Today is lockout day #70. Pitchers and catchers aren’t reporting this weekend. Spring training being delayed is now a fait accompli. Today Rob Manfred stated losing regular season games would be “disastrous.” No kidding. MLB is still trying to gain back income lost in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Obviously that isn’t happening if they lose more money by not playing games this year.
The commissioner then, describing himself as an optimist, said, “You’re always one breakthrough away from making an agreement. That’s the art of this process. Somebody makes a move. And that’s why we’ll make additional moves on Saturday that creates flexibility on the other side and what seemed like a big gap on this topic or that topic isn’t such a big gap anymore.”
The most interesting part of that, to me, was “additional moves on Saturday.” Last week the MLBPA was annoyed when MLB proposed using a federal mediator rather than countering the players’ most recent proposal. It was at least part of why the players’ reps rejected the mediation idea. Perhaps Manfred’s statement means a new proposal from the owners is forthcoming this weekend. Maybe.
Otherwise, if this thing drags on another month, it will be “disastrous.”
4 thoughts on “Manfred: CBA “One Breakthrough Away””
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The universal DH is something the owners have wanted but continually proposed as a carrot to the players as if it were some sort of concession. Condolences to Old Gator as I know he hates the idea—hope he’s doing well.
Removing draft pick penalties for signing free agents who were given qualifying offers will help though.
I’m wondering how they will handle the Ohtani situation. I don’t believe he hit in games he pitched last season, but could they theoretically allow him to be both a DH and a Pitcher in the same game, or would they have to forfeit the DH if they wanted him to pitch?
Edit: Turns out they did have him hit in games he pitched. Didn’t realize that. Suppose it’d be just business as usual then. Still would be cool if they would allow you to designate one person both a pitcher and a DH. At least as some sort of compromise.
Not knowing the answer myself, I looked up Ohtani’s last game as a pitcher last season—Sep 26. He pitched 7 innings. He came to bat 3 times. A pinch hitter was sent in in the 8th, replacing a relief pitcher. It appears that Ohtani hitting eliminates the DH for the Angels if he is also pitching. I presume the thought is that pitcher and DH are considered two different positions. Thus, if the DH weren’t eliminated on the days Ohtani pitched and hit, the Angels could replace him as the pitcher but leave him in the lineup as the DH.