September 22, 2021

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MLBPA Rejects MLB Proposal To Delay 2021 Season By 154 Games With Extended Playoffs – CBS Sports – Tell It Like It News

The Major League Baseball Players Association has rejected an MLB proposal to shorten the 2021 season to 154 games. The MLB recently proposed the changes and offered to pay players for the usual 162 games in exchange for an extended postseason for 2021. In response to the union’s rejection, the MLB now says the 2021 season will start on time and as planned.

On Monday evening, the union issued the following statement:

“Late last week, the MLBPA for the first time this offseason received a proposal from the MLB to delay Spring Training and Opening Day by about a month.

According to the proposal, the end of the season would be postponed by a week, the regular season would be reduced to 154 games and all thirty teams would be forced to play multiple doubleheaders. Players would also be required to accept previously rejected proposals linking the extended playoffs with the designated hitter expansion.

Although players’ salaries would not initially be prorated over a regular season of 154 games, the MLB’s proposal does not offer any salary or service time protection in the event of further delays, interruptions or cancellations of the season.

The MLBPA board of directors and player leadership have reviewed and discussed the owners’ proposal over the weekend and today. The net result of these deliberations is that players will not accept the MLB’s proposal, instead continue preparations for a timely start to the 2021 season and accept the MLB’s commitment to re-direct its clubs to prepare for a timely start.

We do not take this decision lightly. Players know firsthand the efforts required to complete the shortened 2020 season, and we appreciate that significant challenges lie ahead. We look forward to promptly finalizing advanced health and safety protocols that will help players and clubs meet these challenges. “

MLB subsequently responded with its own statement:

“On the advice of experienced doctors, we have proposed a one-month delay at the start of Spring Training and the regular season to better protect the health and safety of players and support staff. A delay in the season would reduce the level of COVID-19 infection rates and additional time for vaccination distribution, as well as minimize potential disruptions to the 2021 season that all sports currently face.

“The offer included starting the regular season on April 29 and playing a 154 match schedule that would pay players in full as if they had played 162 matches. We also proposed two changes from the 2020 season that have been hugely popular. among our fans: this season only, with a modified expanded Postseason (seven teams per league) and the universal designated hitter rule.

“This was a good deal that reflected the best interests of everyone involved in the sport by simply moving the season calendar back one month for health and safety reasons without affecting the rights players or clubs currently have under the Basic Agreement or Uniformed Player Agreement for Pay and Service Time.

“In light of the MLBPA’s rejection of our proposal and their refusal to counter our revised offer this afternoon, we are moving forward and instructing our clubs to show up for a punctual start to Spring Training and the championship season, provided that reach an agreement on health and safety protocols. Our 2020 season has taught us that when the nation faces the crisis, the national game is more important than ever and there is nothing better than playing ball. We were able to complete a 2020 season thanks to herculean efforts and sacrifices made by our players, Club staff and MLB staff to protect each other. We will do it again, together, as we work to play another safe and fun season in 2021. “

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, a number of players believe it is too late in the offseason to review the schedule, which partly explains the reasoning behind the union’s rejection. The two sides could revisit the idea of ​​extended playoffs and universal DH, but the union remains against the idea of ​​extended playoffs, according to Rosenthal.

David Samson broke the latest MLB / MLBPA talks on the latest episode of Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:

It should be noted that MLBPA recently declined an offer that would give them universal DH in exchange for an expanded postseason. The new 154-game season proposition is essentially the same offering, only with eight fewer games and a delayed start.

According to the league’s plan, spring training would begin on March 22 according to Buster Olney of ESPN, and Opening Day would be postponed to April 28. The Wall Street newspaperadds Jared Diamond the expanded postseason would have included 14 teams, not 16 like the 2020 season.

The MLB’s proposal seems reasonable enough on the surface, even though the MLBPA wouldn’t get anything as valuable as the expanded postseason for owners. An expanded postseason equates to tens of millions of additional MLB revenue. The union is already entitled to full pay for 2021, which means it wouldn’t get much out of the rejected proposal.

While delaying the season would make sense for health and safety reasons, it’s about money. The MLB wants to play as many games as possible with the fans in the stands and delaying the season would help to do so now that the distribution of vaccinations has begun. MLBPA wants full pay regardless of the length of the season.

Spring retreats are scheduled to open in mid-February and Cactus League and Grapefruit League matches will begin on February 27. The regular season opening is scheduled for April 1st. To hear now that both sides say it, this is the program they will keep at.