Major League Baseball is reportedly hoping to delay the 2021 regular season until May, which would set the stage for a second consecutive shortened campaign. However, the MLBPA fully plans on returning to a 162-game schedule next year, Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports.
In a statement issued Tuesday, MLBPA senior director of collective bargaining and legal Bruce Meyer said (via Drellich): “We’ve seen anonymous quotes attributed to club sources casting doubt on the start date and length of the season. To be clear, and as we’ve made clear to the league, players are planning on showing up for spring training on time for a full 162-game season as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement and the league’s previously issued schedule.”
At least a couple of the “anonymous quotes” Meyer referred to came from owners, including one who expects a delayed spring training and perhaps a 130 game-season. Depending on whether there are no fans (or at least fewer fans) in the stands next year, that may benefit the owners. However, it’s not going to fly for the union, as players are already coming off a season in which they lost 102 games and had to accept prorated salaries for the 60 they did play. While the union isn’t necessarily against revising the schedule, per Drellich, that’s only if the league manages to play a full 162 in 2021 or if each player at least earns a whole season’s pay.
The league has not yet proposed a truncated schedule to the players, according to Drellich, who notes that MLB has no right to impose a season length under the collective bargaining agreement. As Drellich points, though, there are other complicating factors, including whether Florida and Arizona municipalities will even allow spring training to begin on time. MLB could also suspend the season because of a national emergency, but that would surely lead to more strife between the league and union. That’s the last thing either side needs with the CBA set to expire in December 2021.
Good luck with that. I hope so but I don’t see happening
I see a repeat of 1994 happening
As in a strike mid summer?
Ducky Buckin Fent
Struck in season back in ’81, too.
The MLBPA doesn’t care to get locked out. Not their style.
For those that think the ’22 season is in peril, I’ve some terrible news for you. This upcoming season is equally vulnerable.
I’d’ve just automatically assumed if a strike was going to occur it would have been during the upcoming season. But I think Covid may change that. If the players strike during the season the fan backlash will be overwhelming. They’d be fairly easily portrayed as the Bad Guys.
So that could change things. Hopefully we get whatever kind of season (again) that owners & players can both “live” with.
Long Suffering Mets Fan
If the sides cannot find a way to deal with this amicably and lay the groundwork for the next CBA in terms of willingness to negotiate in good faith, we could see a protracted and bitter CBA negotiation following next season. Any negotiation for this season’s start and duration needs to be completed in a way that establishes goodwill between the two sides. In other words a repeat of last season’s negotiation would be disastrous for the CBA negotiations.
Champion1701…I think it’s a mistake to compare previous year owner/labor issues with ‘20 & ‘21.
A huge factor to owners being open to close to a full stadium is contingent upon fans in the stands. That is dependent upon the availability of the vaccine to the general public.
The vax has few guarantees. Still might have a season with cardboard fans.
You must be in ownerships pockets. NBA is playing indoors right now. But yeah we can’t play baseball outside in 2.5 months.
NBA owners are in a much better situation that MLB owners are for a variety of reasons. The NBA has more lucrative TV contracts than MLB so they depend less on day of game revenues than MLB does. Secondly, the owners and players agreed to a reduced schedule for this season and players agreed to defer some of their salary this year too. They came to this agreement in less than 14 days. Also, NBA payroll is determined by a percentage of league revenues. If revenues go up, players get paid more. Conversely, if revenues go down by a material amount (like they will this year) their CBA allows them to reduce players salaries in the year(s) to come. By having a revenue sharing model, the NBA owners are protected much more than the MLB owners are.
I’m so sick of the distrust between MLB owners and the MLBPA. Owners need to open the books and show players how badly they were hurt last year and what they’ve made (or lost) over the past 5 seasons. The players union needs to agree that if those numbers are bad then they will forgo or defer some of their salaries for the betterment of the game. While a salary cap and revenue sharing model would solve a lot of problems, there’s no way the MLBPA will ever agree to a salary cap, so this is going to get very contentious and ultimately hurt the game. It’s time for both sides to stop acting like children and actually agree to partner with one another for a change. The owner/player’s union relationship is the biggest problem in baseball right now and if they can’t fix it, there’s going to be a lockout this year and probably another next year too as the CBA talks are going to stall. There’s never been a better time for both sides to back down a little bit and finally agree to truly partner with one another. There’s just such a bad history of distrust and hate that I doubt it will happen. They are killing the game.
Dorothy Mancisor I agree with much of your post. Until owners open their books, they’re to be a trusted as much as politicians (especially politicians who don’t make their taxes public)
Cap & Crunch
It’s time for both sides to stop acting like children and actually agree to partner with one another for a change….
Yes yes and yes !! So well said.
Also that 3 rd party Manfred needs an upgrade as well – All 3 arms have to work together- They need a killer like Adam Silver at the wheel but theres blame whichever direction you look-
People need to stop choosing sides as if its just one branches fault this tree is dying- This just allows everyone to run to their corners and pout and no progress ever gets made
I don’t dispute your assertions, but an odd bit of 2020 info here…
The 2020 World Series TV ratings were lowest in memory… yet STILL out-did the NBA Finals. WTH? I watch dozens of regular season MLB games, but I’m only a sporadic World Series viewer. I NEVER watch the NBA and haven’t seen a full game since the Bird/Magic era. Just no interest in the NBA and I have an ex-student of mine who plays for the Nets (a truly exceptional young man named Joe Harris). My viewing habits are in the minority obviously as I never watch NFL games either. Last full NFL game I watched, Unitas was quarterbacking for the ‘Baltimore’ Colts.
