The New York Yankees are less likely to play a 2020 MLB season than they were yesterday.
We’re not sure if something flipped overnight, if we’d never been as close as it felt, or if neither side is destined to move at all, but pessimism grew on Wednesday about the state of the 2020 Yankees season as ownership officially rejected the players’ 114-game proposal.
We all expected they would, of course, with ownership’s side still preferring a shorter, mandated regular season at prorated salaries totaling somewhere around 50 games.
However, we anticipated the admission of prorated salaries would move MLB closer to budging on length, too, clearing a path for a compromise in the middle at 82 games, what we all wanted all along.
Apparently, that has not happened.
Giving increased credence to the idea that some owners are willing to punt the season if it won’t start on their terms, MLB seems to be content to either mandate a shorter season by Rob Manfred’s edict (remember, he can apparently install a 50-game schedule if talks break down), or demand players play for below their agreed-upon value if they want to return sooner/make the campaign more legitimate.
What that might look like is anyone’s guess.
This whole sequence has been a bizarre affair featuring no “counters”…followed by new proposals, essentially serving as counters. However, as the days tick on, the baseball world at large appears to be more pessimistic about the campaign’s arrival.
It seems assured that dreams of a July 4 opening weekend would die if the two sides are unable to come together at the bargaining table by the end of this week, and it would grow more likely that Commissioner Manfred would then mandate his shortened schedule.
Since that nuclear option has never come into play before, we’re of course unsure how the players would react in that instance.
If optimism is going to grow throughout the game — with so much else going on across this country right now that it’s increasingly difficult to focus on baseball — it’s going to have to happen fast.