Since the league shutdown in mid-March, the looming question hanging over Major League Baseball has been one of how a positive test or tests among players and coaches would be handled. Even earlier this week, as the league presented the the Players Association with a proposal to return to play, that aspect remained a critical unknown. This morning, Jared Diamond and Louise Radnofsky of the Wall Street Journal shed some light on those matters, reporting that MLB’s proposal would see players tested multiple times per week.
Major League Baseball, per the WSJ report, is confident in its ability to gain access to tens of thousands of test kits without depleting the supply available to essential frontline workers. The specifics of that arrangement aren’t clear, and detractors will surely argue that multiple tests per week for athletes, coaches, training staff and umpires could be better allocated. Granted, testing capacity is on the rise and could look markedly different by the time play resumes. Diamond and Radnofsky also write that the league will focus on acquiring primarily 24-hour tests as opposed to more immediate, rapid-result tests.
That, of course, comes with its own potential for pitfalls; an asymptomatic player, coach or umpire who tests positive would still have been in contact with others for a full day before learning of the diagnosis under that scenario. Paired with going a day or multiple days between tests, it’s not hard to envision infections spreading quickly.
Notably, Diamond and Radnofsky underline that a positive test would not result in a stoppage of play under the current proposal. Any person or persons who test positive would be immediately quarantined, while those who’d been in contact will be more closely monitored. Specifics on the protocol for contact tracing and increased or more aggressive testing in the wake of a positive test remain unknown.
With all that in mind, it’s not particularly surprising to see SNY’s Andy Martino cite an unnamed agent who states that there’s “no question” some players will opt not to play in 2020. He adds that no specific proposals on how exemptions for at-risk players would be handled — a debate that carries its own set of intricacies regarding service time and salary.
Some players with heightened risk due to underlying medical conditions have recently voiced a willingness to play, but others have been more outspoken about their concern. There are also many players with underlying conditions that aren’t public knowledge, to say nothing of family members and loved ones who could be at greater risk. Concerns figure to be prominent among coaching staffs as well, where numerous personnel are in their 60s and 70s — some with more troubling medical concerns.
Of course, there’s no situation where play resumes and the risk is wholly eliminated. The goal is to dramatically reduce the risk, and regular testing coupled with temperature checks and other regulations will work toward that end. In the Korea Baseball Organization, there’s been a ban on spitting, high fives and handshakes. Similar restrictions will likely be put in place in MLB, and although strictly enforcing them will be difficult, the players know it’s in their best interest to work to curtail those habits. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes that players and personnel will be discouraged from using rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, and they’ll also be advised against signing autographs and taking pictures with fans at their hotels.
MLB is also wary of the potential for another notable wave of virus cases in the fall and winter, Nightengale adds, which is why the league ultimately scrapped a plan that would’ve seen postseason play push into December. The aim now is for an 82-game season with an expanded, 14-team postseason format that can be concluded in early November.
The health component is the most important piece of negotiations between the league and the players union — although it’s certainly not the only one. The two sides still need to reach some kind of agreement on salary, and players appear loath to accept a revenue sharing system that would represent even greater reductions than the prorated salaries to which they already agreed back in March.
No pay? No play. It’s that simple. Time to couch up the dough, greedy scumbag owners. Funny how you didn’t want to revenue share when you all got $50,000,000 checks from Disney a few years ago when MLBAM was sold! You didn’t do it then, you’re not doing it now.
Wonder what the players will say when the Owners come back and say they will lose less money if the season is canceled…players may have a different opinion if they aren’t going to be paid at all.
Billionaires owners that make hundreds of millions of dollars from their teams. They handed out these big guaranteed contracts and should have to legally pay a prorated amount based on games played. Some states are opening up to allow pro sports now… so if the league cancels to save money aren’t they just asking for a massive lawsuit from the MLBPA?
They legally can play when the states open up. Refusing to put a team on the field so you don’t have to pay guaranteed contracts is akin to breach of contract. Isn’t it?
