MLB has about a week to save the 2020 season

According to STATS, yesterday was the first Memorial Day without a Major League Baseball game since 1880. Yep, it was quiet around MLB on Monday, but hopefully the days we can say that about are dwindling.

This is a huge week to determine if there will be a 2020 season. The players and owners will talk money this week and they probably only have days to resolve any differences. There seems to be an unofficial June 1 deadline on such talks. So get it done now or never if they want spring training to resume in June and the season to begin in early July.

The owners suggesting a 50-50 revenue split seems fair to me. Former player Mark Teixeira even said that would provide the players a larger share than normal. I have no idea if he is right and the players’ union objects strongly to this plan.

Camden Yards daytime.jpgNow it appears the owners may move on from that plan and present something different to the players this week, according to The Athletic. The owners’ side, per The Athletic, has presented some economic and revenue documentation to the players and there has been some opening of the so-called books. But those with more knowledge of this than me contend one major issue is simply determining what actually should be counted as revenue and what should not. There are some very blurred lines.

The owners are expected today to back off the 50-50 plan and provide the players something else to consider and hopefully agree on. What this is exactly, I’ve seen no reports about. We should learn more later this week.

I do hope and actually believe that both sides understand the damage that would be done by having this blow up over money right now. I will say with cautious optimism that my guess is that both will work together this week for an agreement suitable to both sides. It can’t be that hard, can it?

A bigger concern for the sport is what now seems like considerable mistrust between these sides after years of labor peace. And the current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season.

In November 2013, then-executive director of the players’ union Michael Weiner died of cancer. On his watch, three labor agreements were negotiated with little contention. It was said he didn’t have a hard edge to labor talks, as Marvin Miller and Don Fehr before him. But sadly Weiner is gone and the good will between these sides may be as well.

Are we really back to constantly worrying about this distrust and suspicion in the game? The sport is now a nearly $11 billion industry. Again, why is it so hard to work this out so each do well and are happy?

Baseball in Japan: Another pro baseball league is about to start. Nippon Professional Baseball will begin a new season in Japan on June 19 and will follow leagues in Taiwan and South Korea that have begun their seasons.

The league had been set for a March 20 opening day. Now NPB expects to play 120 games, reduced from the regular 143. The games will begin without fans in attendance. Spring training will run from June 2-14 in the 12-team league.

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