After contentious negotiations, MLB owners have voted on a 60-game season based off of the original agreement signed by the league and the MLBPA on March 26th. Baseball could be back starting on July 1st, when players start reporting to camp; once the union votes on it.
Back in March, the union and the league signed an agreement that allowed commissioner Rob Manfred to unilaterally schedule a season as long as the players were paid prorated salaries. With Manfred and the league now moving forward with that proposal, it seems likely we’ll see some form of baseball on TV.
Outside of the potential start date for an abbreviated Spring Training, there isn’t a lot that’s clear about how the 60-game season would move forward. It seems likely that they’ll do the spring training (without intersquad games) at the home stadium in the home city. Then roll into the season on July 24th with the playoffs still being around October and no All Star game.
What I do have to appreciate about the MLB’s statement is that its also going to make sure that the players approve (and understand) the league’s updated health and safety protocols. This is smart because it gives the players a chance to weigh in on if baseball and its teams are doing enough to protect them. For once, in these negotiations, the league isn’t just attempting to flex its power in order to get the players to submit.
Fortunately, it seems like the players are going to approve this proposal.
The negotiations on the return of baseball between the MLB and MLBPA have been an absolute cluster fuck as the union has tried to hold the league to it’s original signed agreement from back in March. But the $10.5 billion league kept trying to cut cost due to anticipated revenue loss from a lack of game day revenues in the stadium. Understandably, the players were not happy with the idea of getting their salaries cut even more than would happen under the original prorated agreement.
These cuts the league was offering were on top of the dramatic cuts that were made to minor league rosters, since there is a 99.999% chance we won’t see those teams play this year (no TV contracts to off set the loss in game day revenue). It was unacceptable that the league was trying to maneuver like this and flex its power during a pandemic; which led to the players uniting in a manor that has seldom been seen at any of the pro-sports leagues in a long time.
While we will get baseball back this year, the contentious negotiations between the players and the league seem to indicate we are going to be inf or a rough CBA negotiation during the winter that could significantly impact the 2021 season.