Will the Baltimore Orioles play in 2020? Or won’t they? These are the big questions, and an email making its way through is continuing to build tensions between the two groups that will decide.
The Baltimore Orioles 2020 season isn’t up to just the O’s. It’s an all-or-nothing deal that needs to be decided between the Rob Manfred of the MLB and the Players’ Association representative Tony Clark, and uber-manager Scott Boras.
The two groups seem to be stuck on several issues, and money appears to be at the root of it. A Tweet from Jon Heyman shows that the Players’ Association and the MLB owners are still far from shaking hands.
Players union in internal memo says it is “livid” over so-called smoking gun MLB email becoming public in NY Post and is an attempt by MLB at “railroading” players. Union memo also noted it requested paperwork from MLB it has yet to receive March 13. So tension persists.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 21, 2020
The Tweet is in regards to this article in the New York Post. The article shares a copy of an email from March 26, 2020 that lays out the issues between the two sides and what needed to be negotiated. Some of the topics included reducing player pay for games played in empty stadiums, calculating service time in a shortened season, and what to do with the 2020 draft.
The players are angry that this email was released to the public. Part of the problem is that the MLB requested that players take a pay cut in empty-stadium games. But, players do not want this. They want to be paid their contracts no matter who is in the stadium, because they are risking their health to do so.
But does the email really make the players look like the bad guys? Not really. They are the talent, and they should be paid for putting on a show. The Players’ Union exists to take care of the players, to protect them from harmful working conditions. Yes, baseball has played in a pandemic before, but that was 100 years ago.
This “smoking gun” email could be designed to get the players to move on the issue of restarting. It did not include details about a 50-50 split in revenue, which is a detail that seems to be slowing negotiations. The two sides spoke on May 19, the same day the email was released.
It’s tough for fans for be sympathetic to either side, but it is the players who will put their health on the line, not the team owners. This is exactly why the players have a union. It’s the dollar amounts that both sides are talking about that make it tough for fans to pity anyone.
If the two sides can come to an agreement, a shortened spring training could happen in a few weeks, with the 2020 season beginning in July.