NEW YORK — Players accused teams of “depriving America of baseball games” as part of a money fight created by the coronavirus pandemic. They raised the possibility baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred might push ahead with a shortened season over the union’s objection.
Union chief negotiator Bruce Meyer has sent a letter to Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem threatening that an attempt to play without an agreement could lead players to block any attempt to expand the playoffs and deny consent to neutral-site games in the postseason.
Major League Baseball made its initial economic proposal on May 26, offering an 82-game regular season schedule and a sliding scale of cuts beyond the prorated shares of salaries the sides agreed to on March 26.
Players responded on Sunday with a 114-game regular season schedule running through October and no additional cuts. Each player would get about 70% of his original salary under the union’s plan and roughly 22-47% under MLB’s proposal, including $200 million tied to the postseason being completed.
Management quickly rejected the union plan and said it would not offer a counterproposal given the insistence of the players’ desire for a longer season that would spill into November. Among MLB’s objections concerns November baseball that could be canceled by a second wave of COVID-19.