MLB commissioner Rob Manfred came under fire Wednesday after saying in an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show” that a season longer than 60 games was never feasible. “The reality is we weren’t going to play more than 60 games no matter how the negotiations with the players went, or any other factor,” Manfred told Patrick.
The negative response to those comments was substantial, considering the March agreement between the league and players association expressly stipulated that two parties would make their “best efforts to play as many games as possible.” On Thursday, Manfred spoke to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale in an effort to clarify the point he claims to have been making:
“My point was that no matter what happened with the union, the way things unfolded with the second spike, we would have ended up with only time for 60 games, anyway. As time went on, it became clearer and clearer that the course of the virus was going to dictate how many games we could play. … If we had started an 82-game season [beginning July 1], we would have had people in Arizona and Florida the time the second spike hit.”
Major League Baseball’s initial proposal to the MLB Players Association was indeed for 82 games with an early-July start date, although that proposal came with additional pay cuts beyond the prorated salaries. The union steadfastly rejected further cuts. Their contention was that the March agreement clearly stated prorated salaries would be in place regardless of whether fans attended games, though neither executive director Tony Clark nor anyone else in the MLBPA could ever seem to explain why they then also allowed the inclusion of a clause indicating the two parties would “discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at appropriate substitute neutral sites.”
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Originally posted on MLB Trade Rumors | By Steve Adams | Last updated 7/2/20