Taxes public? You people are fools.
How about editors of news papers make their taxes public. School Teachers. Professors. How about make all taxes public.
Thanks… please please please can the MLB and the PA teams sit in a room for a few weeks and negotiate in good faith and not in the press? This public bickering and poorly veiled attempts at a PR game demonstrates poor leadership on both sides. You know the stakes, the positions and the implications. For the good of the game, be adults and resolve your differences – or resign and find adults who can.
Halo11…Straw man fallacy does seems to be often incorporated into your posts. But if you could truly not discern what was implied by the term politicians, you may want to seek help.
Thomas E Snyder
Have you seen how many college football games have been cancelled?
People comparing college to pro sports have zero clue what they are talking about. Colleges are much more open to legal issues when things go wrong.
Agree with 90% of what you & others have said above. I don’t know the minutiae of NBA – is there a salary floor?
My point being (and let’s use the mythical Springfield Strikeouts to avoid upset this close to Christmas) if the team chooses to tank and nobody goes to watch – why should the players (say they’re under control on MLB minimum) pay for that?
A’sFan….indeed…IF MLB were to ever have a cap, there should also be a floor. Even further, maybe player salary floors for maybe small, mid-, and large market sizes(factoring yearly attendance and TV contracts).
It’s more understandable that pre-2020, teams like Oakland and TB were spending less because of bad stadium issues. Yet teams like Pittsburgh with fairly new parks should have been spending more.
Not such a huge fan of a cap, but a salary floor based upon market size seems like a good start.
As far as Pittsburgh is concerned, I always point out that in 2015, a season in which the Pirates made their third consecutive playoff appearance, the Pirates finished 15th in MLB in attendance. With that fairly new park.
Ducky Buckin Fent
That’s brutal, @pdxbrewcrew.
Those were some good teams, man. I always wonder what would have happened if the Pirates won instead of KC. Would the bullpen template have been 6 or 7 deep (like those Pittsburgh squads) as opposed to that dominant end game like the Royals had?
GM’s note what works & copy each other.
PDX…I didn’t sinply mean that attendance should be the only factor for a market-based salary floor. I suspect in that same year there were in the bottom 5 in payroll.
I was just referring to your saying that the Pirates should have spent more because they had a newer park. Maybe they would have spent more if attendance was higher. And if attendance can’t get higher than that, maybe it’s time for Pittsburgh to not have a major league team.
I doubt the Pirates will ever move. They were 15th in attendance and 25th in payroll in 2015. Owners like Nutting seem to not spend commensurate with attendance and their TV contracts.
And if a team that made the playoffs two years running, and on their way to a third appearance, can’t draw to be more than 15th in the league (behind teams that finished below .500), I’m not going to fault the owner for not spending more. The fans have shown they aren’t going to support a winning team.
And, maybe, those fans don’t deserve a major league team.
I haven’t even started on the stupidity of a salary floor.
That’s dated supply side thinking. “Until more consumers buy, I won’t invest in a better product.”
The more prudent business owner puts out a better product (eg: actually winning a round in the playoffs) in order to attract more consumers.
And the out-of-business business owner puts more money into their business when consumers have clearly indicated that they aren’t going to spend money at your business, no matter how good of a product is put out there.
Manfred’s biggest sin by far is that he has made these negotiations adversarial and public. This isnt how it works in any other sport and its embarrassing, because it was the ONLY reason he got the job.
He also has been sloppy in respecting fans by presenting baseball as a business in his interviews (hunk of metal type comments) and not as a product people love. No matter what he ends up doing, culturally Manfred has been as bad as any commissioner of the major 4 in the last 30 years.
Yeah this is all just public posturing at this point. MLB owners publicly say it’s going to be a shortened season, MLBPA inevitably immediately publicly fires back that it’s going to be 162.
Both sides need to go to some closed door mediation and hammer out an agreement where they both make compromises, give a little, to get a little and then announce the end result once it’s reached.
Slinging mud at each other all offseason doesn’t help MLB’s brand.
Thomas E Snyder
They tried that last year. Manfred and the player’s rep came out of the meeting with very different reports of what was agreed to.
Manfred forgets that’s baseball is entertainment. He tries to run mlb like its the auto industry or something.
And we know what happened to the auto
Jorge78 Union and pensions.
“Manfred’s biggest sin by far is that he has made these negotiations adversarial and public.”
Not a bad take.
Manfred made these negotiations public? Prove that statement
Baseball is totally a business! Ever run one? How do you pay payroll (of hundreds of millions) when getting 40% of your revenue?
