Major League Baseball players and their union chief responded to Commissioner Rob Manfred’s reversal on whether there was going to be a season at all amid a fight over salaries in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark said in a statement that players were “disgusted” over Manfred’s comments to ESPN on Monday night.
“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 and is now threatening to cancel the entire season,” Clark said. “Any implication that the Players Association has somehow delayed progress on health and safety protocols is completely false, as Rob has recently acknowledged the parties are ‘very, very close.’ This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning. This has always been about extracting additional pay cuts from Players and this is just another day and another bad faith tactic in their ongoing campaign.”
Other players also responded to Manfred’s comments.
Manfred told ESPN there might not be a major league season after a breakdown in talks between teams and the union on how to split up money.
“It’s just a disaster for our game, absolutely no question about it,” Manfred said. “It shouldn’t be happening, and it’s important that we find a way to get past it and get the game back on the field for the benefit of our fans.”
Manfred said ahead of last week’s amateur draft that the chance of a season was “100 percent.”
“I’m not confident. I think there’s real risk; and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is going to continue,” Manfred said Monday on ESPN. “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 going to happen.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.