Will There Be MLB in 2020?

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Talking about this in a few different threads, but since we're approaching the unofficial deadline, I thought it made sense to start a new thread. Buster Olney with a good piece summarizing where we are this AM:


The owners have to be the ones to cave here, the players simply can't afford to (from a macro perspective), and I don't see that happening. All they would be doing is kicking the can down the road, as the next CBA was always going to have to be radically changed, but there's so little time and such massive divides.
 

ifmanis5

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2007
40,153
Rotten Apple
I hope there will be but I have no confidence that these two sides can come together. The whole sport looks pathetic and even worse, seems like most sports fans don't even care if they come back or not. Baseball should be most concerned about that rather than their revenue percentages. I give it a 50-50 shot at best.
 

Couperin47

Member
SoSH Member
The owners are precisely this stupid and greedy and selfish, Manfred is far too weak and timid to herd these cats. There is no trust left whatever between ownership and players; hence zero communication or cooperation between the sides on finding a solution (unlike the NBA for example) and it's unreasonable/inappropriate for the players/union to construct their own comprehensive proposal. Whatever the owners finally propose is likely to be totally unreasonable and the history is that ownership will be totally unwilling to reveal the true financial situation to allow meaningful negotiation. I can't imagine the players will cave to the extent ownership will demand.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
1,636
from the wilds of western ma
If all the other sports come back, and they don't strictly due to financial haggling, they will bury the sport for years. The recovery from the '94 strike will look easy by comparison. The bad will, and even worse, indifference, will be that bad, IMO. I think the owners are exactly greedy, stupid, and short-sighted enough to fuck this up. I think it may very well be the last nail that renders it a niche sport, closer to MLS and Hockey, than the NFL and NBA.
 
Last edited:

Gdiguy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
3,239
San Diego, CA
The owners are precisely this stupid and greedy and selfish, Manfred is far too weak and timid to herd these cats. There is no trust left whatever between ownership and players; hence zero communication or cooperation between the sides on finding a solution (unlike the NBA for example) and it's unreasonable/inappropriate for the players/union to construct their own comprehensive proposal. Whatever the owners finally propose is likely to be totally unreasonable and the history is that ownership will be totally unwilling to reveal the true financial situation to allow meaningful negotiation. I can't imagine the players will cave to the extent ownership will demand.
Unfortunately I'm coming to this position too

The lack of trust is a huge problem - I don't see a way the players accept such a huge cut in salaries without getting books opened to some degree to verify the actual losses that'll happen without fans, and I don't see any way the owners agree to that in general but especially when the next CBA is about to be negotiated

Admittedly I'm very much on the players' side here (I certainly didn't see owners rushing to give players salary bonuses when revenues were increasing), but I'm kind of getting tired of supporting a bunch of billionaires who are clawing for every additional penny
 

axx

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
6,679
The owners are precisely this stupid and greedy and selfish, Manfred is far too weak and timid to herd these cats. There is no trust left whatever between ownership and players; hence zero communication or cooperation between the sides on finding a solution (unlike the NBA for example) and it's unreasonable/inappropriate for the players/union to construct their own comprehensive proposal. Whatever the owners finally propose is likely to be totally unreasonable and the history is that ownership will be totally unwilling to reveal the true financial situation to allow meaningful negotiation. I can't imagine the players will cave to the extent ownership will demand.
See, that's the problem. The players would have to capitulate for the numbers to work. You can't wait until it's politically feasible to have fans in the stands.

I think it's kind of unfair to compare it to the other sports, when the NBA and NHL completed most of their season and the NFL was in it's offseason.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
13,506
Personally I think both Clark and Manfred are incompetent idiots and they will mess this up. The players got hosed on the CBA and still have Clark leading them. The owners think the current CBA is a great start and want even more.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
20,741
lol at this excerpt from the Olney article.

Sources say there is a group of owners perfectly willing to shut down the season, to slash payroll costs and reduce losses, and the disparate views among the 30 teams have been reflected in the decisions to fire and furlough. The Pirates' Bob Nutting used the shutdown as an avenue to suspend team contributions to employee 401K plans -- savings best measured monthly in the tens of thousands of dollars rather than the millions that would actually be difference-making for a franchise probably worth at least $1 billion.
Obviously Henry did the same thing to a lesser extent with the salary cuts, but Nutting is a known bad owner.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Well, FWIW, the Pirates have yet to release any minor leaguers even though they somehow have more than 300 under contract (I don't exactly understand how this is possible).
 

SemperFidelisSox

suzyn
SoSH Member
May 25, 2008
19,983
Boston, MA
What you have here is millionaires haggling over money with billionaires. Greed is what will ultimately unite them. A deal will be reached when both sides figure out a way to profit from a new season that satisfies both sides. There will be baseball on the 4th of July and everyone will be lining their pockets and shaking hands. Our National Pa$time.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,527
Will there be MLB in 2020? Will there be American civilization in 2020? I think that's the bigger question.

But regarding baseball, I think Semper is right....I cannot believe they'd risk the complete annihilation of baseball, which is certainly possible. They'll come to *some* deal.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Yeah, the owners are showing zero flexibility. It's a shame I love MLB so much or I would root for the whole sport to implode and them to lose their entire ten figure assets.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Didn't the players just show zero flexibility?
The current CBA is absurd and deeply unhealthy for the sport, as I have discussed here countless times in recent years (if you haven't seen the Baseball Is Broken (off the field) thread, I recommend it). Any rational human being looking at the pre-Covid state of affairs in the sport would realize that things need to drastically change in order for the sport to survive. Covid has just pushed that discussion up by a year and a half. The players have no real wiggle room here, the owners need to cave for the good of the game (and for their own longer-term economic good).

Edit: https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/baseball-is-broken-off-the-field-labor-relations-etc.22257/
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

Luddite
Silver Supporter
Jul 5, 2018
417
The current CBA is absurd and deeply unhealthy for the sport, as I have discussed here countless times in recent years (if you haven't seen the Baseball Is Broken (off the field) thread, I recommend it). Any rational human being looking at the pre-Covid state of affairs in the sport would realize that things need to drastically change in order for the sport to survive. Covid has just pushed that discussion up by a year and a half. The players have no real wiggle room here, the owners need to cave for the good of the game (and for their own longer-term economic good).
The CBA can't be renegotiated right now. The issue is what's going to happen for 2020. If they end up playing a half season, the owners will lose $1.5B+ in revenue. Are they expected to absorb 100% of the loss?
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
The CBA can't be renegotiated right now. The issue is what's going to happen for 2020. If they end up playing a half season, the owners will lose $1.5B+ in revenue. Are they expected to absorb 100% of the loss?
The CBA has to be renegotiated right now, actually, although not nearly as drastically as is needed. What is the plan for service time? If there are actually 50 man rosters, what does that mean for the current 40 man rosters? Do players on the 40 man roster who have to be protected but are years away from being able to genuinely contribute have to be part of the 50 man roster or not? That's just what comes to mind immediately, I'm sure there is more.

Also that $1.5B number is almost certainly horseshit. Are you being paid by MLB or something?
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
But to answer your question anyway, $1.5B divided by 30 teams is $50M, so yes, the owners should absorb almost all of that hypothetical number since they are sitting on billion-dollar plus assets that have gone up in value massively in recent years. Sometimes when you run a company, you lose money for a year or two here or there, it's the big picture that matters.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Especially considering that teams will be drawing from 50 man rosters, depending on the rules there.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

Luddite
Silver Supporter
Jul 5, 2018
417
The CBA has to be renegotiated right now, actually, although not nearly as drastically as is needed. What is the plan for service time? If there are actually 50 man rosters, what does that mean for the current 40 man rosters? Do players on the 40 man roster who have to be protected but are years away from being able to genuinely contribute have to be part of the 50 man roster or not? That's just what comes to mind immediately, I'm sure there is more.

Also that $1.5B number is almost certainly horseshit. Are you being paid by MLB or something?
Ticket revenue is 30% of total revenue for MLB. Using $10B for MLB revenue, means $3B for gates receipts, or $1.5B for a half season.

I'm not taking a side and I don't know if the owners should take the hit. People seem to be saying it will devastate MLB if there's no 2020 season, so maybe the owners will pony up.

For me, when the 2021season starts I'll have the TV on and a cold beer in my hand, regardless of what happens this year.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Ticket revenue is 30% of total revenue for MLB. Using $10B for MLB revenue, means $3B for gates receipts, or $1.5B for a half season.
Losing $1.5B would put MLB back to 2015-2016 revenue numbers, keep in mind that player salaries have been stagnant to slightly down the past few years as MLB total revenues have gone up a billion or two.

 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Seriously, the owners' collective behavior has been sickening. Today WAS announced they were cutting the pay to minor leaguers from $400 to $300 a week, the Nats players just announced they would make up the difference. David Price is paying every Dodgers minor leaguer $1000 in June, even though he is far less rich than Dodgers ownership. The list goes on, sickening.
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
27,790
So the Nats can save $110,000 on the season, about the cost of a quarter's season salary for a minimum salary ML player.

Nats franchise was estimated to be worth 1.8 BILLION, and that was prior to being the World Champions.

 

MuzzyField

Member
SoSH Member
Ticket revenue is 30% of total revenue for MLB. Using $10B for MLB revenue, means $3B for gates receipts, or $1.5B for a half season.

I'm not taking a side and I don't know if the owners should take the hit. People seem to be saying it will devastate MLB if there's no 2020 season, so maybe the owners will pony up.

For me, when the 2021season starts I'll have the TV on and a cold beer in my hand, regardless of what happens this year.
Your beer is gonna get real warm, and 2021 will be the beginning of the end for this death defying crap sports organization.

This will shrink the 40-60 demo that cares and good luck back filling it with the youngsters that hate the game that won't pick up it's fucking pace, all that requires is to actually play the game by the rules.

MLB... three + hours of free-throw excitement!
 

