Our air conditioner died this week, which has been less of an issue the last couple days, but more heat is coming. Hopefully a fix arrives soon. (Not, like, magically – I mean, we have a tech appointment – I’m just saying I hope it can be fixed easily. I get sweaty.)
• The players responded to the owners’ latest offer within a day, and now we’ve had silence for three days. Rob Manfred said that a response was being prepared back on Wednesday, but it’s not to the players yet. It’s annoying, it’s obnoxious, and it has felt like par for the course in these negotiations. As we’ve said, the owners and MLB know they have the right to mandate a short season at any time, and it has felt for weeks like that has been the idea all along: run out the clock on negotiations, and say you had no choice. We can’t know that for sure, and I doubt there’s universal agreement among all 30 owners, but, I’m just saying, that’s sure what it feels like. It would make for the absolute worst, least-hyped, most-hostile version of a return to the sport, and the total destruction of any of the goodwill the league could have built up during this pandemic. I am still in awe of the level of f***-up every time I type it.
• In any case, Joel Sherman is probably right about this, even if the most obvious – and good for the long-term health of the sport – decision is to just offer to pay full prorated, TODAY, for about 70 games:
1/Thx Jayson. Wondering if right offer now is ask players to pick: something like 56 Gs full prorated. Or 66/76 Gs with less prorated, but chance at each # of Gs if revenues are there this season to go over 100 pct prorated plus some future benefits to free agency/mimimum wage. https://t.co/GsrPYTSJA4
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 12, 2020
• Sure enough, as I type, here’s what the offer is expected to look like:
Sources tell me MLB counter proposal today will move towards a season of roughly 70 plus games with a salary percentage on the 80-85 percent of pro rata. Playoff pool bonus. My concern are the recent spikes in COVID -19. Worst case would be to start and stop. Will players move?
— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) June 12, 2020
• If it’s like the last offer, that 80/85% of prorated (which the players might not accept anyway) won’t be guaranteed unless the playoffs happen. The sides reportedly have until next week to make a deal before the league will say “too late,” and impose its own short season.
• More on how Theo Epstein helped lead the effort to get MLB directly involved in supporting Black Lives Matter before the draft:
Ken Rosenthal with the details on how a group of execs, including Theo Epstein, helped spur MLB's Black Lives Matter statement to open Wednesday's draft. https://t.co/XK4qLhIuY5
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) June 12, 2020
• An example illustration on how MLB teams can be “not profitable” or “not generate cash” while still being wildly good businesses for their owners:
How to Make $750 Million, Cash Free https://t.co/d8RU7MrLop
— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) June 12, 2020
• I feel really bad for the community there in Iowa, but it’s impossible to see this happening:
The "Field of Dreams" hosts and organizers in Iowa are still hoping to host the White Sox-Yankees game on Aug. 13 — even if it seems like a long shot.https://t.co/ziiB2BMhem pic.twitter.com/uUOAlHkgMy
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) June 11, 2020
• Day One ratings info for the MLB Draft is in, though I’m not actually sure this is a huge increase when you consider it went from a limited-availability cable channel to one on every single provider (and still being on the old one, too):
MLB benefits from getting ESPN and ESPN Deportes involved in this year's Draft as in day 1 of the event last night generated an average viewership of 615K across those two networks and MLB Network, up 102% from last year's figure when it was just on MLB Net.
— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBG) June 11, 2020
• When you consider the context of no sports, too, I’m thinking this is nowhere near where it would have been if there were a happy, pleasant deal in place to return, and the hype could have been building among the fans. Another opportunity missed by the sport.
• Speaking of things that have felt much harder to get hyped about than if the sport were actually on its way back:
Five of the pitchers who allowed home runs to both McGwire and Sosa in '98 tell their stories stemming from that year — about the sluggers, batting practice, the home runs, the autographs, the PEDs, the Hall of Fame question. https://t.co/29dsamOpdq
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 12, 2020
• Go do a couple quick clicks and vote for the South Bend Cubs/Four Winds Field here:
Hey, wanna do something easy to give the @SBCubs some love? Go here and vote for their ballpark at Four Winds Field – just click the checkmark on the field to vote! Here: https://t.co/GMvUtCWcZ6 pic.twitter.com/PwgQGsZ7VV
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) June 11, 2020