The Mainboard MLB Lockout Thread

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staz

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The cradle of the game.
It’s really bad. Just horrible actually
C'mon. Would the cliché photo of a chained fence to an empty ball field be just as horrible?

They did one earlier that was a glove with the chains and lock on it.

there’s a lesson in this, people: pay your designers & artists!
I can see how a gloved hand draped with a chain is problematic, but an inanimate object like a baseball or fence doesn't bother me.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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C'mon. Would the cliché photo of a chained fence to an empty ball field be just as horrible?



I can see how a gloved hand draped with a chain is problematic, but an inanimate object like a baseball or fence doesn't bother me.
Just the visual read of it is awful. Content aside- abusive metaphor- it just looked horrible.
 

lexrageorge

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Seen similar photos in the past. Chains do not always conjure up images chastity chains or other bad stuff. Seems pretty obvious the intention of the photo given the discussion of the lockout; no need to overparse and read hidden meanings in every image.
 

axx

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The owners are trying to roll back gains that the players have gotten over the years. That's really hard to do. People get used to the status quo. I think that if the players can get an agreement to something that is close to the status quo, they should grab that because the longer they wait, the more the owners are going to want. But guys don't get the Show by being okay at losing, even if they are only losing a little bit.
100% disagree. The owners would take a status quo deal in an instant. In fact I think that's been their strategy from the beginning, to frustrate the Union into taking such a deal. If the players want earlier FA, no more service time manipulation, etc... they are going to have to fight for it. Which means a lost season.
 

lexrageorge

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100% disagree. The owners would take a status quo deal in an instant. In fact I think that's been their strategy from the beginning, to frustrate the Union into taking such a deal. If the players want earlier FA, no more service time manipulation, etc... they are going to have to fight for it. Which means a lost season.
A lost season means the players will have that much less leverage in the coming offseason. The NHLPA could have had a better deal early on during the NHL lockout than what they ultimately settled for, as the owners knew the players could not face another season without pay.
 

Ale Xander

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Yeah it’s just as simple as owners make money apart from the game and the vast majority of players do not.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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100% disagree. The owners would take a status quo deal in an instant. In fact I think that's been their strategy from the beginning, to frustrate the Union into taking such a deal. If the players want earlier FA, no more service time manipulation, etc... they are going to have to fight for it. Which means a lost season.
We're just guessing here but I'm skeptical that the owners would agree to a status quo deal right now. Maybe they will end ip there but the owners' big push is to reduce the luxury tax - i.e., give them some cost control. Among other things.

Agree that the owners are trying yo frustrate the players.

https://www.royalsreview.com/2021/8/19/22631822/mlb-owners-reportedly-propose-a-salary-floor-but-theres-a-big-catch
 

In my lifetime

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We're just guessing here but I'm skeptical that the owners would agree to a status quo deal right now. Maybe they will end ip there but the owners' big push is to reduce the luxury tax - i.e., give them some cost control. Among other things.

Agree that the owners are trying yo frustrate the players.

https://www.royalsreview.com/2021/8/19/22631822/mlb-owners-reportedly-propose-a-salary-floor-but-theres-a-big-catch
I actually think this is progress. Making the floor of 100 MM front and center gives in to a Player Association demand that corrects an issue with the last contract. Of course, the owners are going to tie that to something else, in this case, a lower tax threshold number. I don't think the PA will accept a lower tax threshold absolute number, but perhaps they will accept keeping the 210 MM without increases for some period of time.
 

OCD SS

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Ownership’s proposals so far include the barest pittance of additional revenue to the players and do almost nothing to address areas of concern like tanking or getting young players paid in line with their value to teams (and when they do, they’ve done so in such an obviously manipulative fashion as to actually benefit ownership more). I expect the players are looking for a deal that addresses concerns to the game and includes some concession from ownership on one of the areas Manfred has declared “untouchable”, such as revenue sharing and time to arbitration. Until we some movement from MLB, or even a real proposal, I think we’ll be here for awhile.

Edited to correct an annoying return.
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Ownership’s proposals so far include the barest pittance of additional revenue to the players and do almost nothing to address areas of concern like tanking or getting young players paid in line with their value to teams (and when they do, they’ve done so in such an obviously manipulative fashion as to actually benefit ownership more). I expect the players are looking for a deal that addresses concerns to the game and includes some concession from ownership on one of the areas Manfred has declared “untouchable”, such as revenue sharing and time to arbitration. Until we
Some movement from MLB, or even a real proposal, I think we’ll be here for awhile.
I agree with you that we're going to be here awhile.

