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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

MLB owners sending latest plan to MLBPA that includes sliding pay scale for players

The plan, three persons with knowledge of the proposal told USA TODAY Sports, does not include the same 50-50 revenue-sharing split the owners agreed on two weeks ago that was never submitted to the union. The three people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak publicly due to ongoing negotiations.

The proposal instead includes a sliding scale of compensation, with players earning the most taking the biggest cuts and those earning the least receiving most of their guaranteed salaries.

It remains uncertain how much money the players will be yielding in this proposal, based on no fans in attendance for an 82-game season, after already agreeing to be paid on a pro-rated basis, reducing their pay by almost 50%.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:28 PM | 93 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlbpa

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   1. winnipegwhip Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:55 PM (#5953694)
Hi Bob. This is Manfred Mann calling. I have some information. Don't tell anyone. AND DON'T TELL THEM SOON!
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 26, 2020 at 08:15 PM (#5953697)
Some details:
Sources said the highest-paid players would receive perhaps less than 40% of their full season salaries. For example, a player making $35 million in 2020 would make $7.8 million. A player making $10 million would make $2.9 million, and a player earning $1 million would receive $434,000 under the league's plan. A player making the MLB minimum, $563,500, would earn $262,000 in 2020. Sixty-five percent of all major league players make less than $1 million.
That’s a rather aggressive low ball bid by MLB, designed to drive a wedge between the highly-paid players and the less elite, while the owners unite behind screwing the players. There will have to be significant movement to save the season.
   3. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 26, 2020 at 09:12 PM (#5953708)
The owners insist that it’s necessary for the players take a further salary reduction because they will lose money during the regular season without fans in attendance. Yet, the owners also would be guaranteed $777 million in postseason TV revenue, which would be inflated to about $1 billion with the postseason format expanded to 14 teams instead of 10.


Look! A squirrel!
   4. McCoy Posted: May 26, 2020 at 09:18 PM (#5953710)
Honestly baseball should forget about a season and just do some kind of tournament.

This season is going to be one huge asterisk anyway.
   5. The Duke Posted: May 26, 2020 at 09:42 PM (#5953720)
The only positive thing I can say is that at least the owners tossed the revenue-sharing concept and put something in the table that builds off the last agreement. Having said that, it’s a #### proposal as it differentiates results amongst the players (ie rookies take the least % hit and superstars take the most). I don’t think the union should ever allow the owners to dictate how money gets allocated. Not to mention it’s a seriously big haircut off of what was already proposed.

It’s a very tough situation - there’s absolutely no guarantee that 2021 will be normal so if they can’t agree, there’s a chance that 2021 is at risk. If 2021 falls apart then all of a sudden you have a new CBA being negotiated with players having missed 2 full years and owners having shut down major and minor leagues. You could then have a continued work stoppage.

But if the owners bully the players into something like what has been proposed, there’s no way they don’t come back and Try to turn the screws on the players in 2021 not to mention a free agent market collapse.

I think if I were the players I would say, we stay with what we already negotiated. If the playoffs get cancelled due to more lockdowns ( and thus you lose the hockey stick revenue) then we revert to your new proposal but if we play on to a World Series the old agreement holds. And the teams can’t shutdown unless regulatory authorities demand that.



   6. TJ Posted: May 26, 2020 at 10:00 PM (#5953722)
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers...
‘Sources: Under MLB proposal to players, a player making $35 mil in 2020 would make about $7.8 mil. A player making 10 mil would get about 2.9 mil and a player making a mil would make $434k.‘

So owners want to save millions of dollars on most of their individual player salaries but are willing to cut a few hundred thousand less on their least expensive ones. if true, then no wonder the owners love this idea and the players hate it.

   7. pthomas Posted: May 26, 2020 at 10:52 PM (#5953727)
Cable subscribers, of course, will continue to pay 100 percent.
   8. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:52 AM (#5953737)
A breakdown of players' full-year and 82-game prorated salaries versus MLB's proposed salary cuts, according to sources.
Full-year    Prorated        Proposal
$563.5K      $285K           $262K
$1M          $506K           $434K
$2M          $1.01M          $736K
$5M          $2.53M          $1.64M
$10M         $5.06M          $2.95M
$15M         $7.59M          $4.05M
$20M         $10.1M          $5.15M
$25M         $12.7M          $6.05M
$30M         $15.2M          $6.95M
$35M         $17.7M          $7.84M 


and owners keep 80 percent of the projected $1B playoff tv revenue
   9. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:04 AM (#5953738)
Brett Anderson
@_BAnderson30_

At this point just cancel the entire state of Florida
2:25 PM · May 24, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
   10. Tin Angel Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:46 AM (#5953744)
If these guys aren't willing to work for 30% of their paycheck while possibly exposing themselves to a deadly virus...can we even call baseball "America's sport" anymore?
   11. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 27, 2020 at 04:32 AM (#5953748)
Cable subscribers, of course, will continue to pay 100 percent.

