As the return of sports inches closer to reality, there are hurdles to be cleared outside of the coronavirus before we see the professionals back on the field. Major League Baseball was in headlines for the wrong reasons again last week for a disagreement about money between the owners and players.
Fans have chipped in on both sides, letting opinions fly about why and when they believe baseball should return.
Some people are siding with the players saying front offices are trying to get out of contracts to take an unfair share from those actually on the field. Meanwhile, some side with the owners, calling the players selfish for holding up a possible season to get more money.
When the season’s opening day was first pushed back in March, the MLB Players Association agreed to a deal with the league for players to receive a prorated salary based on how many regular-season games they get to play this year. Essentially, if the regular season was shortened from 162 games to 81 games, players would receive 50% of their salary.
The owners went a step beyond that last week when they approved a proposal for a 50-50 revenue split with the players. Of course, that may sound fair as a 50-50 compromise always seems to make sense on paper.
However, this proposal would cause another major pay cut to the players. According to a publication released by the MLB, the agreement made in March for prorated salaries would be a loss of $640,000 per game for the league.
In turn, 90% of the leftover revenue would be going to the players. Now, the owners want that to be split evenly which means more pay cuts for the players, going against the original contracts and the agreement made March 26.
The MLB made this public and got exactly the response it was hoping for as the majority of fans want baseball to return and now they are putting pressure on the players to accept what seems like a fair deal. However, players have their own reasons for threatening to not play if they get the go ahead to return to the field.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell shared a video discussing his point of view, saying the players are the ones risking their lives by traveling and coming in contact with more people than the average fan is right now. He said the players have already agreed to a significant pay cut and there should not be any reason for the owners to go back on that agreement.
Players from around the league flocked to social media to back up Snell’s argument and many of them got plenty of backlash from fans.
Trevor Bauer of the Cincinnati Reds isn’t typically afraid to share his opinions and he often interacts with those who reply to him on Twitter. Thursday, one account asked Bauer how he was going to tell his kid who plays baseball for his school and “for the love of the game” when the players he idolizes won’t play because of the lack of money.
“That your son’s skills have value and he shouldn’t let people take advantage of him,” Bauer replied.
Almost everyone is making sacrifices during this time and the players’ union recognized that and agreed to take a pretty major pay cut without even knowing when the season was going to resume. The owners tried to take advantage of that and are now trying to get even more with the help of public perception.
There are a lot of things I disagree with Bauer but he got this one spot on. Hopefully more baseball fans can see that. This is not about being selfish but rather knowing your own worth. That should be something we can all learn from and hopefully it’s something younger players can find encouraging as they chase their dream.