CODNP Day 93: Same Song, Different Cover

You know when a band takes a famous song and reworks it to make it their own?  Sometimes the cover is really good, sometimes it’s not as good as the original, but the words are pretty much the same and the tune often is similar.  It’s definitely not a huge creative endeavor.  It’s taking something and mixing it up a bit.

That’s pretty much what the owners continue to do with their proposals to start the 2020 season.  The dynamic duo of Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich have the latest (plus the snarky acrimony that pervades it).  Seems like the league is offering a 72 game schedule (good) at 70% of pro-rata (better), which moves to 80% if the playoffs actually get done.  Feels like a step toward the players, doesn’t it?

So, again, we circle around that 30-35% bit of salary that the owners have wanted so desperately, the amount that they’ve asked for in every single proposal.  The players, not surprisingly, weren’t really thrilled with this offer, even if it hasn’t been formally rejected yet.

So we continue to see very little progress toward an actual season. With the hammer option of imposing a season on the players, the owners don’t have to make many adjustments to their proposal, but that also means time continues to run down.  (Perhaps a sign that the owners aren’t really serious about this many games, there would be very little time on the calendar since the owners won’t budge off of September 27 as an end date to actually get 72 games in.)

I still feel like the players might not go the grievance route, unless they can file it while still playing, because they don’t want to be seen as the final reason why there won’t be a season. Then again, this group of players, up and down the status scale, seem pretty committed to the cause.  They may feel like acquiescing here ruins some of their rights going forward.

It’s a little surprising that the owners aren’t more open to these extended playoffs given the playoffs are their real money makers.  It may be that the TV networks, with the NBA and NHL going and the NFL and college football (in theory) happening, aren’t that interested in trying to jam in more games during that time.  So it could be that the owners are realizing that the expanded playoffs aren’t going to happen or they aren’t going to be as profitable as they normally would be.

Anyway, the owners have labeled this their final counter-proposal for 72 games.  I don’t know if that means that the next time they counter it’ll be for fewer games or they are going to go with the implementing of a schedule of their liking next.  Honestly, if they are going to get anything done, the time for back and forth is running out.  There’s a need for three weeks of spring training and probably a week to 10 days of getting everyone together (though teams have been instructed to find places close by for their taxi squad to use).  We’re already looking at probably July 14 at the earliest for a start (that’d be a Tuesday, which would be slightly weird but OK).  Much more of this and Opening Day is going to wind up around my August 2 birthday.

It’s been a very frustrating few weeks as a fan.  It wouldn’t be surprising if ratings aren’t quite as good as expected if and when baseball finally comes back because a lot of people have moved on for the season and have been turned off by the seemingly bad-faith negotiations.  We’ll see what happens when it happens.

Series Navigation<< CODNP Day 92: An International LossCODNP Day 94: Cutting Through the Smoke and Mirrors >>

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