Any word on whether we can get full or partial refunds on MLB.tv subscriptions? I let mine roll over accidentally, and now I'm paying $120 to NOT watch documentaries and archived games. I'd love to get any portion of that $120 back.
   12. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:07 AM (#5953765)
This seems like a simple solution to me: pay the players their full 2020 salary. Teams pay X% of the full 2020 salary this season and defer the remaining (100-X)% over the next three years.
   13. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:37 AM (#5953777)
Legal question - and I know the answer is at least partly "well, it depends on the exact wording of the contract". Say I'm Bryce Harper. I signed a contract that, per BB-Ref, says the Philadelphia Phillies are going to pay me $27.5 million this year. Now, if the MLBPA and MLB come to an agreement that affects that, as a member of the MLBPA, I get that Harper would be bound to that. But what if MLB and MLPBA DON'T come to an agreement and the 2020 season is cancelled entirely? If I'm Bryce Harper, could I sue the Philadelphia Phillies (and/or MLB) in that scenario on the grounds that I'm entitled to my full $27.5 million, having fulfilled my end of the agreement - it's not Bryce Harper's fault there's a pandemic, after all.

I realize this doesn't resolve issues about service time (does Mookie Betts become a free agent if there's no 2020 season). But if the owners are likely to be on the hook for some of their biggest contracts if there isn't a season that might make them more flexible in negotiations.
   14. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5953778)
1) If MLB had a traditional salary cap, this wouldn't be a problem right now.

2) The NFL starts games in less than 3 1/2 months, and has pre-season games and training camp much sooner, obviously. And yet, you do not hear a word of acrimony or drama about how the season is going to proceed. They keep all of their business in-house. MLB is remarkably dysfunctional.

3) The other advantage the NFL has is that it is much more of a TV-centric sports and revenue model than MLB. What MLB is not getting is that it has a window, from now until probably early August, where if they could get live games on TV, the appetite to watch would be enormous and without competition. Even my wife, who is not a sports fan, told me unsolicited the other day that she misses "normalcy" so much that she would love to chill out and watch any live sports on TV right now, just because it would feel so good to see and do something "normal". But she also said she'd way rather watch a basektball or football game in that spirit than a baseball game, because it is so slow.

C'mon, baseball - get your s**t together!

   15. . Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:49 AM (#5953781)
If I'm Bryce Harper, could I sue the Philadelphia Phillies (and/or MLB) in that scenario on the grounds that I'm entitled to my full $27.5 million, having fulfilled my end of the agreement - it's not Bryce Harper's fault there's a pandemic, after all.


Depends if there's a force majeure clause in the standard player contract or CBA relieving the obligation of the sides to perform. Sounds like there probably is or else the players would just be asking for the money they're due. Most contracts have such a clause.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:54 AM (#5953783)
What MLB is not getting is that it has a window, from now until probably early August, where if they could get live games on TV, the appetite to watch would be enormous and without competition.


except for the NBA, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour, and NASCAR, among others.

MLB, if it resumes in July, will face more competition than ever in its history.

In previous Julys and Augusts, no NBA or NHL. even PGA mostly quit after August last year but will amp up its fall schedule this year.
   17. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 27, 2020 at 11:26 AM (#5953797)
Yeah, MLB had a window to get a leg up on the other sports, but it's passed. It's a shame they couldn't get something on TV, even if it was a few teams playing in Arizona, while they had a captive market and no competition.
   18. DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5953809)
Teams pay X% of the full 2020 salary this season and defer the remaining (100-X)% over the next three years.


That could be the compromise. Pay the owners' proposal now and defer the difference between that and the prorated pay over the next 3 seasons.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5953813)
Passan

Under this formula, Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout, who at $37,666,666 has the highest full-season salary in baseball this year and would make $19,065,843 on a prorated basis over 82 games, would have a base salary of $5,748,577 -- though players would be paid for only games played. Trout could make upward of $2.5 million more under the proposal if the league completes the World Series.


GTFOH
   20. bunyon Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5953820)
I remember years ago (okay, February) when there was an article posted that there would be no MLB after 2030 and everyone (including me, I think) mocked it.

But this is how you get there.
   21. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:15 PM (#5953827)
#16 (Howie) is right - there was a window, and it has (at least partially) passed. Until the NHL, NBA, PGA, etc officially get going, it is possible the window for sports to get ahead could be extended...but it certainly seems like a number of sports are closer to nailing down a timeline and executing than baseball, which is arguing publicly about how much Mike Trout should be paid in 2020.

I mean, a few weeks ago, Blake Snell was like, It's not worth coming back if I don't get my 2020 money.

Now, the owners are like, "about that pro-rated salary thing...".

   22. Stevey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:23 PM (#5953829)
If I'm Bryce Harper, could I sue the Philadelphia Phillies (and/or MLB) in that scenario on the grounds that I'm entitled to my full $27.5 million, having fulfilled my end of the agreement - it's not Bryce Harper's fault there's a pandemic, after all.


I have to believe the March agreement settled this issue. Players got $170M and a full year of service time in the event of no season.



   23. Greg Pope Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5953857)
Cable subscribers, of course, will continue to pay 100 percent.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm still paying DirecTV's regional sports fee.
   24. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:46 PM (#5953860)
a number of sports are closer to nailing down a timeline and executing than baseball, which is arguing publicly about how much Mike Trout should be paid in 2020.


as Brett Anderson said yesterday,

Brett Anderson
@_BAnderson30_
Interesting strategy of making the best most marketable players potentially look like the bad guys
3:26 PM · May 26, 2020·Twitter for iPhone


   25. Greg Pope Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:46 PM (#5953861)
That’s a rather aggressive low ball bid by MLB, designed to drive a wedge between the highly-paid players and the less elite, while the owners unite behind screwing the players. There will have to be significant movement to save the season.

