On Monday, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred backtracked on his comments he made to ESPN’s Buster Olney last Wednesday when he said “I can tell you unequivocally we are going to play Major League Baseball this year.”
In another ESPN interview, Manfred spoke on Monday to Mike Greenberg on the possibility of there being a 2020 season and he said “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.”
According to the March 26 agreement between the MLB Players Association and the league, Manfred has the power to implement a 2020 season as long as players are paid their full prorated salaries and the two sides participate in good faith negotiations. Now the league is afraid the players will file a grievance against the league.
Jeff Passan reported Monday that the league will not implement a schedule unless the players waived their rights to file a grievance against the league for failing to partake in good faith negotiations.
The 2020 season is in jeopardy and players are furious.
They have made it clear that they are ready and more than willing to get the 2020 season started. It’s just up to the league to tell them when to report to camp and how many games will be played.
Rhys Hoskins, the Phillies’ players union representative, had this to say on Twitter:
“LOL” has been a catchphrase among Phillies players during the negotiation process. When the media would leak a new league proposal that was sure to get rejected immediately by the union, Andrew McCutchen would tweet an “LOL” almost immediately. Nick Pivetta echoed the same sentiment.
Players around the league seem to be united in using the phrase, “When and where,” or a similar rendition of it. It’s a clear way to communicate to fans that they are willing to play and the league is the one responsible for the holdup.
Meanwhile, Bryce Harper has a plan B in case the 2020 season is canceled:
On “Outside the Lane” with Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson, Harper joked about possibly playing for the Birds if there wasn’t a 2020 season. He said he played outside linebacker in his youth and confirmed he wants to be on the defensive side of the ball on his Instagram story. He even posted this photoshopped image of him in an Eagles uniform:
Harper also retweeted this from photographer Denis Kennedy:
Pitchers Jojo Romero and Cole Irvin also chimed in:
Update 2:07 pm: “When and where” seems to have really caught on.
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