I'm curious - do you think this is a good strategy for the players? Maybe it's good because it's the "right" thing to do for the game or maybe it's good because this is the way that the players get concessions or maybe it's good for some other reason?

I'm honestly asking because I just don't see the long-term strategy for the players here. Maybe they think that losing some games is going to make some of the owners convince the other owners to act? Seems like losing games is going to hurt the players more than the owners and the owners also seem prepared to lose a lot of games.

Anyways, we'll be able to have some form of this discussion for a while. Sadly.
 

OCD SS

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I'm curious - do you think this is a good strategy for the players? Maybe it's good because it's the "right" thing to do for the game or maybe it's good because this is the way that the players get concessions or maybe it's good for some other reason?[

I'm honestly asking because I just don't see the long-term strategy for the players here. Maybe they think that losing some games is going to make some of the owners convince the other owners to act? Seems like losing games is going to hurt the players more than the owners and the owners also seem prepared to lose a lot of games.
I think it's the only option open to them; the bottom line is MLB revenues have been increasing and player salaries have been decreasing, and that trend will not change if it's just left up to the owners.

Whether you believe Tony Clark is a moron who lost 2 straight negotiations giving up hard won advantages in exchange for creature comforts (the "extra seats on the bus" narrative) or take the more charitable view that the MLBPA did not understand just how far MLB would push the extremes of what these deals allowed ownership to do, and expected league behavior to persist as mostly the status quo, the fact is that the players have now seen what the results of these deals and realized they can no longer expect the owners to behave equitably on their own. Another thread in the SotB narrative is that the players saw where things were headed, but weren't ready for a protracted labor fight then, but they've spent the last deal preparing, and are ready now.

A labor fight is going to hurt both sides, but ultimately ownership has more money on the line because they're looking at $10+B in profits being jeopardized. MLB isn't as dependent on gate receipts, but how much do they start to lose from TV contracts, or advanced media streams, or their new gambling partnerships if games are cancelled? How do team real estate developments look without players on the field? Sadly I don't think ownership is worried about the long-term health of the game in the face of a protracted negotiation with lost games.

I think the players have to be ready to lose games and take that short term hit in order to protect their long term interests. More and more players are not even in the league long enough to reach arbitration and negotiate in their own interests, never mind reach free agency. Players not willing to make that stand are ultimately arguing for their being disposable to MLB, and paid as such.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think it's the only option open to them; the bottom line is MLB revenues have been increasing and player salaries have been decreasing, and that trend will not change if it's just left up to the owners.

Whether you believe Tony Clark is a moron who lost 2 straight negotiations giving up hard won advantages in exchange for creature comforts (the "extra seats on the bus" narrative) or take the more charitable view that the MLBPA did not understand just how far MLB would push the extremes of what these deals allowed ownership to do, and expected league behavior to persist as mostly the status quo, the fact is that the players have now seen what the results of these deals and realized they can no longer expect the owners to behave equitably on their own. Another thread in the SotB narrative is that the players saw where things were headed, but weren't ready for a protracted labor fight then, but they've spent the last deal preparing, and are ready now.

A labor fight is going to hurt both sides, but ultimately ownership has more money on the line because they're looking at $10+B in profits being jeopardized. MLB isn't as dependent on gate receipts, but how much do they start to lose from TV contracts, or advanced media streams, or their new gambling partnerships if games are cancelled? How do team real estate developments look without players on the field? Sadly I don't think ownership is worried about the long-term health of the game in the face of a protracted negotiation with lost games.

I think the players have to be ready to lose games and take that short term hit in order to protect their long term interests. More and more players are not even in the league long enough to reach arbitration and negotiate in their own interests, never mind reach free agency. Players not willing to make that stand are ultimately arguing for their being disposable to MLB, and paid as such.
OK txs. What you say is super reasonable and I wouldn't be surprised if those arguments are in an internal player memo almost verbatim.

The only thing I'll note is while the owners have more gross revenues at stake in the short-term, the players would seem to have more earnings at stake, particularly as a % of what they will earn over their careers.

But txs sgain.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I can't remember. Will the minor leagues play if the major leagues aren't ? Or will it be only the Independent League ?
Yes, affiliated minor leagues will run. It's only MLBPA players (those on 40-man rosters) that are locked out. So we won't see the likes of Duran, Downs, or Houck playing for Worcester or Portland, but Casas, Yorke, and Mayer will be in action.
 

biollante

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I can live with just minor league ball. Although, it has gotten really expensive to go to the Yard Goat stadium compared to the good old times at Beehive Field. Although Steam Cheeseburgers are very nice to eat when they are at the Yard Goats.
 

canderson

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I think a lost season will do irrevocable harm to MLB. It's already a sport losing traction and a rapidly aging demo.

The owners seem not to give a damn though.
 

mikeford

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YTF

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I think a lost season will do irrevocable harm to MLB. It's already a sport losing traction and a rapidly aging demo.

The owners seem not to give a damn though.
This is where I'm at as well, especially just 2 seasons removed from a year that left us with a 60 game, Covid infested season with no fans in the stands and a shut down of the minor leagues. It was very hard for fans to get behind that season, but it wasn't MLB's fault and league had a decent rebound last year. It's hard for me to imagine a lost season, but I if they lose much more than four weeks I thinking they are risking losing part of an ever shrinking fan base.
 

Sin Duda

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Can the players start their own league? I know most are under contract, but are those contracts on hold while the Lockout is on hold? Can Boras League Baseball rent stadia in college towns, independent leagues, etc. and play for 10 cents on the dollar to put pressure on the owners?

Separate topic ... Where does John Henry stand regarding pressuring players? Is he hawkish (which I doubt) or more of a dove?
 

YTF

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Can the players start their own league? I know most are under contract, but are those contracts on hold while the Lockout is on hold? Can Boras League Baseball rent stadia in college towns, independent leagues, etc. and play for 10 cents on the dollar to put pressure on the owners?

Separate topic ... Where does John Henry stand regarding pressuring players? Is he hawkish (which I doubt) or more of a dove?
I wonder if injuries in a non sanctioned league would lead to voided contracts and/or lawsuits.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Can the players start their own league? I know most are under contract, but are those contracts on hold while the Lockout is on hold? Can Boras League Baseball rent stadia in college towns, independent leagues, etc. and play for 10 cents on the dollar to put pressure on the owners?

Separate topic ... Where does John Henry stand regarding pressuring players? Is he hawkish (which I doubt) or more of a dove?
it's super hard to organize these kind of barnstorming gigs. Most decent stadium are booked; plus there are a ton of logistical issues like hotels, flights, etc. Also the injury factor as mentioned above looms large.

Players have always tried to organize something during lengthy strikes but other than going overseas, nothing much ever gets done.
 

cannonball 1729

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Can the players start their own league? I know most are under contract, but are those contracts on hold while the Lockout is on hold? Can Boras League Baseball rent stadia in college towns, independent leagues, etc. and play for 10 cents on the dollar to put pressure on the owners?
The players had actually started making plans to do exactly this for May of 1995 during the last work stoppage. (There's a great Athletic article about it here, though subscription is required.) Of course, it helped that they had had almost a year of lead time to get ready since the strike began in August the year prior - as WBCD notes, it's tough to get something like this scheduled quickly. And in '95, it was basically done as a negotiating ploy by the players because they felt like the owners were so entrenched that they had no choice but to get creative about such things. It may be a while before we get there on these negotiations.

But players playing in foreign leagues is certainly an option - NHL players did exactly this in the '04-'05 stoppage.

Whether you believe Tony Clark is a moron who lost 2 straight negotiations giving up hard won advantages in exchange for creature comforts (the "extra seats on the bus" narrative) or take the more charitable view that the MLBPA did not understand just how far MLB would push the extremes of what these deals allowed ownership to do, and expected league behavior to persist as mostly the status quo, the fact is that the players have now seen what the results of these deals and realized they can no longer expect the owners to behave equitably on their own. Another thread in the SotB narrative is that the players saw where things were headed, but weren't ready for a protracted labor fight then, but they've spent the last deal preparing, and are ready now.
You know what the craziest thing is to me? That Tony Clark was the negotiator. Marvin Miller was an experienced union man whose previous job was as a negotiator for the steelworkers. Donald Fehr was a lawyer who was involved in the Messersmith-McNally cases that created free agency, and he served as the general counsel for several years before being promoted to the top position. Tony Clark is a former first baseman who, as far as I can tell, has almost earned a college degree in history. I'm sure he's a great guy, and he's clearly a good organizer and a strong leader and a convincing voice to the players...but it just seems like the players brought a first baseman's mitt to a gunfight the last time around. Kudos to the MLBPA for actually bringing a negotiator to the proceedings this time.
 