It’s a tough situation… but owning a baseball team isn’t anyone’s career. It’s a hobby for billionaires. Lots of people lose money on their hobbies and I don’t feel bad for the owners here…. especially because most franchises have grown greatly in value over the last couple decades.
thor would look better in red
so to you point. owners suck and will continue to suck bc they sucked when the game began and they have sucked money out of everyone involved for years. now it is more profitable to compete and almost make the playoffs than make a run for it and hurt your margins next year. but aside from all of that, what about the minor leagues? will they be able to start playing as well? this is not a question of how are 30 teams going to play a season. this is a questions of how are 200 teams going to play a season. these logistics seem to be left out of the bargaining as well.
They’ll call out the owners for their lies
Maybe players saying “ok, fine, no go. Let us harm the brand and expose everyone’s greed”. The way the owners have positioned themselves here displays how they are absolutely more savvy than the players and union, but also definitely more cutthroat.
One of the few common sense comments I’ve seen. Remarkable the hate owners are receiving.
Does it go the other way around too? No play? No pay.
Absolutely it should.
If a relatively safe environment is created and a player opts out then no pay and no service time for them this season. But if they do play they should get a full prorated salary for the year.
This seems fair to me. Don’t think the union and owners agree with me though.
Players already agreed to if the season is cancelled they will be paid 4%. So hope Snell likes making 300k instead 7.5 million
36 million unemployed people right now and Snell is a tone deaf idiot and that’s putting it mildly.
how so? why are you forcing him to work for your entertainment? you’re not his boss, so sit down Jabroni.
10% of the country is unemployed right now. Apparently you and Blake are both idiots. If doesn’t want to play, fine don’t play but STFU about it “not worth it” nonsense when many folks are hurting. God you’re an idiot.
If the leagues opens and guys choose not to play, then I can see them not earning money. The owners leaked this info to the press, so the players can look like bad guys. It’s a business move, and it’s working. All the owners are rich. All. The low end teams are worth a quarter billion. Players that are fringe MLB players (about a 20-25% of guys) make around the league minimum, for the days they are on the 40 man. If they can accumulate 10 years of service, they will have a pension and insurance. This is more about those guys. The super wealthy owners can take a hit. Eric Kratz can’t.
4% can you cite your source? That’s a number I hadn’t seen before.
I thought the deal was that the players get $170 million, no matter what. It is a pro-rated salary based on the number of games played, with the guarantee of a floor of $170M.
Nope, it’s 4% if the season is cancelled entirely.
You know what? You are right. I don’t know why but I thought that the $170M represented a larger piece of the pie.
$170 million is 4% of $4.25 billion
Ridiculous comment. Why should the owners pay normal game pay if there’s no ticket, parking, concession sales
Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean it’s ridiculous, unless you’ve been wrong zero times. They signed a guaranteed contract. Guaranteed. Why does prince fielder get his full money? He hasn’t played a game in 3-4 years. He’ll be the highest paid player in the league this year if the players agree to half their salaries.
Do you know a thing about running a business? Owners have NO fans coming to the stadium. Revenues LESS expenses is operating profit and you can’t run a business that has no profit.
Do you think fans in seats are the only source of revenue for owners?
I support the owners. A 50/50 split of the revenue is reasonable. Players need to quit being so greedy. Next year…I will support the players, but not if they do not give the fans some baseball this year. Fans do not like greed. This is what I am seeing from the players in this case. I am reasonable. I usually side with the players, but not this time.
what do you mean “no Pay” Joshua? That makes no sense
LOL They should have read what they were signing thoroughly.
maybe they should test players at the start and end of each series. that may decrease the strain on testing but also afford some clarity over who else may have been infected by a positive testing player.
Not a bad idea. Definately test before they travel
That’s a good idea. Have longer series and test at the end of every series. One day off between series. If players practice social distancing, I would think the risk is relatively small.
If players act responsibly, they shouldn’t have a problem. But all it takes is one.
But if a player doesn’t want to take that risk, he has my blessing.
So how does social distancing apply when a player is on first and they are holding him. He advances to second, the SS has to give him 6 feet. Gets to 3rd and the 3rd baseman cannot get within 6 feet of him. Get real!