JCizzle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2006
10,786
Seriously, the owners' collective behavior has been sickening. Today WAS announced they were cutting the pay to minor leaguers from $400 to $300 a week, the Nats players just announced they would make up the difference. David Price is paying every Dodgers minor leaguer $1000 in June, even though he is far less rich than Dodgers ownership. The list goes on, sickening.
So the Nats can save $110,000 on the season, about the cost of a quarter's season salary for a minimum salary ML player.

Nats franchise was estimated to be worth 1.8 BILLION, and that was prior to being the World Champions.

How anyone can "both sides" this situation, let alone take the owners side, is beyond me.
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,292
Astoria
How anyone can "both sides" this situation, let alone take the owners side, is beyond me.
I'm not taking sides but I think the players have managed what little leverage they have very badly. They have come across as whiny and entitled. The owners are a known quantity, they run their sports teams businesses with an iron fist and will save every dime they can. It took 3 months of quarantine for the players to come up with a proposal that wasn't PAY ME ALL MY MONEY OR ILL POST ANGRY THINGS ON TWITTER and then their proposal was basically exactly the same as what they've been yelling except allowing a deferral.
 

InsideTheParker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
27,458
Pioneer Valley
What you have here is millionaires haggling over money with billionaires. Greed is what will ultimately unite them. A deal will be reached when both sides figure out a way to profit from a new season that satisfies both sides. There will be baseball on the 4th of July and everyone will be lining their pockets and shaking hands. Our National Pa$time.
Don't you mean "bumping elbows?" And whence cometh this optimism?
 

snowmanny

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
11,099
The owners proposal is laughable on its face. Gerrit Cole would make $8 Million dollars? He earned his free agency and the Yankees submitted a huge bid for his services because television and Championships. Is there anybody here who thinks that even with a 114 game schedule and no fans in the stands the Yankees wouldn't pay at least $20 Million for 2020 Cole? I think they'd probably still pay the whole thing. Hell, the Rays would pay way more than $8 Million.

If I were a player in no world would I give up the hard-fought and persistently negotiated right to get paid around what I was worth. So as to be nice to younger players? So as to provide entertainment to snowmanny during this difficult time? LOL It is the owners trying to pull a fast one.
 

PC Drunken Friar

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 12, 2003
10,676
South Boston
I'm not taking sides but I think the players have managed what little leverage they have very badly. They have come across as whiny and entitled. The owners are a known quantity, they run their sports teams businesses with an iron fist and will save every dime they can. It took 3 months of quarantine for the players to come up with a proposal that wasn't PAY ME ALL MY MONEY OR ILL POST ANGRY THINGS ON TWITTER and then their proposal was basically exactly the same as what they've been yelling except allowing a deferral.
Just because you see it this way, doesn't mean its the truth.
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,292
Astoria
Just because you see it this way, doesn't mean its the truth.
Of course. As a fan though, I don't feel bad for anyone involved except the fans, salaried staff and minor leaguers. We need baseball more than ever. We truly do. The players and owners deserve absolutely nothing from the fans right now except scorn. Not only because they haven't reached a deal but because they are actively adding to the stress of everyday people who are trying to claw their way to positive news. So, pardon me for calling them whiny and entitled but they are.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Of course. As a fan though, I don't feel bad for anyone involved except the fans, salaried staff and minor leaguers. We need baseball more than ever. We truly do. The players and owners deserve absolutely nothing from the fans right now except scorn. Not only because they haven't reached a deal but because they are actively adding to the stress of everyday people who are trying to claw their way to positive news. So, pardon me for calling them whiny and entitled but they are.
What? Players somehow owe it to you to put themselves at risk for a fraction of their promised salary so you have better entertainment options? You're better than this.
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,292
Astoria
What? Players somehow owe it to you to put themselves at risk for a fraction of their promised salary so you have better entertainment options? You're better than this.
I don't know about that jon. When baseball is the only major sport not on TV, "safety" is going to be a poor defense. There seems to be general assumptions that nothing can happen if we don't take as many measures as possible. So, I'm not making my argument under the premise that people should put themselves at great risk. The players are barely making a safety argument. They have now said they will play, but only if they get the money right.

I get your point, but I'm not being inconsiderate of the risk. I'm considering it an assumption that they will be as reasonably safe as they can be. It certainly seems that playing a game of baseball presents less risk right now than most people are taking daily to buy groceries and go on public transportation.
 

TheGazelle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2009
439
I'm not taking sides but I think the players have managed what little leverage they have very badly. They have come across as whiny and entitled. The owners are a known quantity, they run their sports teams businesses with an iron fist and will save every dime they can. It took 3 months of quarantine for the players to come up with a proposal that wasn't PAY ME ALL MY MONEY OR ILL POST ANGRY THINGS ON TWITTER and then their proposal was basically exactly the same as what they've been yelling except allowing a deferral.
I don't think this is fair. The players' position is that they agreed to take pro-rated salaries back in March/April, and the owners are now trying to re-negotiate that deal to save even more money. I don't know why that makes them whiny or entitled.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Fair enough, but I really think that in terms of flexibility, it is almost totally on the owner's side, in large part because of the previous CBA (which of course the players idiotically agreed to).
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,245
Joel Sherman's columns have been up and down in quality lately but here is a very good one, making a similar point to the one/s I keep trying to make: