Tag: mlbpa

Take Your Pick: Players Or The Owners? by Rich Mancuso /The New York Extra/

When boxing promoters begin the process of a mega fight the negotiations of earnings begins at a 50/50 split. There are other elements in the process as they bargain and usually it becomes a 60/40 split with both camps.

With Major League Baseball, and the process of starting an abbreviated season, the process is getting more complicated as it pertains to revenue for the players and owners. 

Blame the baseball politics now on COVID-19 and the pandemic. Boxing, of all sports, well that depends on who you want to believe when the negotiations conclude with their politics. 

Basically, and as you have heard with MLB and the players, this is about economics with the billion dollar owners wanting it their way and the mega million ball players looking at it another way.

And they can’t come to an agreement about a split. 

There is a major division here.  Each day passes with that question of when, where.  How would they commence a different 2020 baseball season with economics as the answer?

Though it should be safe first. with proper testing and protocol to assure that players, coaches, umpires, and other personnel are not at risk of the coronavirus. Instead, it goes back to the question, who wants what? Is it greed of the players or the owners?

Regardless, we all want baseball. We need that diversion. But, this has to be done the proper way, if not there is no way.

A prorated rate of 82 games, projected to be half of the players salaries was negotiated in March with players and MLB and that concludes in two weeks.,  informed by sources in the players union, would need to return that money received if and when an abbreviated season begins and that’s one of the issues that gets more complicated.

And to the multi-million dollar contract player that does not appear to hurt them in the pocket. To the minimal salary player, that amounts to a major difference. To you, the fans, who would be shut out of the ballparks, it’s both parties racking in revenue.

It’s about those hurting and fighting to put food on the table that are more important than baseball and all sports at this point of time. That, my friends, is more important than playing the game of baseball and a labor war that is developing into a clash between billionaires and millionaires.

Safety, though, as one insider said to this columnist is more important.

“Other than filling the pockets of owners who are safe at home watching the games, it is not going to get the economy going or help the blue collar workers who still will not be back at their jobs. If one person, player, a team personnel becomes infected, is it worth it? What’s the hurry?”

“So they put another asterisk in the history books. It will be a flea on a mountain as far as the important things in baseball history.”

Yes, baseball should not be a priority at this point. The issue of economics and position of bargaining with another contract for players and owners is not the priority.

And when some of the top names in the sport offer their opinion, as they did Thursday, believe me, it’s not only about the money, rather the safety of players and their families along with other personnel.

Something is being said that a certain person in the White House is dictating moves telling the owners to get the economy moving. But that is simply my opinion. 

“Don’t know what else they can do with the safety.” said a NL insider.    “Think they will play, but if they don’t adhere to the agreement made in March about prorated the players won’t play.”

In the meantime, there have been discussions of starting a second spring training in a matter of weeks. Players have been informed to stay in shape and prepare. 

One player contacted said, “They are not telling you that they don’t replace the 83 percent of our salaries we spend on hotels and food.” 

Others contacted said, they want to play but safety was more important to them and their families. In other words, money to them is important but not the issue here. A majority, as one said, “are not for this proposal.” 

So payment of a split that would go more to the owners does not seem fair. Then again, we should not be in this discussion when a pandemic has caused many to lose jobs and not knowing what the future holds. 

Players have been informed to not sweat in locker rooms.  Spitting would not be allowed for safety issues, difficult for a ballplayer because they are creatures of habit.  

Teams would play in home ballparks with no fans if permitted. And of course, no fans means revenue lost from ticket sales, concessions, and parking. 

As of Friday, no word about opening up cities that are major markets to baseball  including  New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit. Toronto and the Canadian border is closed, so the Blue Jays would play at their spring training base in Dunedin Florida.

The Mets and Yankees have a reported contingency plan. They could  possibly play home games at spring training complexes in  Tampa and Port St. Lucie Florida.

Designated hitters in both leagues, a 14-game postseason, games against divisional and regional opponents, expanded rosters to 30 as proposed  is not the issue.  

“There is no minor league system,” said the insider.” That could be an issue if a roster player is not available to play due to injury. 

The amateur draft, scheduled for early next month, is also a question and would be reduced to five rounds. The owners did not want that.  

So it is back to this issue of a season or a lost one. The Marlins and Tampa Bay have furloughed most of their employees and suspended their health plans. That is also an issue.

An issue because it has that impact regarding the well being of office personnel, scouts, and those who are the forefront of a Major League Baseball franchise.

 MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said on CNN Thursday night,” And if we don’t play a season, the  losses for the owners could approach $4 billion.”

The owners, he said, feel that it is important for the game to be played. 

Yeah, this isn’t boxing and more complicated for baseball when it comes to a split. Who would have ever thought this would be so difficult? 

