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Major League Baseball Owners Seek to Soak the Rich

If we don't have Major League Baseball in 2020, don't blame COVID-19.

If we don’t have Major League Baseball in 2020, it won’t be because of COVID-19. What could keep us from seeing our favorite professional baseball teams is a squabble between millionaires and billionaires.

The delays due to the coronavirus – which we can only blame on the Chinese – is potentially giving us only an 82-game series. But the owners of ball clubs and the players they employ can’t agree on salary proposals.

Players had already agreed to a pay cut in March, but MLB’s proposal, which they released yesterday, proposes further cuts. ESPN’s Jeff Passan demonstrated what the cuts would look like.

Okay, okay, I can see both sides of the issue. I know that some of you are thinking, “poor babies won’t make as many millions.” And I know that others of you can imagine how you’d feel if your employers proposed cutting your salary that much. It’s also a tough scenario to imagine to anyone who already can’t fathom making that kind of money to begin with.

But what’s worth noticing is that the owners have basically taken the punish-the-rich tack that the left loves to take when they talk about the rich paying their “fair share.”

Look at it this way: a player normally making $563,500 a year would take a 53.5% pay cut. At $1 million, that pay cut is 56.6%, while at $10 million, the player would face a cut of 70.5%. The upper echelon of players normally make $35, and their cut would be 77.6%. Talk about soaking the rich!

These newly proposed amounts are lower than even the prorated pay cut that the players agreed to, as Passan points out.

Over at Barstool Sports, writer Hubbs puts is as only Barstool can:

What are the owners going for here? Force majority of the league that doesn’t have a mega contract to agree with this and outnumber the minority rich. About 65% of the players make a million or less. The owners are going after those players here and giving them the better end of the deal in hopes they don’t have to pay the Gerrit Cole’s of the league anywhere close to their big number. Sure $7.84 million looks like a ton of money to you but that big of a pay-cut is insane. These guys already agreed to a pay-cut in March. Why should they have to do it again? Because billionaires are greedy? Where is the logic there? Why should the players have to fall heaviest on the sword? Makes no f***ing sense to me. 

Hubbs also points out that the owners could shoot themselves in the foot with this proposal, which could lead the players to revolt over the upcoming collective bargaining agreement:

How could Major League Baseball watch the NBA, NHL, and NFL come back and play while they sit out because of a money disagreement. I just don’t see how at the end of the day they don’t come together on some sort of middle ground where both sides are taking a loss and just play the season. The repercussions of having no season in 2020 because of millionaires and billionaires fighting over money is something they can’t come back from. It’s a death sentence in my eyes. You don’t have a season in 2020 that could further f*** up the 2021 CBA negotiations and force baseball out of the picture until 2022. 

This is by far the most frustrating sports story I’ve ever witnessed. Baseball just can’t get out of their own way to help boost the popularity of the sport.

“Frustrating” is the right word, although some of the other words that Hubbs uses that start with “F” seem to fit too.

I sincerely hope that MLB doesn’t ruin this baseball season – and potentially next year – for all of us fans. The damage these owners could do clearly hasn’t occured to them.

Oh well. At least we’ll have college baseball next year. Hopefully.

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