The numbers may not be fair and I don't know if MLB should have the power to decide the split. Setting those aside, wouldn't we want the larger paid players to take a bigger hit for the benefit of the smaller paid players? Cutting the lower guy's pay has a way bigger impact, plus those are the players that have less ability to make it up later.
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:10 PM (#5953870)
The numbers may not be fair and I don't know if MLB should have the power to decide the split. Setting those aside, wouldn't we want the larger paid players to take a bigger hit for the benefit of the smaller paid players? Cutting the lower guy's pay has a way bigger impact, plus those are the players that have less ability to make it up later.
That’s quite a bit to ‘set aside’, although both sides should agree that lower paid player deserve to be treated better. There just isn’t much money to save there. However, it’s not really true that star players will have more time to make up any losses. Between service time manipulation, tanking franchises, and teams being less willing to pay players on the wrong side of age-30, a lot of established MLB players get one shot at receiving fair market value for their work. MLB fought even that tooth & nail for more than a century, and its latest proposal appears to be a nothing more than a continuation of that effort.

It’s actually the owners who have far more time to make up any 2020 ‘losses’. They’ve got decades. Does that MLB proposal even address the owners’ substantial CEO salaries, and payments to their marginally employable relatives?
   27. The Duke Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5953877)
I find it funny that people are ok with an agreement that arbitrarily re-allocates wages from one group of players to another. Imagine if the board of directors at your company said, we need to cut wages 10% in total but let’s start by cutting Greg Pope and Yankee Clappers wages by 45% and then apply the remaining cuts to all the other employees. Wait.... they are my best writers on the blog? Who cares ? If they don’t write we can let The Duke write more. He’s not very good but he’s cheap.
   28. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:48 PM (#5953882)
Duke, I had no idea you and I were colleagues. You saw that email from the provost, too?
   29. BillWallace Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:11 PM (#5953890)
I find it funny that people are ok with an agreement that arbitrarily re-allocates wages from one group of players to another. Imagine if the board of directors at your company said, we need to cut wages 10% in total but let’s start by cutting Greg Pope and Yankee Clappers wages by 45% and then apply the remaining cuts to all the other employees.


This is exactly what happens in some situations. My company did something fairly close to:
CEO pay goes to 0 temporarily
Upper Management -30%
Middle Management -10%
Wage labor no change
   30. Greg Pope Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:21 PM (#5953894)
That’s quite a bit to ‘set aside’, although both sides should agree that lower paid player deserve to be treated better. There just isn’t much money to save there. However, it’s not really true that star players will have more time to make up any losses. Between service time manipulation, tanking franchises, and teams being less willing to pay players on the wrong side of age-30, a lot of established MLB players get one shot at receiving fair market value for their work.

True. I just wanted to discuss the idea of it being inherently unfair to Mike Trout.

And I guess I didn't really phrase it correctly. There are a lot of guys making the minimum, or close to it, that won't have a job in 3 years. Or even in 1 year. If you cut those guys' salaries in 1/4 it ends up being a significant chunk of their lifetime MLB earnings. So, not the pre-arb superstar, but the 26-year old journeyman. Of which there are a lot more of.
   31. Greg Pope Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:28 PM (#5953898)
I find it funny that people are ok with an agreement that arbitrarily re-allocates wages from one group of players to another. Imagine if the board of directors at your company said, we need to cut wages 10% in total but let’s start by cutting Greg Pope and Yankee Clappers wages by 45% and then apply the remaining cuts to all the other employees.

I own, with an equal partner, a company of 15 people. We're seriously affected by the lockdowns. In our first discussion about this, my partner and I both said, "Well the first thing to go is our bonuses." Those are already gone for the year. Taken as a whole, that's probably a 20% pay cut for me without touching any salary or bonus for the staff. The next thing we've about to cut is a portion of the planned bonuses for the staff, plus 10% of the two of our salaries. If we have to go further, I am going to end up with a 40% salary cut while the rest of the staff takes a 20% cut. If that doesn't do it, we'll have to start laying people off.

So, yes, I am fine with that plan.
   32. TJ Posted: May 27, 2020 at 05:23 PM (#5953936)
Greg, would you consider yourself Mike Trout or Arte Moreno in your case?

I ask because I haven't seen anyone show the math that says Arte Moreno will still be losing money if the players accept this deal or if he will break even. If Moreno's still losing money, then I think you would be in his shoes. If Moreno isn't, then it seems to me you're Mike Trout.
   33. Greg Pope Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:46 PM (#5953961)
TJ, I was only responding to The Duke who jumped to a conclusion that I was advocating for something for the players that I would not for myself. Obviously it's a little more complicated than that.
   34. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 27, 2020 at 07:03 PM (#5953968)
Season ain't happening. Players are cutting their dicks off to spite their face.
   35. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 27, 2020 at 07:10 PM (#5953969)
Sure looks like the owners who did that but are tying to paint the players as bad guys because no one really knows what their take actually is. And as someone said in another thread (Ron J?) owners have a hell of a lot more time to recoup whatever losses they may actually have from the season than players do.

