So ... MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who just five days back said that he was 100% sure there would be a 2020 season, backed off that claim yesterday, telling ESPN that after the latest back and forth with the MLBA, he was not confident there would be baseball this year.
“I can’t tell you that I’m a 100% certain that’s gonna happen,” Manfred said.
That didn’t go over well. MLBPA’s official response, via tweeted statement reiterated their belief that MLB’s side has been negotiating in bad faith.
Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark today released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/ibyOqB93WC— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 15, 2020
Max Scherzer tweeted the following in response to the latest MLB statements:
Rob Manfred and the owners are walking back on their word...AGAIN. The fans do not deserve this. So I’ll say it one more time, tell us when and where.— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) June 16, 2020
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Times’ writer Bill Shaikin reported that there was a letter sent to the players in which, “... MLB told the MLBPA there would be no 2020 season unless the players waived any legal claims against the league.”
This indicates that MLB knows it has violated March Agreement's "best efforts" provision & won't proceed if MLBPA intends to try to enforce the Agreement.— (((EugeneFreedman))) (@EugeneFreedman) June 15, 2020
So, they both want out of the pro rata provision and the best efforts provision. Seems they really dislike their own work. https://t.co/93TsNqKEF6
In the end, all of this might be pointless negotiating through the media, because now there are reports that some players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19:
NEW YORK (AP) — MLB letter obtained by The Associated Press says several players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19.— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 15, 2020
In another sign of how poorly this is all going, even that news was viewed with some serious skepticism:
Wait...they leaked information about player health to the AP? First, I hope everyone is feeling ok and recovering well. But the timing of this leak is suspicious and it feels really gross. https://t.co/Vq3FlMT8rJ— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) June 16, 2020
Also, if you’re bored, Trevor Bauer has some thoughts (there’s a whole thread if you click on this):
So, Rob, explain to us how you can be 100% sure that there’s going to be baseball but not confident there will be baseball at the same time? hmmm. What changed between those statements Players told you to set the season, but it’s too early to set the season right now,— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) June 15, 2020
Go read your links, that may be where you get all your baseball content for a while...
Max Scherzer challenges the league to designate ‘where and when’ for the season - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Monday was filled with bickering and finger-pointing, more fatigue and once again little to no progress. Perhaps even steps backward."
Tales from the clubhouse: Bonds and Bacsik - (MASN)
"As Bonds began to inch his way toward history that summer, I distinctly remember looking at the schedule at some point and thinking to myself: 'There’s a decent chance he’s going to do it against the Nats in August.'"
Nats agree with 3 non-drafted free agents - (MLB.com)
"Take a look at the NDFAs who have agreed to terms with the Nats. Details are pending, and these deals have not yet been made official by the team."
BREAKING: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred tells @Espngreeny that he’s “not confident” there will be a 2020 baseball season. “Unfortunately," Manfred said, "I can’t tell you that I’m a 100% certain that’s gonna happen.”— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 15, 2020
News at @espn: https://t.co/h1I6Yh5R55
Sammy Sosa's only contract offer in 2006 came from the Nationals - (NBC Sports Washington)
"According to the Associated Press, the Nationals offered [Sammy] Sosa a 'non-guaranteed, incentive-laden major league contract' in February after originally proposing a minor-league deal."
Nationals reportedly sign undrafted infielder Gio Diaz of St. Mary's - (MASN)
"As a sophomore, Diaz committed only three errors with 65 assists on defense in 49 games. He started 42 of those contests, notching 45 hits with eight doubles, 10 walks and 20 RBIs."
Jayson Werth? Stephen Strasburg? Who had the second-most iconic moment in Nats history? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Today, we look at the second-most iconic moment in Nationals history aside from the World Series run. The votes were cast by Todd Dybas, Nick Ashooh and Chase Hughes..."
Each team's best season by a player over 40 - (MLB.com)
"Nationals -- Fernando Rodney, age 42, 2019 - Key fact: Turned in five straight scoreless appearances in the 2019 postseason before yielding two runs in the seventh inning of World Series Game 4 against the Astros."
Former Orono High star signs with Washington Nationals - (Portland Press Herald)
"University of Rhode Island outfielder/first baseman Jackson Coutts signed a free-agent contract with the Washington Nationals, the school announced Monday."
Infante is going to a hot organization. The Nationals are coming off the first World Series championship in franchise history, and they selected just one infielder in this abbreviated draft — Infante. https://t.co/KtlX0Ufdrk— Miami Herald Sports (@HeraldSports) June 15, 2020
Rocky Mountain product reflects back on being drafted to the MLB - (ktvb.com)
"Rocky Mountain High School alumnus Jackson Cluff might only be one year into his professional baseball career, but he is already one of the more accomplished prospects to ever come out of the state of Idaho."
OU baseball: The draft will affect Sooners' 2021 roster, but could help in recruiting - (normantranscript.com)
"That’s what happened last Wednesday. OU had four players — pitchers Cade Cavalli, Dane Acker, Levi Prater and catcher Brady Lindsly — all get drafted within the first four rounds. It was a first in program history."
Should You Draft Washington Nationals' Juan Soto This Year? - (Sports Illustrated)
"After a breakout rookie campaign in 2018, Juan Soto continued his success at the plate in 2019 knocking out 34 home runs and 110 RBIs."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies undrafted free agents: Local left-hander Jake McKenna signs - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"McKenna is a 6-foot-7 southpaw and lifelong Phillies fan. He chose the Phillies over other teams because he grew up watching them."
Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo back MLBPA's response to Rob Manfred's comments: 'WE ARE ALL READY' - (SNY)
"The Mets teammates responsed to Manfred's comments by quote-tweeting Clark's full statement that was released via the MLBPA's Twitter page. Here's what they had to say..."
Antonio Velez signs with Marlins as non-drafted free agent - (MLB.com)
"The Marlins wasted little time adding another pitcher to their system, reaching agreement with Florida State University left-hander Antonio Velez as a non-drafted free agent."
Braves agree with undrafted free agents - (MLB.com)
"After making four selections in last week’s shortened MLB Draft, the Braves are now evaluating some of the undrafted free agents who can immediately provide some organizational depth."