Yes but fans don’t see it as a business. They view it as entertainment and come to the games and pay for tv to watch it for their enjoyment. That’s the issue, of course they have to make money but you can’t tell the people that are responsible for your revenue (the fans) that baseball is strictly a business. The top priority should be pleasing fans and putting a good product on the field, the money is a result of pleasing the buyers
Except that the owners have been making billions the past 10 years or so and now after one disastrous year they are crying they are poor. This is all about the next contract after 2021 and nothing more.
Thomas E Snyder
Entertainment is not a business?
Ducky Buckin Fent
It’s also not an actual comparison to the business’ myself & the other fellas on the board run.
Well…I guess I can only speak for myself. But I can guarantee you that I’m working with neither an anti-trust exemption nor public funding.
Now I absolutely understand that revenue took a massive hit for owners. At the same time to compare them to us regular business owner fellas is disingenuous.
I suppose the “problem” with admitting this is that it cuts the legs out from clear cut black or white hot takes. But none of this stuff is very cut & dried, fellas.
It is but the entertainment business relies on pleasing the people being entertained. That’s what I’m trying to say, you have to please the people being entertained and give them a good product, and now owners are making excuses for doing this because they lost some money, I get it to some extent but all this stuff being public and whatever is kind of ridiculous I think.
how do you know they are only getting 40% of normal revenue? have you seen their books?
How do you know they don’t, we all make assumptions. The fact is we don’t have a lot of information.
This century, we have had the Atlanta Braves open their books and the Anaheim Angels open their books.
Disney lost 8 figures and the Angels won a World Championship under Disney’s ownership and were forced to sell the team because they could not justify the loses to their shareholders.
And in looking at the Braves books for 2020, they were showing a loss of $88 MM through the first three quarters. They were at a $12 MM profit at the same point in 2019.
Revenue through the first three quarters of the year dropped 68%. Expenses were down 39%.
the difference is that i have made no assumptions. i simply asked how he got to the 40% mark.
Sorry, let me be clear. When it comes to how much teams make or don’t make. I’m completely clueless.
I think for the most part, we all are.
All we can do is guess. What kills me is people seem to know.
That is absolutely not what happened. Disneys parent company was crushed financially and was shedding non core assets at a sprint to save the biz.
This was also before the years of TV deals and suites. All team sports are wildly more profitable post 2005.
It’s always before something. What was the Angel Team Payroll in 2002?
They sold the Angels and took a nine figure loss. That’s not remotely debatable. We know how much they paid to buy the team, how much they paid to rebuild the stadium and how much they sold the team.
Why would they take a nine figure loss if the team was making money?
The sold the angels at 25% gain (they bought them for $125 and sold for $160m and change).
The boards here dont let you drop links, but from 2006-now teh Angels franchise value grew 10-20% annually without fail. That rise wasnt some random market condition, it was the change in revenue generation from 3 factors (increased in-stadium rev, digital rev and TV contracts.). by definition the rise in cost of the asset is a testament to the assets ability to pay for itself if need be. If costs and revenues rose at the same rate then the value of these franchses would have been MUCH MUCH flatter.
This and I cant stress it enough, is the most important part. The explosion in value of teams is a function of them being incredible business assets that are close to irreplaceable. They literally are exempt from monopoly protections. These businesses are making a killing and the paper trail is in the cost when they trade hands.
Dont belive these owners who bought at 160 and are now at $3b saying that “were losing money.” If that was the case their asset wouldnt have grown at 15x the S&P.
So let me see if I understand your logic. If I buy a house for half a million dollars, put in 200 thousand into the house to fix it up. Sell the house for 600,000, I made a profit?
Disney put in over 100 million dollars to refurbish the stadium.
Halo11Fan, you make a good point, but I get the feeling you might as well be talking to a wall. I’d love to see some of these folks try and run their own business based on the naive and ridiculous ideas they’re pushing on someone else’s investment.
Liberty uses the Braves as a tax write off anyway.
The return on investment is so small, I don’t think it is “totally” a business.
Sure, like buying art, you can make a profit when you sell, but I would wager most teams don’t make much of a profit until they do sell.
Baseball like all professional sports is a business. Big business.
This is extremely extremely wrong. Sports franchises between pure EBITA and crazy write offs are wildly profitable.
Then why did Disney have to sell the team and take a 9 figure loss in the process?
The public information we have, which isn’t a lot, doesn’t support that view.
Baseball is totally a business. You have no idea what return the owners are making on their investments because those figures are not public. They can only make a profit when they sell if the value of the underlying business (meaning income) has increased. This is Business 101, and you can be sure all of the owners with billions to invest have taken that course and all the more advanced ones besides.
See above. That isnt the story at all. It was a reflection of Disneys core business and the professional sports money machine was just just waking up at that point..
I don’t believe teams are wildly profitable but we’ll never know until all owners open their books. One thing I found very telling was that while the 2019 Braves’ salaries were approximately $160M, the team had over $400M in operating expenses. If that hold true for other clubs then team payroll is less than 50% of their total annual expenses. I found this shocking and it leads me to believe that most MLB clubs do not make a lot of money year to year. The true value lies in the appreciation of the asset. Owners by ball clubs as a prestige purchase; not to make 10’s of millions of dollars each year. However, even with little to no profits each year, it’s still a great long term investment as the value of clubs keep going up. It sounds like most owners vastly exceeded their threshold last year of what an acceptable loss is for a season and they can’t afford to do it again this season. Until both sides finally agree to partner with one another, this is going to continue to get uglier and uglier.