If players are tested after every series and they practice social distancing away from the parks. They’ll be fine.
They are certainly a lot safer than parents who have to send their kids back to school.
Social distancing doesn’t matter unless you’re immunocompromised.
If players are tested at the end of every series, then have a day off, the only way they’ll pass it around is if someone in that group doesn’t social distance. If they players go out at night (or day) then every player is at risk.
They are at much much less risk than a parent that has to send his child to school.
But it’s not just the players, right? Their families too.
There’s the groundskeepers and stadium staff. People who prepare the food, run the hotels, and the shuttle buses. It’s all of those people and their families. It’s dozens of people in addition to the coaches and players.
I’m not saying that it cannot be done. I’m not saying that they should not try. They should definitely try to devise a plan as safe as possible.
Why does Survey Monkey pop up on this post about expansion draft? Anyone else having that happen?
Yes, I was having that issue every time I opened up one of the expansion related articles
Happening to me on every post I open.
you must’ve clicked something after doing one of the expansion polls.
This dispute is about money far more then health. ( read Snell’s comments today).
Oh yeah, it definitely came off about money with Snell…but I wonder if he’s okay not getting paid if the season is canceled
Some players will opt to not play.
Cool. They either get paid a rate proportional to games played in 2020 or receive service time based on 2019. Their choice.
That’s fine if you don’t want to play cause of underlying conditions you have or your immediate family has….but to be paid full salary and be given service time? Nope.
Agreed players should be able to opt out.
I’d say no pay and no service time though.
Agree but I don’t see the Mlbpa agreeing to no pay and no service time especially if it’s a medical reason involved.
Course doctors should be able to “clear” players and family and sign off on exemptions.
Best mlb will get I think is giving the players a choice if they sit out for medical reasons.
yeah i think there needs to be a choice, especially for the players with certain health conditions
There will be no season.
Stop trying to play the what if’s , and we do it this way’s. This is not something you catch and get a shot in your ass and it’s all ok. Cancel the season, act responsibly and stop the patch work nonsense.
To be fair they have to look into every option out there. information is changing quickly. They, like everyone else is just trying to get back to some normal resemblance. I agree, for the safety of everyone involved the season should be canceled along with NBA and NHL.
I agree also. Too many scenarios where this could blow up. Seems like an accident waiting to happen. Risk vs. Reward. Just call it a day, and hope for a normal 2021 season.
While your comments aren’t incorrect, a lot of people saying cancel the season assume this virus will just go away eventually. This will have lasting effects for years to come. Planning for a 2020 may help setup a future 2021 season. The world will be forever changed by this pandemic. Canceling the season without any kind of discussion doesn’t help anyone. I’m not saying they should force a 2020 season, but I think it’s important to think of potential plans to act on in the future.
Because let’s face it! Most MLB players live in nursing homes in NYC!
I think the idea of testing at the start and end of each series is a good idea.
Just to be a b-buster, tell Blake Snell to grow a pair, SISSY, ur young , ur chances are slim to none u will get it , sniveling puke punk , he probably sits down when he owes to LOL
are you 12?
so you’re gonna go volunteer at your local hospital then? you don’t need a mask right?
what a bad comment, absolutely laughable
Just cancel the whole season. I’m fed up with all this crap.
Just want to say here that I am enjoying my time with the KBO so far and recommend giving it a shot..
Actually went to a Hanshin Tigers (yes, I am fully aware that Japan is not Korea) game back in 2006/2007ish and had a great time. They played the Chunichi Dragons and I still remember Tyrone Woods, who was an absolute beast that year. The fan experience is unparalleled and totally unlike the MLB (outisde of smaller pockets of enthusiastic fans).
More importantly, I think KBO has a better chance of salvaging this season than MLB for so many reasons.
I think we should allow Blake Snell make the decision for us.
My interested in MLB this season is fading now that I can watch UFC fights and the KBA.
