A few bits trickling out tonight about the initial meeting between the owners and players on the return-to-play proposal …
Of most significant note, today’s discussion did *not* involve financial issues:
Meeting between MLB and MLBPA has ended. MLB did not make an economic proposal. Discussions expected to continue.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) May 12, 2020
Obviously the financial issues will have to be addressed and will be wildly contentious, but I think it’s actually a really good thing that the initial focus was apparently on other things. That may have included things like the schedule and rosters and what-have-you, but I’m hopeful that the primary focus was actually on public health and safety.
To that end, with testing availability being among the greatest considerations of the day:
MLB does believe they will be able to acquire adequate testing, which is an absolute necessity to make this work. Without enough testing, they won’t play.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 12, 2020
Strictly speaking, the mere ability to acquire adequate testing volumes is not quite enough, as I guarantee the sport is not going to acquire those tests if they come at the expense of others who more urgently need them. With testing volume ramping up dramatically over the past month, and with a rapid antigen test coming online, it does seem reasonable that testing volume will be on another level come mid-June, when Spring Training Part Two would begin. But still: it actually has to get there.
And as I type, Yahoo puts out a sourced report that, indeed, today’s focus was health and safety:
Health and safety protocols and contingency planning were among the primary topics today, according to Yahoo. That is, again, very heartening to hear. That’s gotta be the first layer of this process – without it, none of the rest even matters.
More as it becomes available.