Sport is an important source of consolation and stress reduction for a large part of the population (although its healing and unification forces are often exaggerated). But it would be irresponsible to claim that mlB and coronavirus can coexist without collateral damage. This is the hope that the league and players and employees who have volunteered for the service or who have been put into service will be able to avoid the worst-case scenario of a baseball-induced death. And even if a start to the season is the only casualty, it could be a bigger blow to morale than ever taking the field. To get its $1 billion in a month, baseball needs two things: Joel Sherman of the New York Post is among those who report that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached an agreement on the health and safety protocol that participates in the introduction of the 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic. The news comes a day after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred flew to Arizona to meet personally with MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark to meet one last attempt to reach an agreement, and two days after ESPN`s Manfred said in a taped interview that he was „not confident” that there would be a 2020 season and that the inability to reach an agreement is a „disaster.” Like most commissioners, Manfred will not lose his job because the fans despise him. (When Roger Goodell`s popularity was deepest, the owners gave him an increase.) The only thing that could cost him his position is to lose the trust of his bosses, who we know he had recently. In November 2018, the owners unanimously approved a five-year extension for Manfred, which keeps him under contract until 2024. Between this long-term contract, the growing revenues of the sport during his tenure, his hard-boiled history with work, the upcoming CBA negotiations and the singularity of the problems caused by COVID-19, Manfred probably has enough time to last a long time. But he doesn`t seem to have a blissful hand in private politics, and if he told the owners that the March agreement would not commit them to proportional wages, some homeowners might be upset by the fiasco that followed.
The impasse over economic conditions for 2020 puts baseball`s working relationship at its lowest level since the 1994-95 players` strike and leads to an epic and hideous fight in 2021 for the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement. Major League Baseball and mlB Players Association (MLBPA) have been negotiating a possible return plan for a 2020 season for more than five weeks. While it recently appeared that both sides could approach the finish line, a disagreement over the number of games has put the negotiations back in a bind. In other words, timing has not served baseball well. But MLB still has an opportunity to generate interest and loyalty to its product by making it as difficult as possible for its fans to feel good about baseball. Admittedly, MLB would not have been able to return safely much earlier, and a longer lead over the start dates of other sports probably wouldn`t have inflated baseball`s long-term popularity than it would have inflated that of marble runs or corn holes. Nevertheless, sport has eliminated people at a time when it could have reinforced its somewhat misleading claim to the traditional status of „national pastime”. The only consolation is that the MLB managed to safely return to base just behind an entire TOOTBLAN. Clark`s statement on Saturday reflected the union`s recognition that Manfred had the power, as stated in the March agreement, to set the terms of the 2020 regular season, in the absence of an agreement, as long as the players were paid on a pro-rata basis.
Two weeks earlier, MLB had indicated that it was ready for a 48-game season against 54, even though it had never officially proposed it.