Stop forcing these “pick x players to protect”
14-day coronavirus IL
I’m avid sports fan and very much dissapointed on how some of these mlb players are acting. There are several of us who have taken big pay cuts to keep our jobs and still have to daily go out into the public and work with the public. They will be taken care of way better than we are and their risk is alot lower than ours. It true to say that all these years our role models and heroes should of been doctors, nurses and all those who show up to work everday no matter what is happening in the world and not athletes who are worried about losing money on a paycheck.
You are correct, doctors, nurses and others should be our heroes. But that has nothing to do with this situation. The money is going to be there, why should it go to the owners who are assuming zero risk vs. the players who are assuming at least some risk? The players did agree to take paycuts based on games played. That should be enough. The owners are just being greedy now.
it’s a bit hypocritical of you to compare their situation to yours, but go on with that false equivalency.
you’re telling me if you were in their position you happily take another pay cut just because your boss is demanding it. Hell why don’t we tell your boss you’ll take another pay cut at your current job, you seem to be so comfortable volunteering the wages of other laborers.
Let’s take this step by step:
1. There is a certain amount of $ that one needs to simply exist. Food, shelter, clean water, reasonable healthcare expenses, etc. The amount varies by location but there is a $ figure that represents this amount no matter where you are. For the sake of this discussion, let’s call it $40k a year for an average “household.”
2. The median household income is about $60k.
3. If my household makes $60k a year and is subject to a pay cut of 50%, we are no longer able to sustain ourselves on the $30k and will have to take on debt, or bankruptcy, or etc. etc.
4. If the average MLB player with a salary of about $3.8 million takes a 50% cut in pay, he will be making merely 1.9 million, which is only enough to cover the average household’s yearly $60k salary for about 30 years.
5. Nobody is asking players to take a cut because the owners want them to (though this argument is easy to win, so I can see why you straw-manned it right in).
6. For me, it would be nice if they did negotiate in good faith via some kind of revenue sharing of whatever $ flows in. Us non-millionaires are absolutely, inarguably in a worse position to endure this than the average $4m per year baseball player. 50% is life and death, not merely an inconvenience.
I absolutely would accept some kind of revenue sharing arrangement if I were a $3.8m player discussed above. Whether it’s licensing from merch sold, streaming / broadcast $, or ticket revenue if/when doors open to fans. I don’t know enough about specific $ amounts to say what that split would be. I am asking players to accept such an arrangement not because owners want it, but because this is the situation of the world right now, and fans in far worse condition than themselves would really stand to benefit from some baseball.
Very thoughtful statement, seems fair.
Can you load bullet point 7 for me? That would be the bullet that points out that owners have billion dollar assets and multi million dollar lines of credit available. Many owners likely made cash profits in 2019 and before. Owners didn’t share the $50 million bonus’ that EVERY team received from the sale of MLBAM. Owners can eat this. Owners should eat this. They privatize their profits (as they should) and then try to socialize their losses (which they should not).
its not “just because the boss is demanding it” its because first after being asked to do half the work I would normally do, on top of that, the revenue from which my paychecks come has been cut dramatically. Geez its easy math
Amen. I’m taking a pay cut because my company needs to earn a profit, even if minimal. I have no sympathy for the players
The current battle is about money and has very little to do with how they are going to test and when. If both side can’t agree on how revenue is to be divided, everything else is a mute point.
Where do you get that info? The P.A. has focused on health, testing. MLB said they are working on a plan for testing and players health.
Yes, the revenue issue could scuttle the whole plan but the testing plan is not inconsequential. The players are greatly concerned about the testing plan so it is a good thing to start with. Failure to get an agreement there could also render everything moot (not mute).
If the players are fully behind the health part of this, but the owner’s proposal of pay remains the same, the players won’t play.
Just cancel the season already. It’s mid May. It’s too late. Bag it. It’s a loss. It really sucks but they are never going to agree on something. I don’t want to watch a shortened season. If you won’t the ws in a 80 game season your title is about as good as the Astros title at this point.
Utter bovine feces. There will be plenty of people who will watch a shortened season and the WS title is still the title. They all played under the same rules. You don’t want to watch, then don’t.
baloney, there were 3 shortened seasons in the 80s between baseball and football and those champions have no asterisks, in fact no one ever brings up the fact that they played fewer games
I’d like to see more on the testing plan, but on the surface, weekly tests seems reasonable. No plan to play will be perfectly safe. But frequent testing and isolating positives is a good plan. My hope is that any player who tests positive would simply go on the 15 day DL and quarantined for the duration of his stay on the DL. If it is true they are planning on 30 man rosters and a taxi squad of up to 20 players, they could easily accommodate putting positive testing players on the sidelines for 2 weeks. I would also hope that they would be allowed to put any player who does not want to play under these conditions on the 60 man DL and let them sit the year out, with the caveat that they do not get paid any more than they currently have.
I like the idea mentioned above of testing before each series, self / team isolation during each series, and at least a day off between each series to allow players to see family, friends, etc. and make up for the isolation during each series.
Seems like seeing friends (more than family, but family is a risk in this situation too) one out of seven days would regrettably go a long ways towards negating the purpose of isolation.
Agreed. I don’t know what kind of arrangement would be needed by way of compromise, but I think it’s obvious that a 3-month bubble is not an option.
Players get roughly half of MLB revenue under normal circumstances, but suggesting players get roughly half of MLB revenue under abnormal circumstances is apparently a non-starter. For reference… Depending on the industry payroll is usually something like a quarter of revenue for normal people in the real world.
Manfred and Clark deserve each other.
If this was about health or even the fear of Coronavirus, then the players would have said we are not playing, and not open for discussion. Thank you Blake Snell for letting the cat out of the bag. It is about money.
Snell doesn’t seem too bright. He is essentially saying that he is placing a dollar amount of his health.
A lot of people have money and health risks as part of the equation when it comes to their job.
Everyone does this all of the time.
There will be no season. Snell’s response basically shows that most of the players ONLY care about money. They’re just using the guise of the virus to make themselves look better.
Not sure you can generalize stupid to all players, but I think Snell’s comment sheds light into the level of his thinking skills and values.
Sure they’ll be some that scoff at it due to the risks. My guess is they’re saying this because right now they’re getting paid but that tune might change if the checks stop coming in. I’m sure a few have money put aside so they can sit out if they have to but those guys on the minimum might sweat a bit.
Seems hard to imagine any union would allow management to hold the books and dictate the pay out; and we all know the MLB owners aren’t letting anyone near the books — so, how the hell is there going to be a season?
My gosh. So many frightened people. Yes, the virus is bad but the response to it has been way worse. 36,000,000 unemployed and counting. Here is what we know: The virus has been around and had community spread since at least last September and maybe longer. We didn’t start testing for it until March, and the world collapsed when the media started the all covid all the time coverage. The virus will likely never go away. It is similar in chemistry to the common cold, and we have never been able to develop a vaccine for the common cold. There will likely never be a vaccine for covid. Unless people wake up, bite the bullet and acknowledge that we need to learn to live with the virus, the jobs won’t come back. Sweden had this one exactly right. The only way we will ever end the pandemic is through herd immunity. Everyone is likely going to have the virus, it is only a matter of when. Unless we stop social distancing now, in six months society will collapse. Millions upon millions of people will die, not from the virus, but from the RESPONSE to the virus. The medical ‘experts’ admit they are guessing and do not see the big picture. The politicians have botched this and created an environment of fear. Yes, you the reader should have the right to shelter in place and never go to a ballgame again. This is not just a decision to cancel the MLB season over the money, it is about when we will choose to live our lives instead of proceeding with the utmost fear. This virus has major negative impacts for 1% of the population. The response will have major negative impacts for EVERYONE. I hope you get the mild version when you get it. Open the gates. Let fans decide for themselves if they want to attend. I think people drank the kool aid and baseball will not be played this year. I hope I’m wrong. I keep hearing people say it needs to be ‘safe’. Ha. None of us will ever be safe. The government isn’t going to protect us, and the government is not going to continue to pay everyone’s bills as the Fauci’s of the world focus only on this virus. Which is not nearly as severe as they have made it out to be. At this point the Fauci’s and the politicians are just trying to save face after crying wolf and destroying the world.
This pandemic is no joke ! When you have experienced two people you know under the age of 50 who have passed away with no underlying health issues maybe you will take this seriously.
The deal they are trying to make doesn’t only apply to the players. A lot of the coaches are going to be worried about getting sick as well.
They need to cancel the season and start back up in 2021. That would make the most sense for everyone involved.
BB – “They need to cancel the season and start back up in 2021. That would make the most sense for everyone involved.”
That might make the most sense for you, so when they start allowing fans, you don’t have to go to a game. Not everyone lives with your perspective so don’t expect everyone to live by your perspective. Do what’s right for you.
Amen Bluff. There are two things at play – fear and agenda. Unless you are older, obese, or have an underlying health issue, you will have mild to moderate cold or flu like symptoms. Approximately 60% of those who test positive won’t be symptomatic. The reported numbers are inaccurate. For example, if you had a flu shot, you will test false positive. If you die in the hospital of a heart attack, the hospital gets more money if they report your death being related to COVID. There are opportunities for fraud everywhere in this.
We reacted to grossly inaccurate and exaggerated models and destroyed our economy in the process. If you are high risk, take proper precautions, which are no different than what you would do to avoid the flu. Personal responsibility is still a thing.
The USA is reopening state by state.
I suspect the vast majority are concerned and will stay safe when we reopen.
Manfred said no one will be forced to play.
They will play to empty stadiums.
Life goes on and people are sick of the lock downs and the loss of liberty.
When did flattening the curve become finding a cure?
If someone is unwilling to play don’t, that’s their choice.
If someone doesn’t want to watch then don’t watch, that’s their choice.
But don’t tell those that want to play and those that want to watch that they can’t.
That’s their choice.
That was good up to Sweden, which has a government system in place to help its people through a pandemic, as opposed to us trying to get our minds off its devastation.
Everytime I touch on an article it takes me to surveymonkey. So annoying!!!
From 1 to 10, how would you your annoyance level?
At this point in the pandemic, we’re all experimental animals. Some of us can opt out and hunker down, others can’t (or choose not to). MLB players have the luxury of making that choice. They’re not working in a meat-packing plant. I think a lot of fantasy baseball leagues will be redrafting in a few weeks. Picking a number out of thin air, I’ll venture >25% of the players choose not to play.
Cancel the season. Pay the players half-pay. Sports is not as important as. anything that threatens your life or the lives of others.
So many scared people. You drank the kool-aid. That’s fine. You have the right to be scared and shelter in place forever. It is important to understand, however, that you will NEVER be safe. There will always be viruses. Some much more dangerous than others, and this one that caused the entire world to shut down is bad. It is nowhere near as bad as others, and is much more mild than the societal chaos the response has created. Your life and everyone’s life will be threatened by the upheaval related to the response…oh it’s coming. Good luck. Sports is not important…yet it really is. People having the strength to LIVE with the virus and accept it for what it is are required or society is going to collapse. You stay home, while we go to the ballgames. Seems fair.
And you will come down with it if you keep going out into groups without a care.
There was no kool-aid. The propaganda telling us to go back to business as usual will result in far more health damage AND a bigger depression than could have been avoided.
Chief Wahoo Lives
You’ve got that totally backward. The propaganda is what has been telling us to stay home and away from everyone else and to shut down businesses. The propaganda has been the outright lie that we’ve had over one hundred thousand deaths in the USA.
My dream as a child was to be a Major League Baseball player. Never happened, except in dreams. I like to come home from work in the summer and watch my favorite team (Cincinnati Reds) play baseball. I am still excited this year and hope I can see that great (hopefully) team that they put together play. Love to watch Joey Votto play the game of baseball. They have been through some tough years. Hey! Let’s play ball! Next year, the players can fight like hell about their contracts, but this year, let’s compromise and play ball!