That operating expense includes depreciation of assets (like a brand new stadium) which read like MAJOR operating expenses. Again, dont believe the hype.
No, operating expenses do not include Interest, Depreciation, Taxes or Amortization. Atlanta is a little different than some clubs because they own so much property around their new park. Total 2019 revenues were $478M, about $430M coming from baseball operations and the rest from their real estate developments. Including their development costs, their total operating expenses were right around $425M, leaving $52M in EBITDA (about $35M EBITDA from straight baseball operations which is what they should be judged on). After depreciation, amortization, interest and one time expenses were added, the Braves lost just under -$40M on their 2019 income statement. They also earned $23M of their total revenue from being in the playoffs that year. 2019 was a record year for the Braves. Needless to say, 2020 will post record losses for the Braves. Their financials should be out in February or March.
Is there some law on the books that I’m not aware of that says billionaires can never lose money?
They became billionaires because they are much smarter and sharper than you and I. Every team lost money last year, some may have lost up to 9 figures. That’s done and behind them but they are not going to repeat that again, hence their request to postpone the start of the season when they can have fans in the stands and at least have a chance to break even or lose an acceptable amount of money (under $20M?). The billionaires don’t fund their MLB team out of their own bank account. It’s a business that has limited funds available and a lot of those businesses burned through a lot of their cash reserves last season. So it’s time to tighten the belts and try to get them back on track.
LOL. They became billioanires at something else in most cases, which doesnt almost ever transfer as a skill. If you look closely, most people are very good at one thing and apply to places it can live.
You are also playing both sides here. If theyre so smart, why were there not safe guards built from when they WERE doing well. You cant be smart and then need help being bailed out, it doesnt work both ways.
‘They became billionaires because they are much smarter and sharper than you and I.’
I will lightly push back on this. 1) making money is a lot easier when you already have money (a lot of mega rich people grew up rich), 2) there is a great deal of luck involved when it comes to investing, 3) investment markets have been going up, with only a couple of exceptions, for decades.
I mean, in general, I would probably agree with you. But there are a lot of examples where it’s not quite true (I can think of one glaring example, provided he’s actually a billionaire).
Moreno became a billionaire because he’s smarter than you.
To quote Citizen Kane: “it’s no trick to make a lot of money… if all you want is to make a lot of money.” Some of them are greedy and selfish, some are old money, some are lucky, some are cunning, some are smart, but most are barely above average intelligence.
Naw, it was because he sold billbaords during the right decade and shrewdly overtook the business in which he was the lead salesmen and was clever in an inddustry in where he was PERFECTLY timed to be the biggest individual winner in a consolidaiton play.
Im not saying arte boy isnt smart, but dont give a smart man too much credit. Most billions are smart and luck.
Manfred does not work for the fans, he works for ownership. They are the ones who hire him, and they are the only ones who can fire him. It’s totally unrealistic to expect the commissioner, no matter who that is, to respect anyone other than his employers and to talk about baseball anything other than the industry he is running for his employers.. He shouldn’t even be called the commissioner. He should really be called the CEO of MLB, because that is his actual job.
This is a terrible take. Stewarding the longterm asset is in the owners best interest. Also, if the players strike, you better believe there is a cost to business to that. Bean counting isnt a 2 dimensional activity, but a 3d one filled with cause and effects, opportunity cost and forgoing current value for future. Manfred has shown a pathological focus on current dollars over future which is probably the most apt way to color his failures.
Edit: This doesnt even cover the upside of investing capital short term in longterm growth of the game, which baseball SUCKS at (see blackouts). Manfred is what happens when you put a lawyer or consultant in charge of product decisions. It looks fine short term and then someone with better vision and an understanding of relational complexity comes and cleans up his mess.
Terrible or not, it is a completely accurate take. Everything you mention, all of them, are business considerations. Whenever a business confronts an issue they weigh the upsides and downsides of what they do and how it impacts the bottom line, now and in the future. Baseball is no different. It’s called running a business, and a multi-billion dollar business in this case.
I notice you didn’t try to refute anything I actually said, probably because you can’t, because it is all completely accurate. Fans who don’t believe it are entertaining the fantasy that the commissioner cares about them as anything but dollar signs. Manfred is not there to be our friend but to be the CEO of baseball. He has his job because he makes money for the owners. So long as the owners are happy with him, he will keep that job. Fans who complain about him as if it makes any difference are howling at the moon. Go ahead and do it if it makes you feel better, just don’t expect the moon to care.
this ^. the negotiations being public was a terrible play.
I suspect Manfred would be more careful in his public statements if MLBPA had a a sharp labor attorney like they used to have in the late Donald Fehr.
Exactly what I’d expect the players union position to be.
Shocking wasn’t it?
Yep. The direct opposite of what the owners say. It’s what they always do. If the owners say the sky is blue…. the players union says it’s green
Well I mean most of the time I side with the MLBPA. Like why can’t we have a full season? Everyone wants it besides them
A battle is looming.
