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Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Rob Manfred admits MLB never intended to play more than 60 games

When asked to rate the job he did during the negotiating process, Manfred quickly veered to the following.

“The reality is we weren’t going to play more than 60 games no matter how the negotiations with the players went, or any other factor,” Manfred told Patrick. “I think this is the one thing we come back to every single day: we’re trying to manage something that has proven to be unpredictable and unmanageable. I know it hasn’t looked particularly pretty in spots, but having said that, if we can pull off this 60-game season, I think it was the best we were going to do for our fans given the course of the virus.

“It’s the calendar. We’re playing 60 games in 63 days right now. I don’t see, given the reality of the health situation over the past few weeks, how we were going to get going any faster than the calendar we’re on right now. No matter what the state of those negotiations were.”

For something so unpredictable, Manfred seemed pretty convinced that the coronavirus would only give MLB a 60-game window.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 01, 2020 at 07:59 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rob manfred

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   1. McCoy Posted: July 01, 2020 at 08:15 PM (#5960643)
So not good faith negotiations then?

   2. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 01, 2020 at 08:23 PM (#5960645)
He said that with the collusion grievance still on the table? Bwahahaha
   3. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: July 01, 2020 at 08:31 PM (#5960647)
"But we never intended to play more than 60 games IN GOOD FAITH."
   4. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 01, 2020 at 08:59 PM (#5960649)
I ask again, musn't there be information we don't have? Otherwise, how could they be that stupid? I'm genuinely trying to understand.
   5. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: July 01, 2020 at 09:14 PM (#5960652)

For something so unpredictable, Manfred seemed pretty convinced that the coronavirus would only give MLB a 60-game window.


This is a kind of unfair statement. Its pretty clear that whatever path the coronavirus takes, it's not going to suddenly lift and allow anything like a full season, or season into november, or a season without risks. Its clearly risky and I think its questionable whether they even complete the current season.
   6. JRVJ Posted: July 01, 2020 at 10:54 PM (#5960663)
The problem with analyzing this statement from the usual MLB/MLBPA standpoint is that there is a pandemic out there which is proving to completely confound early XXI century science.

The chance of completing a smaller season during a world wide pandemic is inevitably higher than a longer season. Realistically though, it is doubtful that a 60 game season will, in fact, be completed for all franchises, what with the rise in cases in Florida, Texas, Arizona and even Southern California (in fact, there's a legitimate chance that this season won't even GET started, because of the pandemic).
   7. villageidiom Posted: July 02, 2020 at 11:24 AM (#5960696)
The reality is we weren’t going to play more than 60 games no matter how the negotiations with the players went, or any other factor
The notion that MLB didn't want to pay for more than 60 games seems vaguely familiar, as if someone kept saying that.
   8. winnipegwhip Posted: July 02, 2020 at 12:16 PM (#5960709)
Translate:

"We know as we get closer to the November elections is when the media is going to go into full meltdown on the so called epidemic to encourage their desired election results therefore any discussion of playing deeper into the 2020 calendar year was out of the question. And the alternative of playing postseason games in Florida will be moot as Florida is a swing state and that is where the perceived crisis will be greatest."
   9. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 02, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5960710)
The Q-Anon translation?
   10. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 02, 2020 at 12:22 PM (#5960714)
"We know as we get closer to the November elections is when the media is going to go into full meltdown on the so called epidemic to encourage their desired election results therefore any discussion of playing deeper into the 2020 calendar year was out of the question. And the alternative of playing postseason games in Florida will be moot as Florida is a swing state and that is where the perceived crisis will be greatest."

I doubt Manfred believes this - at only 61 years old, residing in Westchester County, NY, having a graduate degree and being still active in the work force instead of watching Fox News all day he isn't the usual target for bizarre conspiracies.
   11. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: July 02, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5960726)
That translation is... peculiar...

