Trevor Bauer is calling the commissioner’s bluff.
Shortly after Rob Manfred reneged on his recent “100 percent” guarantee that there will be baseball in 2020 and said he was “not confident” games would be played this year, the outspoken Reds pitcher took to Twitter to declare that the commissioner is delaying negotiations on behalf of owners, as to better justify a shorter schedule and lower — albeit fully prorated — player salaries.
With the most recent round of the contentious talks threatening to set the sport back years, the players’ union ejected the proposal for a 72-game schedule at 80 percent of their pay (as much as 83 percent if a postseason were concluded) and did not make a counteroffer, asking MLB to set a schedule.
The March agreement between the players and owners authorizes Manfred to set a season of any length, as long as the players receiving full prorated pay.
“Players told you to set the season, but it’s too early to set the season right now, isn’t it Rob? Because then you’d have to explain why you’re only going to impose 50 games when we could easily play 70+ right now,” Bauer tweeted. “The tactic is to bluff with “no season” again and delay another 2-3 weeks until you clear the risk of “not negotiating in good faith by trying to play as many games as possible”. The public backlash combined with potential of having to explain yourself in front of an arbitrator isn’t too appealing, is it?”
Bauer then estimated a more ideal MLB timeline for the shortened season, reasoning that Manfred doesn’t have to set a schedule until June 28.
“But today Is June 15, so how do you delay another 13 days?
“Guess we all got that answer today. Threaten to cancel the season. Threaten arbitration. Threaten grievances. All the while, hold the fans for ransom. Hold the future of the game for ransom. No one believes your bluff, bud. You’re holding a losing hand. Unfortunately, it’s a losing hand for everyone involved, not just you.”
Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon had the same thought as so many fans.
“These so called “negotiations” (or lack there of) have been sooo slimy, tone deaf, greedy, lying, leaking, and overall out of touch,” he tweeted. “This is not even close to what you dream of as a kid! Sorry to everyone for this playing out through the media during a pandemic. Brutal.”
Amir Garrett, a former two-sport star at St. John’s, did his best to laugh at the increasingly absurd situation.
“@StJohnsBBall can y’all check and see if I got any eligibility left?”
Toronto Blue Jays infielder Travis Shaw tweeted, “Every day somehow continues to get worse. MLB should be embarrassed… everyone involved. Im embarrassed. This is a joke.”