MLB Owners Essentially Confirm They’re The Ones Who Don’t Want Baseball

After a series of offers which were angrily rejected by the other side, you’ll note there was an important development as it pertained to the owners. Before proceeding further, it is important to hone in on what the owners first offer entailed. As reported by various outlets, the owners initial offer was an 82 game season.

Put the financial details aside for a moment (that’ll be addressed later). The owners initial proposal was to play 82 games or essentially half a season (plus one game). When taking into account how part of these offers constitute a bit of posturing, the owners were saying 82 games were feasible, and there might be some room to fit in some additional games.

In the players proposal of 114 games, there was an important response from the owners. First and foremost, their proposal was to reduce the games from 82 to 50 with them finally honoring their agreement to pay the players their full prorated salaries. Without prompting, that 50 number was reduced to 48 games (if you’ve followed Jacob deGrom‘s career, you can expect no support for 48).

The next part was especially dubious. As reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Tony Clark said, “In fact, Rob confirmed yesterday that, ‘We can pay you 100 percent of salary right now.'”

And there you have it. Despite protesting otherwise, the owners have the money.

So, what the all amounts to is the owners attempts to reduce the amount of money they have to pay the players, and to a certain extent, to shield them from financial losses. On the latter point, it should be noted the owners continuously refuse to open their books. When they don’t do that, no one can know with any certainty what is truth and what is conjecture.

Really, at this point, no one knows if the owners will suffer losses. Remember, a loss of revenues does not necessarily mean a financial loss. Any business, including Major League Baseball, can see revenues decrease and still break-even or realize profits. With MLB still having media rights deals, having significantly decreased costs (in the billions of dollars), and the ability to purse additional revenues when baseball does return, it is quite possible no Major League team will suffer any real financial losses.

If there are teams who do, like the New York Mets for example, fact is, they were already experiencing losses. To that point, there is a legitimate question if they suffered a loss across all of their baseball related companies. Going back to the Mets, yes, there are reports the team lost money, but then again, they made money off of SNY, which is part of their baseball business enterprise.

The overriding point here is the owners admit they have the money to play baseball in 2020. While the players and fans want more games, they want fewer. This isn’t about getting back and selling the game. It’s about breaking the union and selling more postseason games.

Ultimately, the owners have no real interest in returning to play games. Every proposal where they limit the amount of games played says as much. That goes double when you consider they admit they have the money on hand to do it right now.