>

But anyways, does it turn out that Manfred is a double agent? You'd think that the first rule of a lawsuit is not publicly admitting that you're in the wrong.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 02, 2020 at 04:58 PM (#5960779)
Look, I know the headline is catnip, and Manfred didn't express himself particularly well. But he's not "admitting" anything, or speaking to the owners' intent at all. What he's saying is that given the evolving virus news and what has happened recently and is happening currently, he does not believe anything beyond a 60-game season would be feasible regardless of where the negotiations with the players had landed. Of course, you may disagree with him, but this is not a smoking gun at all.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: July 02, 2020 at 06:10 PM (#5960792)
Agree with #12. I think he's trying to say "even if we had agreed in April to play 110 games starting July 1, we'd have ended up playing 60 starting in a couple of weeks." It's the poor word choice of "we" followed shortly by "the players." If he had said "Baseball was never going to play more than 60 games" the meaning is clearer. Or if he had said "we were never going to agree to more than 60 games ..."

But we know that last suggestion wasn't true since the owners offered more games. What they essentially wouldn't budge on was the total amount; what the players wouldn't budge on was pro-rata -- that math works out to about 60 games. So in that sense too, we were always going to end up at 60 games. The owners somehow won a PR victory that everybody kept talking about games when of course it was about the total money and the per-game rate.
   14. Zach Posted: July 02, 2020 at 06:38 PM (#5960796)
Good faith is the new RICO act. Important in the right context; doesn't apply as often as you might think.
   15. BrianBrianson Posted: July 03, 2020 at 10:04 AM (#5960856)
#12 and #13 are right. If he had said "The reality is we weren't going to make the players immortal, no matter how the negotiations went", or "We were never going to host games on Olympus Mons, not matter how negotiations went", it wouldn't tell you anything other than they were going to agree to something they couldn't do.

Apart from which, negotiating in good faith doesn't really require you to be open to agreeing to anything. Even when you're negotiating in good faith, there can be things you'll never agree to.
   16. Adam Starblind Posted: July 03, 2020 at 10:18 AM (#5960857)
And 15 is right. It isn't bad faith to have a bottom line beyond which you can't agree.
   17. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 03, 2020 at 10:23 AM (#5960858)
[13] I interpreted his statement as saying that the offers for more than 60 games were designed to get rejected since he didn’t want more than that.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: July 03, 2020 at 08:02 PM (#5960919)
#17 ... not a Manfred mind-reader but unless teams actually are going to lose money on a per-game basis, it doesn't make sense that MLB wanted only 60 games instead of 70 at the same pay. Nobody really cared about the number of games. MLB seems to have decided that something in the range of 35% of total payroll was the sweet spot, the players decided they would not play for less than 1 game's pay for 1 game played. (OK, technicaly service days) The players would have been happy playing 80 games for 50% and the owners would have been happy with 80 games for 37%.

As to "knew would be rejected" I agree but one can argue that was on both sides. The owners "knew" the players weren't gonna play 80 games for (a partly conditional) 37% and, after several offers around 35%, the players "knew" MLB wasn't coming up to 50%. It was pretty much always will it be 30%, 35% or 40%?

Continuing to parse things to death, "no matter how the negotiations with the players went, or any other factor." That would seem to be saying that even if the players had agreed early to 80 games at 37% or MLB had agreed early to 80 games at 50%, baseball still would have ended up playing 60. Given trends in the US, I'm not sure any of us are convinced they'll play 60.
   19. McCoy Posted: July 03, 2020 at 08:26 PM (#5960925)
Re 15 and 16. Having a bottom line doesn't mean you are negotiating in bad faith. Lying, deceiving, stalling, and putting the other side in the corner so they have to agree to your offer is negotiating in bad faith.

Now I don't know if MLB did that but if all MLB was interested in was 35% pay and they purposefully dicked around so that would be the only option they negotiated in bad faith.

In 1994 the owners negotiated in bad faith and lost before the Labor Board because of it.

One last note. The owners could say we're only going to offer 1 dollar and that's it. An arbitrator could certainly say their offer was in bad faith. In labor relations ownership doesn't really get say we set all the terms when there is a union involved.
   20. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: July 04, 2020 at 01:16 PM (#5961011)

#17 ... not a Manfred mind-reader but unless teams actually are going to lose money on a per-game basis, it doesn't make sense that MLB wanted only 60 games instead of 70 at the same pay.


It does make sense. The more games you play, the more likely the season will end in a wave of corona outbreaks before we get to the playoffs. As you yourself say:

Given trends in the US, I'm not sure any of us are convinced they'll play 60.


Right? So they obviously want to shorten the season as much as possible in order to get to the playoffs. How does that not make sense?

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