“Baseball Union–Shut Up”
With apologies to a guy I really like, MLB Players Association Chief Tony Clark, ‘shut up’.
In the midst of 91,000 deaths, 33M people unemployed, and a historic pandemic that has paralyzed society, he wants to argue about the ‘Return to Play’ proposal put forth by the Owners and Commissioner Rob Manfred.
He represents players, who now make an average of 4M per player, from the superstars like Strasburg, Machado, Harper and their 30M a year or so contracts, to the 25th man on the roster. Clark and the union lawyers want the players to get their contracts regardless of what is happening out in the streets of America.
When the league shutdown in the middle of the Cactus League and Grapefruit Circuit, the owners decided to help the players immediately.
They granted the players 1.7M immediately, 286,000 per man for March-April pay periods. The 5-neighbors on my cul-de-sac wish they could have that 286,000 each after losing their jobs.
They granted every major leaguer 1-year full service time towards free agency, whether the season was cancelled completely or only a partial schedule was played. It means Mookie Betts becomes a free agent no matter what next season, and every aspiring star has a year in the books towards arbitration and free agency.
They kept every player and their family covered under the major league health plan, as most owners also paid non baseball employees their salaries over 5-pay periods.
They are proposing 30-man active rosters, and a 20-man taxi squad, all paid at the major league levels, which means alot more money for all those extra players in clubhouses, if the game restarts
And now the war of words from Clark and the Union saying we agreed to take pro-rated contracts for the 80-games cancelled, but did not agree to a further pay cut if there were no fans in the stands.
That’s not what the MLB email to the Union said after the meeting, that if there were no fans, players had to understand their might be more contract givebacks. And a union lawyer said he ‘understood’ the meaning of the email. Yes the players lost 80-games of salary, but the owners lost 80-games of revenue too.
So as baseball owners try to relaunch this Black Plague of a season, we have Tony Clark acting like Donald Fehr, the past militant union boss, as if players deserve everything, and should not have to give back anything.
The good of the game is at stake. It’s the emotional life saver to the fans around the nation and that is important too. The Union, for all the good it does, is acting very badly at this point.
Solve it, take the pay cut for 3-months, rally the sport and the country and go back to the original CBA next season, and be rich again. If not: