The players were disappointed in what the league presented to them a week ago, especially after taking more than a month to do so. The sides have not met at all this week, but the latest reports have them getting together in person on Monday, January 24. That meeting will take place over a week since the last proposal, and no counter-proposal is necessarily set to come from it.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wrote a scathing piece the other day that started with the sentence, “Not a single game should be lost.” He’s not wrong, but I fear that won’t be reality. After being let go from MLB Network because Rob Manfred thought the reporter was too critical, Rosenthal comes out firing in this one. As Rosenthal notes, this is Rob Manfred’s legacy at stake. He represents the owners but seemingly gets in his own way when trying to put a PR spin out for fans.
Stephen Nesbitt penned another piece for The Athletic that highlighted fan responses from more than 11,000 respondents across a handful of subjects. Not entirely labor or CBA related, there was plenty that did intersect, however. Just 2.8% of fans responded they were happy with the current overall state of MLB, with another 9.4% being indifferent. The rest all responded with being either angry, hopeful, or disappointed. Over 66% of fans blame the owners for the lockout, with both sides sharing blame at a 33% clip. 92.1% of fans think that this mess will impact Spring Training, with respondents being virtually split on regular-season games being lost. It’s a great look at the state of affairs for the league and not a glowing one in any sense.
Just yesterday, Evan Drellich wrote that the “owners are testing the players,” which is the last thing fans want to hear. Billionaires are playing a game of chicken with the players while we all suffer because of it. Major League Baseball has made only minor concessions in their proposals, and they’ve hardly addressed each key area in one fell swoop. Drellich notes that this is by design, and the owners are looking to see whether players are willing to lose paychecks. As time dwindles, the hope from MLB is that players will cave and return to the field without having the majority of their demands met. Manfred’s goal is to find a way forward that has owners giving in to the least amount of change.
We’ve crossed the one-month mark until pitchers and catchers are supposed to report for Spring Training. That’s not going to happen on time, and we spent these last seven days without any meaningful progress.