Hosmer for HOF
160 and 80% pay? -Owners
Essentially this reads as “we play a full season or you pay us to play a full season or we strike”
Good for the players, owners are getting richer while they try to figure out how to screw players out of thier contracts.
As Walter O’Malley once said, “Baseball is too much of a sport to be a business and too much of a business to be a sport”.
That’s a great quote
A great quote but also kind of disingenuous. If anybody of that era knew how to make baseball pay it was O’Malley.
Wouldn’t that apply to the second half of the quote?
Try asking a Brooklyn fan, if any are left. O’Malley was a master at the business of baseball and a pretty cold-blooded one besides. When his fans were moving to Queens and the suburbs after the war he figured he needed a new ballpark in a prime location to draw them back. When the city of New York (or more accurately, Robert Moses) would not approve his plans he immediately moved his Dodgers to where he could find a city willing to give him what he wanted and it happened so quickly it made heads spin. O’Malley had ripped the heart out of Brooklyn fans, but did he care? No matter what he may have said, it was all business.
This lock out is about to last until 2030 and it will only end cause most of the owners are already 85 years old
Of course the players want 162 games and of course the owners don’t want to open their parks unless they can get an opening day sellout.
The players position benefits the players, and although the owners positions benefit themselves, it also benefits vendors, fans, Arizona and Florida Spring training sites. and the general welfare.
And people will still be on the players side.
Owners could have financed the vaccine and some people would still be against the owners.
Very good points! The owners need to let Dolly
Parton own a team…..
The owners want to socialize losses and privatize profits.
When the league has a great revenue year, they don’t give the MLBPA or minor leaguers extra money and act like they are partners that are going to share in the surplus. But when they lose revenue then they want to renegotiate all of the agreements, disregard the CBA, and ask the players to bear some of the losses.
The owners are the ones who undertake the risk of owning the team, and when things are going well they deserve to reap the rewards of that, but it’s not fair for them to put their losses off on others when things go wrong. People are against the owners because they’re hypocritical since in a general sense they want capitalism for the poor (i.e. minor leaguers, arb eligible players) and socialism for the rich (i.e. themselves).
CNichols response times a billion.
And then these clowns have enough political power to get a bunch of handouts, and they’ll still whine.
They could be worrying about getting evicted if ownership is oh so terrible.
When the owners have a record profit year… they do share it with the players. In the form of larger contracts. They pay the bigger contracts.
Honestly we don’t know because no one ever see MLB teams books. I would think some teams might reinvest the money in player contracts while some pocket it.
And they put the money back into the fan experience by improving their ballparks, building a new ST facility or minor league clubhouse. They invest more in scouting, analytics, etc. Based on the Braves financials, payroll is less than 50% of total team expenses so owners spend more money on other things than they do on players salaries. If the MLBPA would agree to a salary cap, then they could work out a true revenue share model.
@Spartan That’s one of the biggest problems, there’s a big lack of transparency so we don’t really know anything about their finances. To a certain extent they’re privately owned business so that’s their right, but…
@Dorthoy_Mantooth without transparency, why would the MLBPA agree to that? I don’t know exactly what the two sides have discussed but I recall a huge issue with the revenue sharing concept being defining revenue. Does this just include gate and TV money or other things too? For example would money from BAMTech, which essentially became Disney+, which MLB still owns a portion of, be a part of this? We don’t even know what all their revenue streams are..,
If the owners opened up their books, were transparent about revenue for the purpose of revenue sharing, and the MLBPA still shot it down because they’re vehemently opposed to any salary cap, then yes at that point the issue would lie with the players/MLBPA.
They are privately held businesses by every extent. The only part of baseball’s finances that are made public is how much the players are paid. We know that for most players right down to the dollar. But how much the owners make is a deep, dark secret. Interesting how that works, isn’t it? A cynic might believe it is this way on purpose, that it only encourages fans to resent how much the players make and never question the owners. Because it’s all just a glorified hobby for them, really. Right?
Halo11, that made me laugh
Well yeah they want their money, meanwhile they’re playing in empty stadiums (2/3 of owners’ revenue). Wish these players took a business class or two
And here’s the incompetent Tony Clark coming in to stir the pot and make things worse for everyone.
I agree with that but Manfred is just as incompetent. The owners could have listened to John Henry and hired Tom Werner to replace Bud Selig but went with Selig who promoted a lawyer with absolutely no executive or business experience as the next commissioner. Baseball is paying the price.
No argument here, Manfred was a terrible hire from day 1. If Clark has any common sense, he’d play things close to the vest and make owners and the commish look like the bad guy but he’s too dang stupid to realize it.
Wait… so the owners want 100 games, and the MLBPA wants 162…. SON OF A BI@#$
MLB is not asking for 100 game schedule. Stop making things up
If they started in May (or later) that would drop off about 35 games off the season making it 125. With further implications and pushing off dates, I presume that the owners want a 125-100 game season because then they’d get fan attendance the entire season (granted it won’t be packed fan attendance).
Well this was expected after the latest report by the league. It would be great if they figured this out sooner rather than later. February isn’t all that far away
its better timing then last year
MLB cannot control the situation. Ask the 49ers about it. They have to play home games in Glendale, Arizona. Ask Purdue and Indiana or Ohio State and Michigan about it no rivalry game this year.
