Baseball Risks Permanent Damage with No 2020 MLB Season
A little more than a week ago, I predicted that Major League Baseball would have solidified a return to the playing field to salvage their 2020 season. Not only has that not happened, but today Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN that he is not confident that the National Pastime will return this summer. The latest twist today was a letter that MLB sent the players association that a 2020 season would not happen unless the union waived its right to file a grievance against the owners saying they violated a March agreement between the two. Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer offered this response on Twitter.
MLB's letter to the MLBPA arrived about 24 hours after players told the owners that they were ready to return to the field and just needed to know when and where. MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark issued this statement late today.
It is obvious that unless both sides make a 180-degree turn in negotiations, any fan hoping for a 2020 MLB season will be greatly disappointed. The bigger question is the permanent damage to the sport if both sides do not come to an agreement on a season. How many people who normally attend games will boycott MLB? How do you explain no MLB season to the kids who play youth baseball so they can emulate their heroes? Not to mention the billions that are normally spent on MLB merchandise.
When you start to add it all up, the greed that has led baseball to this point could cost owners much more than the $300 million that both sides were rumored to be apart in negotiations as of a few days ago. Unlike the 1994 strike which needed Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to help bring the sport back four years later, MLB might not be as lucky this time.