Chance increases Major League Baseball won't play in money fight

Rob Manfred

That only leaves so many days for games if Opening Day falls sometime between July 20 (likely the earliest possible date) and July 27.

Manfred's response infuriated MLBPA executive director Tony Clark, whose union rejected the owner's latest proposal of a 72-game schedule at a guaranteed 70% prorated pay with a maximum of 83%.

The owners are a 100% committed to getting baseball back on the field. "Unfortunately, I can't tell you that I'm 100 percent certain that's going to happen". It was also reported on Tuesday that there were at least six owners of Major League Baseball teams that were all for calling off the 2020 season.

"We strongly disagree with your assertion that our concern about player health and safety in the midst of the greatest health crisis in our lifetime is a "pretext" to play fewer games", Halem wrote to Meyer in a letter obtained by USA Today.

While every fan would like a season of, say, at least 81 or 82 games, baseball has probably blown the chance to get there.

If there is a season, how many games will be played?

Forget for a moment that Manfred's backtracking made him look foolish on Monday's ESPN forum with other commissioners, all of whom have managed to reach agreements with their respective unions to return to play. "This has always been about extracting additional pay cuts from Players and this is just another day and another bad faith tactic in their ongoing campaign". In a statement, Clark concluded: "It's time to get back to work".

The issue dividing players and owners remains salaries.

Major League Baseball conducted negotiations through the media Monday as it resumed trying to pay players as little in salary as possible this year.

Some MLB owners would reportedly rather not play in 2020.

Fear that the union has a strong case and could win a grievance that would be costly for the owners might also have played into Monday's turn of events.

Absent Manfred's consent, the agreement said, the season would not begin unless there were no travel restrictions in the US and Canada impacting play, no restrictions on mass gatherings at all 30 regular-season ballparks and no health or safety risks in playing in front of fans at the regular stadiums.