No MLB economic plan in 1st session with players


NEW YORK – Major League Baseball did not include an economic offer during its opening presentation to the players’ union on conditions for the start of the coronavirus season.

Illinois governor JB Pritzker criticized big leagues for not being willing to cut wages further at press conference on Tuesday, and Arizona governor Doug Ducey said his state was open to spectator-free matches for all major sports starting on Saturday.

The MLB and players’ association electronic meeting lasted between three and four hours and was made up of baseball officials explaining their views on economics, science and logistics to start the season, said several people familiar with the Associated Press session. People spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.

The owners gave the green light on Monday to a proposal that players would receive the percentage of their 2020 wages based on a 50-50 split of MLB’s regular and post-season income, a someone familiar with the plan told AP. The person also spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan was not announced.

The concept would reduce the expenses of teams anxious to play on empty soccer fields due to the pandemic. The union sees revenue sharing as a salary cap, which it said it would never accept, and the concept was not presented.

If empty stadiums or neutral sites are used, an agreement with the players’ association is required to play ball.

The opening day was to be March 26. The MLB plan could start the season around July 4 with a regular season of 82 games, the playoffs going from 10 teams to 14 and the designated batter used for the first time in games between National. League teams.

MLB officials showed slides during the meeting and the union delegation, which included players, organized caucuses and asked questions. Baseball officials have explained how they would use a laboratory in Utah to give the sport its own testing ability, people said.

Baseball officials also expressed concern over a second wave of coronavirus in the fall and fears that it may force the post-season cancellation. While players receive their wages during the regular season, the bulk of MLB national broadcasting revenue comes from the after season.

The players agreed on March 26 to an agreement whereby they would be paid prorated wages based on the portion of the regular season’s 162 game schedule played. As part of this agreement, if no match is played, they would receive service time for 2020 corresponding to what they earned last year.

The average MLB salary is $ 4.4 million at a high price if the season had started on time.

“I realize that players have the right to haggle over their wages, but we live in a time when the people of Illinois and the people of the United States deserve to reclaim their hobby, to watch, anyway way, on TV, “Pritzker said in response to the last question from his press conference.

“If they are able to find safety precautions, as has been suggested by Major League Baseball, it works, I hope players will understand that the people of our United States need them to recognize that it’s an important part of the hobbies we all want to have over the summer, watching them play baseball, taking root for our favorite teams, ”said the Illinois Democrat. “We need this return, this return to normal, and I hope they will be reasonable when they negotiate. But I have to say that I am disappointed in many ways that the players want these very, very high wages and payments at a time when I think everyone is sacrificing themselves. “

A member of the family that controls Hyatt hotels, Pritzker’s net worth was estimated by Forbes at $ 3.4 billion.

The players’ association declined to comment on his remarks, said spokesman Chris Dahl.

Players and teams pledged in the March agreement to “discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or on suitable neutral sites.” Union leader Tony Clark said negotiations have ended, and many have said they have already reached conditions for 2020 and see no need to negotiate further.

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said about 40% of MLB’s revenues are tied to the door, including concessions, parking, football advertising, suites and luxury programs.

EU officials and actors cited the March deal as fixing economic conditions and said they were not keen on further cuts.

Players are more interested in medical protocols and tests designed to protect them and detect the new coronavirus.

Ducey announced that “Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL, NFL, MLS are able to participate and play in the state of Arizona after May 15.” According to some of baseball’s possible plans, some and possibly all of the teams would be based in the Phoenix area, but the first preference for the end is to play in empty regular-season football fields.

“Of course, it would be with CDC guidelines and the protection of public health,” said the Republican. “We have had discussions with the leaders of some of these leagues and they all know they are welcome to operate, play and play in the state. from Arizona. “


Associated Press author Jonathan J. Cooper of Phoenix contributed to this report.


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