retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said yesterday that it is possible that there will be no 2020 season - despite the fact that he said last week that he was 100 percent certain that there would be.

The story points out that "baseball has gone from the possibility of returning ahead of all its main competitors on the Fourth of July, with about half a season, to a 50-game mini-season, to perhaps no season at all, in the span of two weeks."

KC's View:

If I understand the situation correctly, the new pessimism is driven by the fact that the players - while not happy with the fact that the owners want them to take a cut to their prorated salaries for a shortened season - are a) willing to play, and b) are unwilling to forfeit their right to file a grievance against the owners.

The Journal writes that "a previous agreement from March gave Manfred the right to impose a schedule of a length of his choosing provided players received their full prorated salaries for the number of games. The owners had indicated that if it came to that, they would opt for about 50 games to minimize their outlay to players while still maintaining the lucrative postseason."

I tend to be a players' guy on this stuff … they are the ones who will be on the field, risking their health … but I did see the owners' point because there will be such a big reduction of revenue since there will be no ticket and concession sales for the games.    That said, the owners did sign an agreement … and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't let the players off the hook if the shoe was on the other foot.

Now, it is up to the owners.  Let the games begin, and if the players want to file a grievance, let them … the owners must have some confidence in their legal position, right?

I still think that even a shortened season won't go very far, simply because there will be a coronavirus outbreak and they'll have to stop.  And all we'll be left with is a bad taste in our mouths, and the probability that this year's labor strife will lead to some sort of job action when the current contract runs out.