If I'm in a FA year, no way I risk it for that salary.
   36. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 27, 2020 at 07:43 PM (#5953973)
The numbers may not be fair and I don't know if MLB should have the power to decide the split. Setting those aside, wouldn't we want the larger paid players to take a bigger hit for the benefit of the smaller paid players? Cutting the lower guy's pay has a way bigger impact, plus those are the players that have less ability to make it up later.
The owners have already accomplished part of their purpose with the proposal, which is shifting the conversation from how much they make to how much the players make, and of course attempting to stoke division within the players' ranks.

   37. The Duke Posted: May 27, 2020 at 08:02 PM (#5953978)
These aren’t at-will players. I get CEOs cutting their own pay and their Mgmt hangers-on. I was one of those hangers-on and you can always leave if you dont like it. But Bryce Harper has a contractual relationship with the Phillies under a CBA negotiated by the Union. The MLB is now stepping in and saying we think all the Orioles players should get minimal pay cuts and the big guys on the Phillies and angels and rockies should be stiffed. That’s really not MLBs decision to make. It should be rejected as laughable.

Now if the league wants everyone to be cut 50% like they did in March, and the players agree, fine. The integrity of the contract isn’t violated.

The players will dismiss this en masse - it’s just a ploy to pit the players against themselves and it makes the owners look like asses. It’s not a real offer and I question the motives behind what they are doing
   38. dejarouehg Posted: May 27, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5953995)
The NFL starts games in less than 3 1/2 months
I wouldn't bet the farm on this.

I'm usually a pro-management guy but I thought this was complete dxxxxxxxxxxxy by the owners.

If anything, stars in all sports are underpaid and the regular players are overpaid, relative to the revenue their presence generates. This is even more true if the numbers the owners are presenting re: percentage of revenue generated by tickets/food/parking, etc., is true.

I'll still be pleasantly surprised if any of the big 4 leagues plays any games prior to Halloween.

Putting the financials aside, what really bothers me is the impact that this time off will cause to career numbers. (I'm dismissing playing this year as a realistic possibility.) Hopefully, I'll be around for the end of Trout's career, when he should have nearly 700 HR's, but am concerned that COVID will eliminate too many at bats to reach certain benchmarks.

So tired of being fed up.
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: May 27, 2020 at 09:19 PM (#5953997)
I'll still be pleasantly surprised if any of the big 4 leagues plays any games prior to Halloween.


NARRATOR, Nov 2020: dejarouehg was very, very pleasantly surprised.

also, as noted in another thread, nearly every superstar of the last century has not gotten the opportunity to play 154-game or 162-game schedules even if healthy - for numerous reasons.

Trout has a long, long way to go before he catches Ted Williams, to name one - and I'm not talking about career HR.
   40. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 28, 2020 at 12:36 AM (#5954025)
Washington Nationals Player Representative & MLBPA Executive Council Member Max Scherzer:
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Going to be a tough negotiation.
   41. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 28, 2020 at 12:42 AM (#5954026)
Going to be a tough negotiation.


Or very easy, depending on your perspective. Sounds like the MLBPA is done negotiating. If the owners want to have a season with pro-rated salaries, they can do that. Otherwise, it sounds like we have to wait until 2021. Which sucks, but I don't blame the players here. I can only assume that the owners don't really want to have a season and were hoping to be able to spin the blame for that onto the players.
   42. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 28, 2020 at 01:11 AM (#5954028)
Sounds like the MLBPA is done negotiating. If the owners want to have a season with pro-rated salaries, they can do that. Otherwise, it sounds like we have to wait until 2021. Which sucks, but I don't blame the players here. I can only assume that the owners don't really want to have a season and were hoping to be able to spin the blame for that onto the players.


That's my take. The ridiculous salary cuts proposed are a classic poison pill.

   43. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:34 AM (#5954071)
Interesting theory:

@trevorplouffe

Here’s a theory that makes too much sense not to post:

Owners want to play the least amount of regular season games possible. 60 is the number baseball needs to have a full postseason. They will continue to run the clock out until 60 games is the only possibility..
   44. Rally Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:44 AM (#5954075)
I don't know why 60 is any kind of magic number, why not 54 or 48?

Owners could go all the way down to a 1 game season, pay 1/162 of the regular salaries, then have a 16 team playoff (15 winners and I guess whichever loser came closest in their one game). They get a bunch of postseason revenue and then pay players the standard bonus shares for winning series.
   45. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:48 AM (#5954079)
The MLBPA's self-proclaimed self-importance has become almost unbelievably tiresome. I mean, my God -- negotiate, but shut the #### up about it already. It has no broader "meaning." You aren't "tough" by "standing up" to the baseball owners and no one gives a #### about your ultimatums and "tough" talk. Now that MLB won't have that six-weekish big time sports monopoly, there's even less reason to care. (*) If someone doesn't want to make like $6 million for playing 80 baseball games when the business is prohibited by law from selling its main product to its customer base, that seems like an absurdly stupid decision -- but it remains at least somewhat a free country and if they want to make an absurdly stupid decision, it's their business. There's no reason I should care though.