Not a player will take less money and that seems to be the overall consensus. If they want to play the economics of this will happen. Remember, though, proper safety protocols are more important.

And more importantly, the general public does not want to hear about who is right or wrong here.  But the owners have the money and can give in if they want their game to be played. 

Comment:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso


Logistics Say MLB Plan To Resume Can’t Be Possible

Logistics say that Major League Baseball games being played in Arizona  will be difficult to save the 2020 season. In other words this is complicated towards gearing for a June 1 start.

Lets be realistic here. The Coronavirus Pandemic has not reached that Apex. That is  a word we have all become accustomed to hearing and opinions vary as to what account is reliable.  It’s a day-by-day basis and of course safety is the issue.

You hear the word safe. You hear about keeping distance and staying home as we play baseball and sports to provide that diversion. Major League Baseball , though, with a plan to have all 30 teams play ball in Arizona in reality is a delusion.

As of Tuesday, and after a reported proposal was made Monday, their goal was to find a way to salvage the 2020 season. MLB reportedly is looking at all options with contingency plans, if anything, the idea has fans and the baseball world talking.

They, like me and you, want the season to start. Again, with a national health crisis, and never at this magnitude, we leave decisions to the medical authorities. Until they say otherwise normal business will not proceed. 

So with players and personnel, all home and in isolation, where do we go from here?  Reportedly, the MLBPA and MLB are in talks. Don’t expect any agreement and anytime soon. 

And a prevailing attitude here is this will go nowhere. It is just a buzz to keep fans interested. Major League Baseball, the owners, yes they are losing significant revenue. In the end, they will recover with their losses as owners have that security to do so.

If you ask this observer, after speaking to players and others involved in the game, the logistics are easy to understand and safety is the first issue as to why this proposal is absurd. 

Players are getting paid for two months as per agreement. The contracts for the most part are secured, but they are getting hit in the pocket and not getting the full.  

Locally, and with New York as the epicenter of this Coronavirus, don’t expect baseball in 2020. Regardless if the numbers go down, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium will remain dark. It is simple to understand that we are at risk even when this crisis abates and with no vaccine in site. 

The Mets have scattered to their homes around the country. Their spring training and minor league complexes  in Port St. Lucie Florida is closed. Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Dom Smith, Marcus Stroman, they are across the state in Tampa and finding a way to stay in baseball shape.

J.D. Davis, after a light workout Monday, packed the car with his wife and began their cross-country drive home to Elk Grove California. He, like other players, contacted by had doubts about the MLB concept. 

J.D. Davis at the Thurman Munson Award Dinner /Feb 6 2020/neil Miller/ The New york Extra/ copyright 2020

“It would be interesting, don’t know if it’s doable.” Davis said as he continued his journey across Texas.

There are concerns about placing 30 teams in hotels, limited number of venues that are minor league complexes, and summer weather extremes of heat in the desert.

“It’s such a big group to quarantine,” he said.  

There is that possible risk of a player or two testing positive for the virtus. In that unlikely event it would be players, families, a member of the coaching staff, umpires, stadium staff, and all  under quarantine. If so, the season is halted and it’s a question of why the risk?

“If the rosters expand, too many numbers, too many people,” Davis said. “All I can do is keep my body in shape and be ready if we get the call as if this was the offseason.”

And players would need another two to three weeks of spring training. You have to get them in place with many in Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. 

Though, Davis would not commit to saying yes or no to the MLB plan. He had yet to read any of the proposed formats. Some of the formats to save the season  would include no fans, players keeping distance, no use of the dugouts, a robot umpire at home plate, and numerous double-headers of seven inning games. 

None of this seems logical, And how would owners divide any revenue? Gate receipts and concessions are a major revenue source. Television networks would fulfil their billion dollar agreements with MLB, but the assumption is this would be at a lower scale.

05/18/16 Washington Nationals vs NY Mets at Citifield Queens NY Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez #47 pitches in the 4th innning Neil Miller/The New York Extra/ copyright 2020

“ Not logical, not making sense,” said White Sox pitcher Gio Gonzaelz when reached by phone at his home in the Miami area. “The world is out as a whole right now. It’s scary. It’s not fun. They don’t know how far this is going to go.  We all love baseball and want to be realistic.”

He added there is also that concern about a quarantine. “What am I going to do with my kids, my family? I’m not a robot, I’m not a lab rat.”   

Yes, the logistics of this are a concern. And with minor league systems also dark the need for a roster spot may not be possible in the event a player or two goes down with an injury. 

In the end, MLB is looking to provide that diversion. It worked after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. But this is so much different. We are fighting a war that has no remedy at the moment.

As one high ranking scout, also sitting on the sidelines said, “logistically it’s trying to go to the moon in a volkswagon  Too many obstacles.”  

Comment:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso