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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Is Not Confident about 2020 Season and Players Are Angered

Busayo Ogunjimi
Jun 18, 2020
01:00 P.M.
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Sports leagues have been particularly hit by the novel coronavirus. However, while some leagues are working towards a reopening soon, it appears that baseball is stalling. 

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Earlier this week, Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, told reporters that he wasn't sure the league would resume. As he explained, the probability of this closure extending is higher as there are still conflicts. 

According to the report, Manfred had said last week that he was confident of baseball's return this year. However, it would appear that negotiations with the MLB Players' Association have now stalled progress. 

An aerial view from a drone shows Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, empty on Opening Day March 26, 2020 | Photo: Getty Images

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The league was billed to begin the 2020 season months ago, but the pandemic pushed things back. In that time, the league and players' association have been discussing a possible reopening and sharing plans. 

However, nothing concrete has surfaced, and Manfred now believes that this stalemate could cost the season. In the interview, he said:

"The owners are 100 percent committed to getting baseball back on the field. Unfortunately, I can't tell you that I'm 100 percent certain that's gonna happen."

Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks during a press conference on Monday, March 21, 2016 | Photo: Getty Images

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Per reports, the players' association has rejected the league's proposals because they're quite the same. While there have been several proposals, most appear to be versions of the same thing. 

The league initially offered to pay players just a third of their regular salaries. Financial disagreements, and more, are now holding the season back. 

While baseball's return is stalling, the NBA appears to be roaring back to life.

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Since the negotiations have begun, terms appear to have improved significantly. The baseball league delivered a proposal last week that would have paid players 70 percent of their salaries. Still, the players' association rejected it. 

In light of Manfred's statement, players' association executive director Tony Clark issued a statement. In part, he said:

"Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told Players and fans that there would '100%' be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word."

Tony Clark, Executive Director of the MLBPA, speaks during the 2018 Baseball Writers' Association of America awards dinner on Sunday, January 28, 2018 | Photo: Getty Images

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Clark added that the parties

had made progress with negotiations. However, the league was trying to paint the situation like the players' association is stalling. 

He pointed out that all of this showed that the league was operating in bad faith all along. As he explained, the goal is to rob players of their salaries if and when the league starts. 

Tony Clark is seen during a press conference before 2017 World Baseball Classic on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

While baseball's return is stalling, the NBA appears to be roaring back to life. The basketball league has approved a proposal that will see the playoffs start in August.  

The league is also targeting a possible finals date of September 30. It's worth noting that the date is tentative for now. 

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