This is a tough time for sports fans. Usually, around this time of year, NBA and NHL playoffs are wrapping up, the NFL is still making news with holdouts and contract disputes, and the MLB season is in full swing. Obviously, that isn’t the case, and the way things are heading, it may not be the case for some time. Baseball, however, has more than just COVID-19 to worry about in its path to see the MLB in 2020.

To put it lightly, the owners and the MLBPA have a less than optimal relationship. With the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) set to expire after the 2021 season, many in the baseball world, myself included, believe that the MLB is heading for a work stoppage in 2022. While a work stoppage seems inevitable in the near future, the 2020 MLB season is looking less likely by the day.

Last week, Rays pitcher Blake Snell said that he would sit out the 2020 season if the MLB reduced his salary any further. The MLB and MLBPA agreed that players would receive a prorated portion of their salary that coincided with the number of games that could be played in 2020. But the MLB has reportedly asked the players to take another pay cut to help offset the losses the owners would suffer as a result of having no fans in the stands.

Phillies star Bryce Harper was quick to back up Snell saying, “He’s [Snell] speaking the truth, bro. I ain’t mad at him. Somebody’s got to say it. At least he manned up and said it.”

Tensions are escalating further after an MLB email leaked to the media. The MLBPA believes it was an attempt by the owners to sway public opinion about the issue of how much players would be paid in the upcoming season. Jon Heyman gave the position of the owners and why they are seeking a new deal with the players union.

In other words, the owners want the players to share in the losses the league will sustain this season. They also want the players to assume all the risk. The owners want to tell the players and fans how much ticket sales and having people in the stadium contribute to their bottom line but don’t want to show them proof. As a fan, I am not happy with the owners and the players are right to be unhappy as well.

Through all this trouble, the MLB STILL needs to acquire an adequate number of tests. The MLB STILL needs the approval of numerous health officials to even think about starting the 2020 season. Remember when there was hope? You wanted to see the MLB in 2020, sorry, that’s looking less likely by the day.

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Daniel Damico

Belly Up Baseball Department Head | I am a lifelong Philly sports fan that is currently trapped watching Pirates baseball on TV and hearing about how good the Penguins are. On select occasions I watch the Phillies play terrible baseball and complain about it on the internet.

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