Major League Baseball’s negotiations with the Players Association have been anything but smooth, and commissioner Rob Manfred’s reputation has certainly taken a hit for it.
On the first night of the 2020 MLB Draft, Manfred guaranteed a season would take place despite the two sides seemingly being nowhere near an agreement.
A few days later, the MLBPA temporarily ended negotiations with the league, telling Manfred to let them know when and where to show up for the season. Instead of implementing a season, which he has the power to do, Manfred’s response was that he was no longer certain a season would take place.
The reason for that was the owners were afraid the MLBPA would file a grievance against the league since the original agreement was that they would do everything in their power to play as long of a season as possible, which they have failed to do.
One person who has not been afraid to speak freely during negotiations or any other time is MLB agent Scott Boras. He did so again this week, taking a shot at Manfred for the way he has negotiated, via Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated:
“He’s being the pancake commissioner, where ‘I’ll flip anywhere I want to,’” said player agent Scott Boras, the maestro of metaphor and the sultan of simile. “When you negotiate publicly, once you say it, if you go down a different road you lose credibility. When he said on draft day ‘100 percent we’re going to have baseball,’ the commissioner said there’s a chicken in every pot.”
Manfred reportedly opened negotiations back up this week by flying to Arizona to meeting with MLBPA executive director Tony Clark, and the meeting was said to be a productive one.
While there still is no agreement between the two sides on a 2020 season, it seems they are moving closer to making that happen, which is positive news for everyone involved.
Even if they are able to work out their differences, it is clear that Manfred no longer has the respect from players and agents that he once had as the man making all of the key decisions for MLB.
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