And the whole "union" thing is even more laughable when we realize they never respect any other union's strike even when it's at their workplaces. It's no different than the Screen Actors Guild, and no one really gives a #### about them and no one goes on and on about how "greedy" the movie and TV "producers" are. When we go and see a movie, no one cares how the revenue pot got split. When even high-quality movie criticism and discussion are undertaken, no one talks about how the revenue pot got split between the producers and the talent. There's no reason to care in baseball, either. And I don't. If you don't want to play, don't play. I. Do. Not. Care.

The only reason people care about this is that they think they need to be pro-union to be a proper, "informed" baseball fan. That's it. But you really don't. It's irrelevant to all the things that matter in the sport. It doesn't matter how much money Bobby Thomsen made in 1951 or how much money the Giants' owners made.

(*) Which, by the way, has a very good chance of disappearing or all-but-disappearing forever. Basketball and hockey have made noises about starting later to avoid King Football and ending later and there's a very good chance the market survey they get to have is going to make that permanent. The Stanley Cup playoffs are certainly a more compelling sport than a mid-season baseball game.
   46. Rally Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:51 AM (#5954080)
Looking at last year's standings on June 4th, with close to 60 games played per team:

AL: Yankees, Twins, Astros win divisions, so the last 100 games changed nothing. TB gets the first WC. #2 is a one game play-in between Texas and Boston. The eventual other WC team, Oakland, was only a half game back.

Very minimal differences.

NL: Phillies, Dodgers win divisions. Cubs and Brewers tie for the central, when Cubs lose the play-in game they become WC#1. Atlanta is WC #2.

So two different playoff teams. Cardinals (.508) are third place in Central. The eventual World Champion Nationals (.450) would have the third worst record, ahead of only the Giants and Marlins.
   47. Rally Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:56 AM (#5954082)
2018:

Astros only get a wild card. The division winner is none other than the Seattle Mariners!

Biggest change in the NL is the 4th place Dodgers miss the playoffs (.492) instead of finishing 63-41 and winning the pennant.
   48. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:03 AM (#5954086)
And of course, as Trevor Bauer so rightly pointed out, this isn't really the "union" doing and saying these things -- the voices we're hearing are really Scott Boras and his very small stable of dumb jocks who happened to win the genetic lottery. It's like 30 people. It's been that way for awhile now, but it's become even worse.
   49. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 28, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5954151)
I don't know why 60 is any kind of magic number, why not 54 or 48?


Doesn't that have to do with the TV contracts? That there's a minimum number of games required for the owners to get paid?

[Possibly I'm misremembering from another thread, I have no independent info.]
   50. Greg Pope Posted: May 28, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5954164)
I don't know why 60 is any kind of magic number, why not 54 or 48?

Doesn't that have to do with the TV contracts? That there's a minimum number of games required for the owners to get paid?

I assumed they were invoking Voros's Law.
   51. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 28, 2020 at 02:49 PM (#5954169)
the appetite to watch (MLB) would be enormous and without competition.

except for the NBA, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour, and NASCAR


And British soccer.
   52. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 28, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5954172)
More reports on the MLBPA response:
The MLBPA’s counter-proposal to the league’s economic plan is expected to be sent this week and, according to multiple reports, it will wholly reject the sliding scale mechanism offered Tuesday by ownership. Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic report that the players will not budge on prorated salaries and will instead counter with a longer season — likely in the range of 100 games. Ken Davidoff and Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggest that the proposal will include more than 100 games, with Sherman tweeting separately that the union could seek to play as many as 110 games. Doing so would seemingly require pushing regular-season play into October.

It’s not clear at this point what compromises will be offered by the Players Association. Sherman and Davidoff indicate that “many” members of the union appear open to deferring salaries beyond 2020, though, which could help ownership to avoid an upfront hit. Rosenthal and Drellich detail some other potential compromises that have been “loosely” discussed.
The MLBPA also claims that MLB hasn’t provided the requested financial info, which might suggest that, as in the previous 100+ years, MLB has something to hide there. That might also mean MLB eventually backs off its demands rather than risk a lawsuit. Deferrals, rather than give-backs, still seem the likely compromise. We’ll see if the parties can make it happen.
   53. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 03:17 PM (#5954178)
Premier League June 17, Serie A June 20.

Baseball has a very short window to get its #### together or it's badly endangering its already-in-trouble business. Given the change to the other sports' calendars, thereby eliminating baseball having the sports calendar to itself for several weeks, out of sight will very much be out of mind.
   54. Karl from NY Posted: May 28, 2020 at 03:17 PM (#5954179)
I'm usually a pro-management guy but I thought this was complete dxxxxxxxxxxxy by the owners.

This specific proposal might have been, but in general the owners need to cut somehow. They'll lose more by paying full salaries on empty stadiums than by canceling the season entirely. If the MLBPA can't figure that out, they deserve to miss the season. They've got a point that the owners never have been or will be honest about the accounting, but driving the bus off the cliff isn't going to fix that. The party in any negotiation most willing to walk away has the leverage, and that's the owners here.

A normal business running at half revenue would cut half of the workers or their hours. But you can't play baseball with 4.5 players on the field or pay half of them on alternate shifts.

The other sports don't have this problem since their player compensation is collectively bargained as tied to revenue, so the reduced revenue will wash out of player salaries eventually in the accounting for future seasons and caps.

The 60-game number might be the point where the regular-season losses become less than what the postseason will gain. Not sure if that's what was meant, but it does stand as obvious that if each regular-season game loses money, of course the owners will want as few as possible to still have a postseason.
   55. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: May 28, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5954184)
Not pro owner but the clubs along with no fans (most likely right?) at games are going to have to pay for ppe for everyone supporting the games as well as the players. And who is paying for the testing which is going to have to be done regularly if not daily? So new costs with decreased money incoming. But I don't think anyone shared that basic math. The sliding scale I get in principle because as others have shared this is pretty common in businesses looking to retain as many hourly people as possible. But unless the owners share more can understand the players not buying what they are selling.

And I shared in another thread but isn't it understood there are already 9-10 owners who are ok bagging the season?
   56. Stevey Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:10 PM (#5954196)
They'll lose more by paying full salaries on empty stadiums than by canceling the season entirely.



Where was this proven to be an accurate statement?
   57. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5954202)


I still think the answer is some sort of player deferred compensation, with baseball announcing expansion next year and announcing two winners in 2022 to recoup expansion fees (also appeasing the union with 52 more jobs) to cover the costs of that deferred compensation.
   58. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:59 PM (#5954211)
They'll lose more by paying full salaries on empty stadiums than by canceling the season entirely.


a) If that were true, you'd think they'd be willing to provide the financial records that prove it, and they apparently aren't...

b) Even if, for the sake of argument, that were true, what's the mid- and long-term cost to their revenue stream from their entire customer base having a whole year to get out of the habit of spending money on baseball?
   59. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:13 PM (#5954218)
So new costs with decreased money incoming.
The owners will also save money on some costs associated with having spectators. Ticket sellers, gate attendants, ushers, security guards, parking attendants, and other logistical staff mostly won’t be needed for a while.
   60. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:14 PM (#5954220)
you'd think they'd be willing to provide the financial records that prove it, and they apparently aren't

Baseball owners have been successfully crying poverty since the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings cashed their first paychecks, with exactly zero evidence. Ain't nothin' new.
   61. Zach Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:03 PM (#5954231)
I don't like the unequal cuts as a management proposal. That should be for the players to decide.
   62. Zach Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5954232)
Going to be a tough negotiation.

Yep. In many ways, I think it's going to look like a bankruptcy, with the players in the position of creditors.
   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:33 PM (#5954237)
In many ways, I think it's going to look like a bankruptcy, with the players in the position of creditors.


Maybe in lieu of the money they claim not to have, the owners should offer the MLBPA an ownership stake in the league as a whole, with their share of any future revenues to be distributed among the players?
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:36 PM (#5954238)

Sports Illustrated

@SInow

"There will be a deal because the prospect of not getting a deal is unthinkable to both sides"

Tom Verducci dives in on everything that's at stake in MLB's negotiations with the players

"Both sides are digging in. Both sides have stumbled. Owners first made the gaffe of floating the idea of sharing revenues 50-50, but never actually made such a formal proposal. Twenty-one of the 30 owners were not in the game when baseball lost the 1994 World Series over the idea of a salary cap based on revenue sharing, but they still should know the idea is a complete non-starter with the union.

The union sounded like little kids shouting “no backsies!” when it claimed a March agreement with MLB prevented any further economic talks on the possibility of playing in empty stadiums.

In the final proposal dated March 26, a copy of which was obtained by SI, Article I entitled “Resumption of Play” spelled out the very such possibility of re-opening talks: “The Office of the Commissioner and Players Association will discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at the appropriate neutral sites.”

link below

fwiw ymmv
   65. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:46 PM (#5954240)
With 30-man rosters and 20-man taxi squads, that is possible if camps open June 13, allowing three weeks of training. And that is possible with an agreement by June 10. Given baseball’s labor history, you probably won’t see a deal until we inch up to that date.


from 64

All-Star Game in the middle of football season after the regular season? Really?
   66. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:53 PM (#5954243)
Maybe in lieu of the money they claim not to have, the owners should offer the MLBPA an ownership stake in the league as a whole, with their share of any future revenues to be distributed among the players?


You mean like the 50-50 revenue split that's very similar to what the other big three US sports have, which the MLBPA scoffed at?
   67. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:05 PM (#5954247)
You mean like the 50-50 revenue split that's very similar to what the other big three US sports have, which the MLBPA scoffed at?


No, nothing like that.
   68. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:40 PM (#5954256)
No, nothing like that.


Exactly that, but the writer is too dull to understand it, again confusing his barstool harangues with actual knowledge or wisdom.

   69. The Duke Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:15 PM (#5954264)
The owners claim of “losing money” need to be flushed out. Even if they lost 200 million in aggregate for instance, this would be must be a bad year after many, many good years. Now if they are losing $2 billion, then obviously that’s a different story. And to Boras’ point, I’m not so sure it’s relevant if the issue is debt service - it was their choice to lever up.

One approach would be for the players to ask for equity stakes in exchange for the salary cuts. Not an owner in the world that would offset salaries with a piece of the team.
   70. winnipegwhip Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:30 PM (#5954268)
28 years of Seligism is coming home to roost.
   71. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:35 PM (#5954270)
Exactly that, but the writer is too dull to understand it, again confusing his barstool harangues with actual knowledge or wisdom.


Nothing like that. The owners proposed a 50-50 split, with them them requiring the MLBPA take their word for how much revenue was generated. The players would be foolish to go for that.* If the players have an ownership stake, they get to see the books as to what the true revenue is, and the owners would never go for that. So the 2 are completely different, and neither is feasible.

*It's like the movie industry. No movie in history has ever made a profit. If you get a cut of the net, you never, ever see a dime. This is the owner's proposal. You can't do that to partners.
   72. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:36 PM (#5954271)
"There will be a deal because the prospect of not getting a deal is unthinkable to both sides"

I don't think this is true
   73. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:47 PM (#5954272)
"There will be a deal because the prospect of not getting a deal is unthinkable to both sides"

I don't think this is true


Writer types (and occasionally other types) say it almost every single time in one of these sports labor disputes, and it's never true.
   74. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:58 PM (#5954274)
Writer types (and occasionally other types) say it almost every single time in one of these sports labor disputes, and it's never true.


The players, for good reason, are extremely unlikely to agree to a revenue split that requires them to take the owners at their word. The owners are extremely unlikely to be transparent as to their books (which is what would be required were they to offer the players an equity stake.). Until that circle can be squared, everything else is irrelevant minutia.
   75. dejarouehg Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:48 PM (#5954276)
What happened to comment 45? I thought it was excellent.
   76. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:53 AM (#5954322)
for the sizable BBTF Tebow-hating contingent, today is a holiday

Mets farmhand released, goes nuclear
   77. . Posted: May 29, 2020 at 11:06 AM (#5954325)
The players, for good reason, are extremely unlikely to agree to a revenue split that requires them to take the owners at their word. The owners are extremely unlikely to be transparent as to their books (which is what would be required were they to offer the players an equity stake.). Until that circle can be squared, everything else is irrelevant minutia.


This is so far afield from my comment to the comment I posted that what I said and meant obviously didn't make it through to you and the gap between the two is enormous. That's either on me, on you, or on a combination. To the extent it's on me, I don't care enough to try to explain it better, especially given the scope of the aformentioned gap.
   78. Ron J Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:34 PM (#5954343)
#76 There's an active Tebow hating contingent left? That surprises me.
   79. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5954351)
Manhattan bar beloved by sportswriters and fantasy baseball nerds alike, another pandemic victim shuttered.

Foley's NY
@FoleysNY
A message from @ShaunFromFoleys
. Sad news regarding Foley’s. #WeHadBeer
   80. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:23 PM (#5954371)
for the sizable BBTF Tebow-hating contingent, today is a holiday - Mets farmhand released, goes nuclear
Hard to compare bad minor league pitchers to hitters, but Andrew Church seems to have played worse than Tebow, despite his lofty draft status (2nd round, 2013). Maybe Church has reasons to be unhappy with how the Mets treated him, but Tebow didn’t have anything to do with that, although mentioning him did guarantee that Church’s bitter farewell received a tad more notice.
   81. Karl from NY Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:28 PM (#5954389)
They'll lose more by paying full salaries on empty stadiums than by canceling the season entirely.

Where was this proven to be an accurate statement?

It wasn't; I didn't mean it that way. I meant that as a given in a hypothesis - the owners appear to think that way, and if they're right, then the rest of the logic follows about trying to shorten the regular season.
   82. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 29, 2020 at 04:52 PM (#5954405)
Church hates Tebow! Film at 11!
   83. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2020 at 08:52 PM (#5954444)
maybe not the owners Mets fans want - but the ones they need?

"J-Rod are re-circling the wagons on their dream of becoming the king and queen of Queens.

Multiple sources close to the situation tell The Post that Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are now working closely with very senior bankers at JPMorgan Chase on a new bid to buy the Mets after their initial approach failed to come together earlier this month.

According to insiders, the baseball legend and pop-star actress are putting in “hundreds of millions” of their own money to finally pry the Amazins’ free from the Wilpon family, who have become more eager than ever to unload the franchise thanks to COVID-19 making their precarious financial condition even more dire.

A strong signal of that desperation is the inclusion of SNY, the Mets’ television network, in a new deal. As The Post has reported, the Mets operate at a major loss, relying on TV revenues to bridge the gap. That makes owning the team without the network prohibitive, especially as baseball recovers from the overwhelming COVID-19 effects."
   84. McCoy Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:12 PM (#5954446)
The only way the Mets operate at a major loss is if the Wilpons pulled out a ton of money and or gave themselves a low payout TV contract which I can see them doing. Both are easily rectified. By either stop doing it or baking in the scam into the sale price or renegotiating the TV contract sooner.
   85. Walt Davis Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5954448)
Even with the "I didn't mean what I said" in #81, there's this ...

A normal business running at half revenue would cut half of the workers or their hours. But you can't play baseball with 4.5 players on the field or pay half of them on alternate shifts.

But the players have already agreed to a pro-rated salary which is the equivalent of alternating shifts or cutting from being open 7 days a week to only being open Fri-Sun. Sure, few shuttered businesses are going to pay their employees while shuttered but, once re-opened, they also aren't gonna get very far with "well, our annual revenues will be down 50% so your hourly pay rate is cut 50%." (Well, they will because there are 40 million unemployed.)

Owners want to play the least amount of regular season games possible.