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koufax32

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Can the players start their own league? I know most are under contract, but are those contracts on hold while the Lockout is on hold? Can Boras League Baseball rent stadia in college towns, independent leagues, etc. and play for 10 cents on the dollar to put pressure on the owners?

Separate topic ... Where does John Henry stand regarding pressuring players? Is he hawkish (which I doubt) or more of a dove?
I think a potential data point to answer your last question is what he was willing to do with LFC in abandoning the Premier League for a new Super League.
 

walt in maryland

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Can the players start their own league? I know most are under contract, but are those contracts on hold while the Lockout is on hold? Can Boras League Baseball rent stadia in college towns, independent leagues, etc. and play for 10 cents on the dollar to put pressure on the owners?

Separate topic ... Where does John Henry stand regarding pressuring players? Is he hawkish (which I doubt) or more of a dove?
I'm not sure where Henry stands, but I'm fairly confident he isn't going to break with his fellow owners, and he certainly won't tip his hand publicly
 

mikeford

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Not sure this is really the help Boston fans wanna see coming to the rescue

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said Monday that he’s ready to step up to the plate and help end Major League Baseball’s two-month old lockout.


Walsh, the former Boston mayor and longtime Red Sox fan, said he had spoken with representatives of the owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association about the ongoing negotiations and that he encouraged both sides “to continue engagement.”
 

OCD SS

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I'm not sure where Henry stands, but I'm fairly confident he isn't going to break with his fellow owners, and he certainly won't tip his hand publicly
As a mea culpa for some earlier discussion regarding payroll, one of the recent Athletic articles mentioned that JWH co-signed the letter where Hal supported lowering the CBT threshold.
 

canderson

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Manfred is talking to the media Thursday, per Fox Sports. He’ll likely posture the season is on the brink due to the mlbpa’s “demands.”
 

Manramsclan

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Adam Wainwright basically came out this weekend and said the players would probably take the current CBA deal again.

Not the uh... best negotiation strategy I ever seen but what can you do.
I believe this would be the prevailing circumstance if the owners had not locked the players out. They would continue under the current CBA until a new deal was reached.

The owners put a stop to that once they locked the players out. To be fair, the players could have also done the same by striking.
 

geoduck no quahog

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The parties have known this was coming since 2017 - now Spring Training gets delayed.

I'm (almost) speechless - and definitely pissed off at both sides (although more pox on the Owners).
 

RSN Diaspora

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Press conference today from MLB and I've heard from one sportscaster who has been led to believe that they are announcing a delay in spring training and Manfred's resignation. No love for Manfred, but this wouldn't be a good sign for getting a season any time soon if it is true.
 

Max Power

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Press conference today from MLB and I've heard from one sportscaster who has been led to believe that they are announcing a delay in spring training and Manfred's resignation. No love for Manfred, but this wouldn't be a good sign for getting a season any time soon if it is true.
Over the past two months I've had push notifications come to my phone from Twitter about Manfred's resignation. They never appear in the app when you click through to them. I figured they were some kind of scam, but it would be weird if it came to pass.

I thought chances were good of getting an agreement done when the players caved and gave up on age based free agency. But it seems like the owners would rather cancel a season than pay young talent closer to what they're worth. The players can't accept returning to the status quo as far as that goes. I'm not super optimistic that anything gets done soon.
 

Max Power

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I hope that's the case. Not because he's good, but because upheaval only hurts the situation.
Maybe the situation needs upheaval. Both sides put out one proposal each and then MLB broke off talks and invited a federal mediator. Whatever's happening now doesn't seem to be bringing us closer to a solution.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Press conference today from MLB and I've heard from one sportscaster who has been led to believe that they are announcing a delay in spring training and Manfred's resignation. No love for Manfred, but this wouldn't be a good sign for getting a season any time soon if it is true.
If Manfred resigns, that either means (1) the owners really want a deal and Manfred is in the way, or (2) the owners really don't want a deal and Manfred thinks they are acting unconscionably.

I think we can all agree that (1) is pretty much impossible.

(2) would be a good fairy tale but even if that were true, the owners would undoubtedly do things to prevent Manfred from resigning and the resignation wouldn't be leaked a day ahead of time.

Unless there are some personal issues we don't know about but he'd retire instead of resign in that case.
 
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