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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred promised real progress in the latest round of CBA negotiations on Saturday. Instead, the meeting brought with it more frustration.
Billionaires and millionaires both unwilling to budge on core economic issues — where have I heard this before?
It’s hard to blame baseball players for wanting their fair share, considering they are the very product.
This week, Manfred stood in front of a podium spewing hope and prosperity. He refused to officially delay the start of spring training and wouldn’t even speak of doing so to Opening Day baseball.
Yet, on Saturday we are merely a few inches closer to a new CBA deal, while every day that passes poses the unfortunate reality that real, professional baseball is nowhere close to occurring on our terms.
MLB lockout: What happened in Saturday’s meeting?
The owners’ latest proposal was technically an improvement, but didn’t include a large enough leap in pure financial terms for the MLBPA’s lawyers to approve or even come away impressed.
There’s more, of course. Forward momentum can be taken as a positive, but when each passing day puts us one large step closer to missing regular season baseball games, inching forward can be taken out of context.
Players have continuously and in unison come away unimpressed with the owners’ offers. Considering it was the owners’ idea to lockout in the first place, that should enrage the average fan. Heck, at least come to the table with a viable counter.
Manfred is the face of this lockout and he must own it. The following statement, uttered just two days ago, should signal exactly how serious Manfred and the owners are taking these talks at your expense — the average fan.
“You’re always one breakthrough away from making an agreement,” Manfred said. “That’s the art of this process. Somebody makes a move. And that’s why we’ll make additional moves on Saturday that creates flexibility on the other side and what seemed like a big gap on this topic or that topic isn’t such a big gap anymore.”
The owners failed to make that move, yet again. And despite being consistent in his approach that the regular season will start on time, why on earth would we believe Rob Manfred now?