And here we go..
I think they should start experimenting with a season of 100 games or somewhere close. After last years shortened season, i’m starting to think 162 is too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love baseball, but it just becomes oversaturation at this point. I liked the 60 game season, because it felt like each game mattered so much more (and statistically it does) but also it felt like since there was less games it was more special when one was one, rather than having an astounding 162.
players union will never go for that, unless you want to pay them the 162 price for 100, in which case, the owners will never go for it.
162 is way too much. I agree, less games makes it more exciting.
This will probably add some steam to the free agent market which has been moving quite slow due to owners still complaining that they are broke. It’s also smart by MLB trying to increase morale, however this announcement is a bit premature IMO.
I personally think we could have a 162 game season, however I expect the season to maybe be a month or two shorter, start maybe in May-June and but I also said early this year Covid would last only few months so please take all of this with a grain of salt hahah.
We still need to see what’s going to happen in the next few months. Playing 162 games in a empty stadium wouldn’t even make sense to me let alone the owners.
Sean Doolittle said a couple months ago, “Baseball is the reward of a functioning society.”
Thomas E Snyder
Then we are in serious trouble.
Start at the beginning of May. Push the season end 2 weeks until Mid-October. Add double headers every Sunday. Play 162. Problem solved.
I don’t think we can play 162, but would it be so horrible is we played 146?
As a baseball fan, I think I can use the world “we”. But lets at least wait till be get estimates when the average fan can expected to be vaccinated.
146 games works just fine
Cool. Let’s write it up. Allow the owners to start the season May 1st and through an extended season, less off days and double headers, they lose 16 games and salaries go down 10%.
Baseball season saved.
I just seriously see the owners wanting less games than that because of NFL. Even pushing the season into mid-October is just taking your fans away 1 by 1 because of the NFL schedule. Through bargaining and arguing though, I could see them agreeing on somewhere in the 120 range.
Halo11Fan – I’ll take 120-140 and will be happy.
To simple it won’t happen.
MLB and the union must torture their fans and drag this out for months like they do with everything else. Pretty sure they will still be fighting in Febuary with no ETA when the season will start, not close to a agreement and even the items they agreed with will eventually disagree what they agreed with.
Slam/Patches – good solution, but like Patches stated its too simple to happen. All of us can find a logical solution to this and think it shouldn’t be a problem to implement. But the players union will end up fighting with ownership because that’s what always happens so yea I’m hoping the scenario that Patches proposed doesnt happen, which is SOL still in February with no end in sight.
Halo11Fan – I’ll take 120-140 and will be happy.
So maybe Chris Sale will get to pitch a ‘full season’ after all this year. A May start it is!
@slammed, no to that many doubleheaders. The season is 6 months and they play around 27 games a month.
Start in May, push the season a week longer, take away 3 off days, and make the season 144 games..
This may not end well.
So, let’s see a show of hands from all those who think the next CBA negotiations will be completed without a work stoppage…
As Yogi so eloquently put it, deja vu all over again.
Nothing more than posturing in advance of negotiations.
Does Tony Clark have any other clothes?
He’s got a bunch of the exact same suits like Einstein did, but unfortunately for Tony he ain’t no Einstein. Actually he’s probably closer to village idiot
Maybe he signed an exclusive contract to buy clothes, but, he was as good at negotiating that one as the last cba.
Now his clothing provider can just give him the identical cut and pattern suit to maximize profits.
I agree with that but Manfred is just as incompetent. The owners could have listened to John Henry and hired Tom Werner to replace Bud Selig but went with Selig who promoted a lawyer with absolutely no executive or business experience as the next commissioner. Baseball is paying the price.
We don’t want to start until May but we don’t want a shortened season but we won’t play into November but we don’t want to pay our players their full salaries but we won’t negotiate with the MLBPA….
Owners stink. They would do another 60 game season if they could just to not lose as much money.
Go figure. Business owners trying not to lose money…. do you not understand how business works?
So the league can’t shorten the season in 2021 but they were able to do it in 2020??
There was a health agreement in March that gave Manfred emergency powers to do so.
this is hardly the same situation as it was then.
Right…. because infection rates aren’t generally higher virtually everywhere in the country now compared to where they were last spring.
If you aren’t from NYC, odds are you’re worse off now infection-wise than you were then.
National emergency is still written in the CBA. I’m not sure if that will be in place or rescinded come february, but I’d be surprised if it wasnt there – and that gives the league power to make changes unilaterally.
I hope you are not insinuating the situation is better now than last spring…
The Mets were sold for $2.3 billion in the middle of a pandemic after a season with no fans but people still love saying “it’s a business” and insisting it has to be run as if it’s a pizza shop down by the mall.
Buying a baseball team these days is more of a prestige thing amongst the super wealthy versus a savvy business decision to make money. These guys can basically buy anything they want/need at the drop of a hat except for a professional sports franchise. There are only 30 MLB franchises available in the world and they rarely go up for sale. Even when they do, you have to blind bid on them and then get approved by the other owners. It’s the ultimate status symbol for the super elite. Cohen has already said he’s prepared to lose $400M in his first 2-3 years if that means he can bring a championship to NY. Sure the team will continue to appreciate but new owners aren’t buying teams to make annual income off of them. There are much better opportunities in the business world to do that. They are buying these teams as a status symbol and to join an elite ‘old boys’ club. Then their kids can sell it 20 years from now to the next attention seeker.
it is an investment. one of the safest investments even for money managers.
