the players did take an opportunity cost “loss”. They earned less than minimum wage for 6 years as minor leaguers, many leave MiLB in debt because the wages don’t cover the cost of training and travel in the offseason, let alone cost of living. If they had gotten a job at Home Depot, it would have been banked income over those 6 years, and they would have been able to negotiate higher wages with other employers over that time as well. What percentage of minor leaguers make it to the bigs? Maybe 5-10%. It’s a real cost/benefit calculation.
I feel for the milb system and am amongst the VAST MAJORITY of us here who have advocated for change there. And I'm not going to bring up that debate again except to say that I don't think financial "loss" is accurate. Players in MLB today "paid their dues" to arrive at their goal. They received millions to a couple thousand dollars for signing and then a salary to play, unfair though the $ may be. But they never lost $ to play, unless they chose to turn down $ in another career area to peruse their dream.
Not picking on your post as you and mostly agree on all things, including this conversation, just trying to be clear headed and accurate while trying to make some additional points and using your quote as a place to start.
When something hits a business hard, such as this pandemic, losses are also generally spread out from infrastructure to salary cutbacks. Most people I know, fortunately for them, have remained gainfully employed, though have lost bonuses or various forms of extra pay they may have earned. But they are still employed and still earning $. But it obviously hasn't been the same for a lot of people who are temporarily or permanently let go. Someone mentioned a chef, I believe it was, as an analogy of someone being asked to take a pay cut to work. While that stinks, at least that chef would still be able to work and earn while the business was carry out only, no in house customers, and now maybe partial in house customer occupancy. But that restaurant owner was still paying rent, utilities, taxes, benefits for his employees, and salaries for as many employees as they still could, even if there were cut backs.
Taken to a big picture scenario, this is where baseball finds itself right now.
When most anyone joins a business or a company, they start at a lower level and work their way up in regard to salary and title. This is generally true from a recent college grad to a fry cook who becomes a restaurant manager. Even if salaries are absurd, ML players have earned their contracts via the structures in place. And I can be appreciative of them and their talent and earnings, While also being a bit jealous, but I don't begrudge them their $. And IMO, they are being asked to make less $, but truly, they are not being asked to "lose" money the way MLB is expected to lose. (Or at best maybe break even).
Now, where I think ownership is making a mistake is IF they are still trying to find profit here. It's one thing to mitigate losses or break even, but it's another situation entirely if they're still trying to eek out said profit in their "side investment/hobby" at this juncture.
Another area where ownership could be POTENTIALLY making a mistake is the lower percentage of $ paid to the higher market players. If they are going to lose $ as the entity that is MLB, perhaps losing a bit more to adjust higher values to those players could be seen as a good faith offering, especially with the CBA around the corner. Business wise, agreeing to a bigger loss may not make sense, but for better labor peace it could pay eventual dividends.
In regard to MLB, and owners, asking for assistance to mitigate losses but unwilling to share in additional revenue, i am utterly perplexed. Before THIS CRAZY SITUATION, the players have enjoyed great financial rewards over the past couple of decades. So they HAVE shared in tne revenue growth of the sport. Further, while final numbers may be fluid, I find it very interesting that tbe owners proposal includes bonuses paid out to the players based on post season and WS revenue. Perhaps I read it wrong, but my impression was that would be league wide.
To the players I would simply add, they are smart enough to know this pandemic situation is going to have far reaching affects over the next few years in regard to everything from extensions, arbitration and FA. But for the good of the sport, the union, the players themselves, a little more hurt for 2020 might somewhat somewhat soften the blow over the next few years. But again, I'd offer up to ownership that a little more loss and cooperation with the union now may lead to a better CBA going forward.