not only for 2020, but long-term.


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605533
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The latest, widely expected step in the exhausting back-and-forth between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association became official today, as the league has formally rejected the union’s proposal for a 114-game season with prorated salaries, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets.

Moreover, the league has no plans to even extend a counter-proposal.

The commissioner’s office has begun speaking with owners about implementing a shortened season, Rosenthal adds, and hopes to have similar talks with the union (rather than a negotiation regarding season length).

Owners contend that ommissioner Rob Manfred can seek to unilaterally impose a shortened season if the union won’t budge from its prorated salary demands, and it appears that’s where they’re leaning, per the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. Either a 48- to 54-game season with fully prorated salaries or an 82-game season at less than prorated salaries are under consideration.

-- MLBTradeRumors.com excerpt


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Re: Possible Salary Reduction for Players [Re: SilverFox1] #605534
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Blake Snell can suck on a pro rata pay system and like it.


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