Here comes the big fight.
162 has never worked well, and has been a primary reason for all the injuries we have today. If the season started May 15, they could probably play 125 games, and by then maybe just allow those with proof of vaccination into the stadiums. Thereafter 154 games a year would cut the players salaries by 5%, a minor ripple, and just maybe some of the vast quantities of injuries would magically disappear.
Players union doesnt want prorated salaries for a second straight year and owners don’t want to pay players full salaries in empty stadiums. Question is who is going to blink first…
For Love of the Game
“…players are already coming off a season in which they lost 102 games AND had to accept prorated salaries for the 60 they did play.” (Emphasis mine.)
Really? They lost 102 games AND got reduced pay for the games they did play??? No, the players got 37% of full-season pay to play 37% of the games! Get your reporting right, MLBTR!
I think your frustration comes from your failure to grasp the definition of prorated, rather than your misguided anger towards MLBTRs reporting.
I think the point is that the idea of losing 102 games and having salaries prorated is redundant.
I’m just hoping there’s going to be a minor leagues season. Then again, I am in Calizuela, so Governor Nuisance would probably command that no fans shall attend.
For the sake of public safety, what is wrong with that?
So what are you saying, that masks and social distancing don’t work anymore?
Stop living in fear. If we can shop at packed big box stores, then we should be just fine in the great outdoors. Play ball.
When people say this they really mean stop living with intelligence. Stop knowing things.
By May, MLB surely means Memorial Day, which is basically June. You’d think the two sides would start hashing this out in earnest now with Spring Training only 2 months away but no, they’ll wait until February to start ‘negotiating’. Prediction – The season will be about 60 games again until all the fighting finally subsides.
MLBPA needs to be accommodating to the fact that if they delay the season by 1-2 months, fans can attend games: but the MLBPA only represents one thing and one thing only… the players. Hopefully a compromise is had. Delayed season + 162 games.
If they delay there won’t be a full season. MLB has already shown they’ve got no interest going later into the Fall/Winter for a variety of reasons. 7 inning double hitters could help a bit, but not much.
I get them wanting to be fully paid. But not one place in that article did they address the historically bad pandemic being the reason they may have a shortened season. It’s like all they care about is a CBA which was obviously written without a Pandemic in mind.
Are you paying attention? By the end of this week there will be 2 vaccines approved, both 95% effective. Two more vaccines are on track for approval by the end of February if not sooner. Certainly by spring, vaccines will be available to the general public. and most of the population over 65 who make a big part of baseball’s audience will have been vaccinated. There’s been hundreds if not thousands of athletes in other sports and a significant number in baseball who’ve already been infected and not one case of a fatality. While there’s some uncertainty about how long their immunity lasts, the number of cases of people being re-infected is minimal.
Vaccines are not an ironclad immunity shield for those getting them.
1st, you need around 75-85% of people vaccinated in order for it to really retard transmission rates.
2nd, these vaccines require multiple doses, and require unique distribution decade of far subzero storage requirements.
We are a long way from giving 2 doses each to 300 million people.
and how do you know who chose to vaccinate and who did not. There will be those that do not trust vaccinations and will refuse to do it. Legally you are not allowed to ask those questions by privacy laws. Also if i read correctly there are 2 doses to the vaccine that are done with a significant time between first and 2nd dose. Do you allow them in if only the first dose is done or do both have to be done.
Also you forget that even if the entire country is vaccinated, there are a ton of business and corporations that are gone with a ton of people unemployed fighting over fewer and fewer jobs. Will they even be able to have a full stadium with fewer free dollars out there to spend?
Also if someone gets sick and dies because they are traced to someone infected who pays out that lawsuit / settlement? There are a lot of questions to be answered before the stadiums open and have nothing to do with vaccinations themselves but protecting baseball teams as well. I can pretty much guarantee you this will happen atleast once as the odds of millions of people and not one issue are pretty remote. With that happening, there will be a huge lawsuit against the city (usually the owner of the stadium), the team, the state and maybe even federal government. This will wipeout probably a week if not more of any profit from opening the stadium.
What are you talking about?! Yes, I’m paying attention!! OBVIOUSLY I’m well aware of the vaccines, but EVERYONE won’t be vaccinated by opening day and the owners want full attendance for 162 games. NOTHING is guaranteed with this, and you act like everything Is a given. Are you paying attention??
I’m 100% with the players on this. The current vaccination plan has 100 million vaccinated by the end of February. The NFL is playing a full schedule with almost no fans and no one vaccinated.. There’s certainly a way the players can be vaccinated by opening day if not prior to spring training.
With over 100 million people vaccinated and likely at least 25 million more with antibodies, by the time opening day roles around total cases will have dropped significantly and spreading will have been curbed.
There’s not been one outbreak linked to the fans that have attended college and pro football games. At worst baseball can start with crowds of 25-50 percent of capacity, and MLB can assure it’s vendors and stadium personnel get vaccinated.