I think this is more correct than not (whether 60 is the magic number is immaterial). Postseason TV revenue is the big chunk of owners' revenue this year and it appears at this point that they get that (almost) regardless of how short the season is. Players have agreed to pro-rated salaries, the owners only want to pay them about 1/3 of what their full-season take would have been. Worst-case scenario from the owners' perspective is to delay negotiations then agree to play 54 games under the original agreement. During that delay, there's some chance there will be sufficient PR pressure that the players will end up making some further small concessions.

I like the deferral suggestions but surely something like that would be a lot easier to get done if there wasn't a new CBA negotiation coming up. I know the two are technically independent but the union accepting that the owners will act in good faith in spreading out payments over (say) 2021-24 while knowing they are about to enter possibly the ugliest CBA negotiation ever? I'm not sure that's going to happen.

Meanwhile, down under, the NRL re-started this week and the AFL is intending to be back soon so call your local cable provider and you can be watching live sport at 4 am. The other big news was that a NRL player tested positive -- for PEDs! Returning to normal.
   86. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:25 PM (#5954451)
As The Post has reported, the Mets operate at a major loss, relying on TV revenues to bridge the gap.
If the Mets we’re losing money before, they must really be in trouble now, if MLB is to be believed about the financial impact of games without spectators. Shame on the Wilpons for trying to pawn off their worthless team on a couple of naive kids like J-Rod.
   87. flournoy Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:55 PM (#5954454)
I've had my fair share of post-employment resentment and bitterness. Andrew Church closes with this shot:

Thank you to all the players and coaches who had the passion and drive to empower each other and push the game forward. #### you to everyone who wasn't.


That isn't the way to do it. Write it down to get it out of your system, and then throw it away. Don't publish it.

He's 25, which is old enough to know better than to publicly air dirty laundry and burn bridges for no purpose.
   88. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 30, 2020 at 01:31 AM (#5954459)
Thank you to all the players and coaches who had the passion and drive to empower each other and push the game forward. #### you to everyone who wasn't.


That isn't the way to do it.
Yeah, the verbs totally don’t match between the sentences.
   89. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: May 31, 2020 at 05:00 PM (#5954606)

A normal business running at half revenue would cut half of the workers or their hours. But you can't play baseball with 4.5 players on the field or pay half of them on alternate shifts.



Karl, you're a pretty well thought out person so Im not really getting your pt. here. THe original proposal back in March was for the player to play at half of the their normal salaries. SO i dont understand you're analogy here. Baseball was prepared to do essentially what you say they can't do: cut player or play alternate shifts. THEY WERE GOING TO DO just that, play half the season and pay half the salary.

THis is the same pt. Walt is making above. Like I said, I know you always put some thought behind what you're saying so I guess there's something I am missing here. If you could elaborate that would be nice.
   90. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 31, 2020 at 11:41 PM (#5954642)
The players have responded - MLBPA Makes 2020 Counter-Proposal:
Details of the proposal included a 114-game regular season that would end on Halloween, an opt-out clause that would allow any player to sit out the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason was canceled.
. . .
Players would also receive a $100MM salary advance during next year’s Spring Training, which is somewhat similar to the $170MM advance payment that players received this past March as an advance on their 2020 salaries. As per the March agreement, that $170MM in salary would be all the players would receive in the event of a canceled 2020 season, and presumably the MLBPA wants that $100MM payment already in place should the 2021 season be in jeopardy.

A total of $100MM in salary would deferred in the event of a canceled 2020 postseason, coming from player contracts worth more than $10MM (before being prorated). This money would be deferred into two payments, scheduled for November 2021 and November 2022.
. . ,
Players who are considered “high risk” candidates for COVID-19 would be able to opt out of playing this season while still receiving their entire prorated salaries. Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds that the “high risk” designation also extends to players who have spouses or family members with pre-existing health conditions. For players who don’t face a “high-risk” situation but still don’t want to play in 2020, they will receive service time but no salary.
That leaves a pretty big gap between the parties. Time for MLB to move off it’s low ball opening proposal. Players will have to give some, too.
   91. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 01, 2020 at 10:15 AM (#5954678)
The MLBPA is calling the owners' bluff that they're losing more money the more games there are.
   92. Karl from NY Posted: June 01, 2020 at 05:01 PM (#5954794)
Karl, you're a pretty well thought out person so Im not really getting your pt. here. THe original proposal back in March was for the player to play at half of the their normal salaries.

You're conflating two different reasons for cutting pay. One is by season length, the other is per game. Both need to happen, say the owners. If they do, then the players get 1/4 of their contracts for playing 1/2 of a season.

The March proposal was to play a partial season simply prorating the contracts -- meaning the original rate of pay per game. At the time everyone was expecting that the partial season would be with normal stadium operations.

It's now become apparent that fans won't happen. So the owners are now claiming they need to cut per-game pay in accordance with the missing per-game revenue. They say they'll take a bigger loss per game by paying the original per-game salaries on empty stadiums than they would by canceling the season and salaries entirely. MLBPA says they won't play for reduced per-game salaries.

The other sports don't have this problem because their CBAs already tie player income to a percentage of revenue, so the players' loss will be governed by the existing rules of cap adjustments.
   93. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 01, 2020 at 05:09 PM (#5954796)

That isn't the way to do it. Write it down to get it out of your system, and then throw it away. Don't publish it.

He's 25, which is old enough to know better than to publicly air dirty laundry and burn bridges for no purpose.


I can think of a man three times that age who you might share this advice with.

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