One way to see it was that a former player abandoned the interests of the current baseball players. That is probably how most took the comments on ESPN yesterday by former New York Yankee Mark Teixeira, someone not very well liked by Orioles fans.
The Severna Park native essentially sided with the owners in what appears to be a brewing dispute with players as the sides try to hammer out plans to have a 2020 season. Owners have reportedly approved a proposal of 82 games with seven playoff teams in each league to start in early July. The season would at least initially begin without fans. Now they are presenting that to the players’ union, a process that began yesterday and will continue.
An agreement by the sides reached in late March had players accepting prorated salaries for 2020 based on how many games could be scheduled. If an 81-game schedule were to be set, for instance, they would get 50 percent of their pay.
The union is balking at taking any less than that, something the owners seem to be proposing over lost revenues that would be a result of games without fans.
“This is unprecedented in the history of the Major League Baseball Players Association,” Teixeira said yesterday. “And every other year, I would stand together and say, ‘The owners aren’t going to do this to us and we’re going to get paid our full fare. If I’m going to put myself out there, I’m going to get paid a full day’s wage.’
“The problem is that you have people all over the world taking pay cuts. Losing their jobs, losing their lives. This is the one time that I would advocate for the players accepting a deal like this. A 50-50 split of revenues is not that crazy. If you boil it down to what the players usually get from a revenue standpoint, it’s actually lower than 50 percent of the baseball revenue for a full season.”
The proposed 82-game season has created some other questions.
Why didn’t they resolve this money issue in the earlier agreement?: It seems the prospect of games with no fans was either not fully addressed in the earlier agreement or not to the satisfaction of both sides. They seem to disagree over language in the agreement.
Whether there is some 50-50 revenue split or whatever is decided, it seems right now that bickering over a money split by Major League Baseball players and owners is a bad idea. Having it stand between having a season or not would be a public relations disaster.
Both sides have already made some concessions and perhaps more are needed to work this out. MLB agreed that players would get a full year’s worth of service time if the entire season was cancelled. They also advanced players some of their salaries for April and May. The players agreed to take a prorated portion of their pay if fewer than 162 games are on the schedule.
It seems both sides are in better financial shape than most of the fans that love baseball. It’s time to take the pie and decide how best to slice it up without pointing fingers or assessing blame. Just my two cents.
Will there be a trade deadline?: It would certainly seem so, although I haven’t seen any details on it. The trade deadline in the past has been July 31 and there is no longer an Aug. 31 deadline if players clear waivers. So the deadline was about two-thirds of the way through the season. If the 2020 season were to be 82 games, 55 games would be about two-thirds of the way through that.
But here is a thought: Don’t have a trade deadline in a shortened 2020 season. If someone wants to trade for a player with a week to play, let them do it. Under the old rules, they could acquire a player with just four weeks to go anyway.
How would more playoff teams change things?: In a shortened season, it could and would likely keep more teams in the playoff hunt. A team that might have only the 10th- or 11th-best record in the American League, for instance, could be in the hunt until very late in the year.
Speaking of trades, as we just were, this could mean if there is a deadline that there are more buyers than sellers. This could play into the favor of a rebuilding team like the Orioles that could be looking to move established talent for future talent.
“If [a potential 2020 MLB season] blows up over money, they will lose fans that they will never get back. And they will deserve it.”@Espngreeny and @teixeiramark25 are urging MLB players to accept the return-to-play proposal. pic.twitter.com/npOuO4kOFT-- Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 12, 2020