By Rich Mancuso The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com
“Baseball is in major trouble without a season.” Doc Gooden said that Friday morning. And as the clock ticks with optimism and pessimism the 2020 baseball season is running out of time.
Gooden said to TheNYExtra.com “I would get an arbitrator, It’s becoming personal. They have to do what is best for baseball. It almost has to be from a fans standpoint. Can’t see them risking not having a season.”
And the reality, as much as we don’t want to hear this, baseball is in trouble if they don’t play. You can debate, as I do, about 50, 60, 70 games does not constitute a real and legitimate baseball season. You can debate who is right or wrong here when it comes to MLB and the players position about the specifics.
But you can’t dispute that fans want baseball.
You can’t dispute that the players want to get on the field and fight about now and the future. And it is agreed that we need baseball as that diversion from what has been encountered in this nation the past few months.
All of this is coming down to economics and that is agreed, a percentage of this and that. The amount of games means more money for the players as the owners continue to lose revenue with every game and stadiums in the dark,
“I wish I had the information as to why the owners are against more games and more opportunity to increase revenue,” Carlos Torres said when contacted.
The former Mets right-hander, veteran with six teams and a free agent is also waiting on the sidelines. He continues to throw by his home in Kansas with hopes he can latch on to a team that may need an extra pitcher. If, and when rosters are constructed a spot could come with a taxi squad that has been discussed with a truncated schedule of games.
“I’m just looking forward to owners telling the players when and where they need to report so I can fight for a job,” he said. “ Players have been ready to play for months now.”
Friday and the stalemate continues. No arbitration, back-and forth they go, and one reported face-to-face with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark.
We heard Wednesday from Clark. 60 games and expanded playoffs this year and next.
“We believe this this offer represents the basis for an agreement on a resumption of play,” Clark said.
But his membership on Thursday proposed a 70-game schedule and that was rejected by Manfred.
Said Gooden, “70-games is fair. Negotiating in public is not good. This year all egos have to be put aside and do what is best for baseball and the fans”
Regardless, there has to be a resolution to this mess. The clock ticks. Players and the owners are looking bad and fans are losing interest with a dismal economy and continued concerns about a global pandemic of the coronavirus that got us here.
Oh, the pandemic. There seems to be minimal focus on the health protocols for players and those that will be in ballparks that will get clearance to be there with no fans in the seats.
Apparently, as one current player said, “Right now we have no problem with the medical protocols But I don’t want to be placed in position of isolation from my family in the event there is a case of COVID.”
There is also that extreme and serious situation of a possible second wave of COVID-19 and that could disrupt the game again. Owners have made it a point to conclude play before a possible scenario unfolds.
Friday afternoon ESPN reported that five players and three staff members tested positive for coronavirus at the Phillies and Blue Jays complexes in Clearwater, Florida. The teams have closed their training facilities. .
Florida, suddenly the epicenter of Coronavirus cases, is where numerous teams would hold a limited spring training and home for the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins.
Back to the basics of this baseball debate. It has obviously come down to economics and that always seems to be the probable cause in previous labor wars with MLB and the players.
And in the event 50-games becomes a season, with Manfred having authority to do so, that means less money for the players as the owners will recoup some of their losses with the television revenue that has put plenty of money in their pockets.
There are also the risks of a 50-game season if players are put in that position to get back on the field.
“50- games, especially a pitcher,” Gooden said. That’s possibly nine starts and risking major injury. As a fan, I don’t care if it’s 20-games. A pitcher. it’s a risk.”
However the risk now is the game of baseball and losing a 2020 season that would have severe implications.
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