Less than a week after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he was “100% certain” there’d be baseball this summer, he told ESPN’s Mike Greenberg he’s “not confident” there will be a season. “The owners are 100 percent committed to getting baseball back on the field,” he said. “Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that I’m 100 percent certain that’s gonna happen.”
Manfred’s comments came after the MLB Players Association told the league to set a date to return to play, effectively ending negotiations and setting the table for a future labor issue. Manfred said he believed the union was set to file a grievance against the league saying it did not fulfill its duty to play as many games as possible. In a letter to the MLBPA, the league reportedly said there would not be season unless the players waive any legal claims.
In response, MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said players are “disgusted” at Manfred’s decision to back away from his confidence. “This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning,” Clark said.
- Along with the new conflict between MLB and the MLBPA, there were also reports several players and coaches tested positive for COVID-19, which could also further delay the season.
- The WNBA has its official plan: a 22-game season at the IMG Academy in Florida starting in late July. Players who participate will receive 100% of their 2020 salaries, but details – including start date – are still being sorted out.
- The NBA reportedly won’t test for recreational drugs when play resumes in Orlando, hoping to help ease the stressful situation.
- NFL agents were told protocols for the upcoming season would be determined in the next several weeks, including testing players three times a week.
- NASCAR’s All-Star race at Bristol Motor Speedway will allow 30,000 fans, but will not require them to wear masks although they will be “highly encouraged.”