Like we heard last week, MLB made an official proposal to the players on all of the nuances of a potential 2020 season today, and like we all could have guessed, most of it was centered around money. It's super in depth so much so that my brain can't really comprehend the proposal, but luckily I have a few friends who can for me. This is a sort of recap of the first round of negotiations between the players and owners. Some of this will come off as obvious, some of it not so much.
This is how I see everything:
- the owners are crying poor because they're going to be out on gate, parking and concessions. Duh. No fans are going to be in attendance. But the owners' value is tied to their franchise values, which have gone up exponentially and will continue to do so, as Corona is not a permanent thing.
- the owners want to limit losses by cutting player salaries, which is what they're trying to wack first and they're doing so by trying to bully the players into a revenue share where the players would be paid solely based on revenues brought in in the 2020 season. This is a FAT no-go for the players for one BIG reason: owners won't open up their books to be audited to ANYONE they don't have to, especially the MLBPA. If it's proven owners are making a gazillion dollars more than the players, player salaries would skyrocket in the next round of collective bargaining negotiations. If there's not stone cold proof the owners are actually losing money, there's no way in HELL the players would agree to a revenue share, nor should they.
- More off the previous bullet point: when franchise values skyrocket into the billions, players don't see bonuses. They don't see extra money when new TV deals are signed, or when new ad partners are brought in, or when beer is upped by $.25 a pop. The players make what the players make.
- Owners take all of the risk in owning their franchise, just like any other business. They assume ALL the risk and ALL the reward.
- The players will be the ones taking all of the risk if there's a 2020 season. They'll be on the hypothetical front lines of the pandemic. If anyone should be making concessions on money in take, it should be owners first, players a DISTANT second.
In the end, everyone is going to be missing out on money. The owners won't make as much as they would have with a normal season (though it's up for debate if they would "lose" money), and the players will at at best have to take a prorated version of their 2020 salaries.
It sucks for all involved. That said, nobody wants to hear billionaires argue with millionaires, as cliche as it sounds. In the next week or 10 days, over 100,000 people will have died from Coronavirus and unemployment may hit 20%. Obviously the owners and players want what's fair to them, but if either side drags this out any longer because they're arguing with each other over who should get a larger slice of the billion dollar pie, they'll see a MASSIVE boycott from their fans when all of this shit is done. Nobody wants to hear rich people argue about money with other rich people about money.
Needless to say...
I'm saying the two sides have 10 day TOPS to reach an agreement or there might not be baseball at all this summer. Everyone wants baseball back. That would be an absolutely brutal look for the sport, and all the good will they developed would be wiped out at the snap of a finger if money is why they don't play. Cutting the draft to 5 rounds was the first step in pissing people off, this would be the final nail in the coffin.
Even if we can't tear up Lot B this summer, watching the Sox dominate on TV will bring us some small amount of normalcy. Get. This. Shit. Done.