Sounds reasonable. I’m not sure if most owners would be OK with starting the season at 25% capacity though
Well the decision making about fans being in the stands isn’t up to the owners. It’s up to the people who run the cities and states they play in, and it’s been clear that certain states will be way way more strict than others. Yeah, by May or June all states “should” be good to go with fans, but who knows how each state will handle those decisions.
Also, the NFL isn’t as dependent on in game revenue as baseball. They only play 16 games, and once a week. 162 games with spring training is way bigger undertaking.
I’m hoping for 140 games with a May start and fans in full attendance. Who really knows at this point though…
There will be tremendous pressure on politicians to open up when case numbers drop to what they should when vaccinations are available to the general public. Economic impact of closing down these cities has been more devastating than the virus.
This is all about the owners knowing it’s the economic impact that’s going to keep people out of ballparks in 2021 not the virus and the owners using the virus to try and cut their losses.
There will be pressure on the politicians, but it’s been clear that certain Governors, cough cough Cuomo/Newsom could care less about the economy and follow their own idiotic ideas like shutting down outdoor dining. I’ve got no faith in politicians like those morons allowing fans regardless of the pressure on them.
Even if, IF, 100 million wind up vaccinated by both doses a month apart prior to February (doubtful), you know that vaccinating 1/4 of the country isn’t even close to herd immunity and wont do much to curb anything yet…
Regardless of WHEN they start, I just want real baseball and a full season. No 7 inning games, no 60 man rosters, no softball rules, and so on.
A full season is completely dependent upon schedule makers. If we are going to run later into colder weather, those games need to be anticipated and scheduled in warm climates and domed stadiums.
Covid postponed games need to be FORFEITED, not rescheduled. It’s simply not fair for teams to have to try and play 50 games in 54 days, especially when THEY aren’t the reason for the schedule changes. If your team breaks protocols and games need to be cancelled, the right move is a forfeit. It protects numerous teams and controls further spread.
I think fans could be allowed with common sense distancing and control through out the stadium. Limit one household per seating section, and they must be in the center of the section.
Masks outside of the seated area 100% of the time.
Food must only be consumed in the seated area.
Rest rooms cleaned every 30 minutes.
And so on…3,500 or so fans initially spread out over all the levels should be reasonably safe. If it’s safe enough to go to Wal-mart, it’s safe enough to sit 15’ or more from other fans as long as distances are maintained and masks are worn.
If a shortened season is needed, for the love of common sense, get rid of AL vs NL games first!
No way MLB Union is going to get a 162 game schedule if spring training & Reg season is pushed back and if they fight in the public eye they are not going to look good especially when still we are facing uncertainty and many people have been laid off due to this pandemic.
MLB players should be counting their lucky stars that even with a reduced salary it will still get them by and then some while we have people that don’t even know when they will pay their bills let alone their next meal or be able to provide to their families especially during these rough holidays.
Bottom line Owners all around lost money even those that always received revenue lost money this isnt like NFL, NBA or HOckey because of the magnitude of amount of games baseball plays and the dependency on fan attendance.
Like most stated it is not up to the Owners when it comes to Attendance it is up to the Governors of each state whether or not to impose a ban or let loose some of the restrictions but in no way can an Owner know what will happen come April, May or June to even state attendance will be allowed so for the Union to state emphatically their will be a 162 game schedule shows the greed and idiocy on their end.
They will be the first ones that will say the health of the players will be in jeopardy by playing so many doubleheaders and games within a stretch yet they want a 162 game schedule no matter what because their players sacrificed last year but how oblivious can you be when we have people that had to sacrifice their well being to try and continue to provide while these rich ballplayers complain because their salaries were reduced cry me a river elsewhere.
I say go to a 135 game schedule implement DH rule both leagues to protect NL pitchers from batting and running plus this gives players that would have been cut or demoted a chance to make the roster and limit Interleagues to 3 games vs your inner cities rivals only and not 6.
Keep the same rules as 2020. For those that just love watching pitchers hit and over half the clubs playing meaningless games from July on, come to grips with changes that draw more eyes. Ironically the argument is that more playoff teams “waters down” the regular season. That’s funny when as stated above more than half the teams playing meaningless games from July on is not “watered down”. Less tanking more fan bases engaged that is exactly what MLB and the MLBPA want.
This is just the players association setting the stage for negotiating a shortened season.
They’re gonna have all the leverage again and will at minimum get the NL DH for 21’.
The DH is nothing. The owners could care less about giving that up, and everyone knows the DH is coming to both leagues. The owners have the leverage because they literally would rather not play then play without fans.
And you know this, how exactly? I mean, literally.
They lose less money by not playing if fans are not allowed back.
Oh, so that’s why they played this year, so they could lose more money. Thanks for explaining.
There were multiple owners that didn’t want to play last yr losing money. There will be more this yr if fans aren’t attending games in the beginning.
Multiple owners is not MLB. The thirty owners make these decisions together and together they wanted to play the games and add games to the postseason. I doubt more teams will want out this year, more likely fewer. Fans will certainly be in attendance at some point in 2021.