NEW YORK – Had they gotten what they reportedly wanted on Monday, there would have been a schedule set for the 2020 season by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred.
Instead, players got another twist to a saga that threatens to spiral out of control.
Manfred, who was given power in March by owners and players to set a schedule if negotiations falied to reach a deal, told ESPN that he’s not confident that there will be a 2020 season.
Naturally, the MLBPA wasn’t happy.
Executive director Tony Clark said that the union is “disgusted” that the comissioner has said that a season may not happen in 2020 after all.
“Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told Players and fans that there would ‘100%’ be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season,” said Clark in a statement released by the union. “Any implication that the Players Association has somehow delayed progress on health and safety protocols is completely false, as Rob has recently acknowledged the parties are ‘very, very close.’
“This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning. This has always been about extracting additional pay cuts from Players and this is just another day and another bad faith tactic in their ongoing campaign.”
It was Clark on Saturday who said that the MLBPA would no longer present counteroffers to the owners and asked Manfred to use his power to set a schedule.
“Tell us where and when,” was the cry from the union leader and there was a request to find out about that on Monday. Obviously that didn’t happen, and already some players have expressed their displeasure on Twitter, including Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and first baseman Anthony Rizzo.