Article

Coronavirus: MLBPA´s Clark says players ´disgusted´ with MLB commissioner Manfred

June 16 2020 1:35 AM

Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) executive director Tony Clark said players are "disgusted" with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred amid doubts over the 2020 season.

Manfred said he is "not confident" there will be a 2020 campaign following the coronavirus pandemic, after the start of the season was delayed in March.

Over the weekend, the MLBPA refused the league's latest offer and stepped away from the negotiating table. 

The league's latest offer came on Friday, proposing a 72-game season that would pay players between 70 and 83 percent of their prorated salaries.

Responding to Manfred's comments, Clark said in a statement on Monday: "Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told players and fans that there would '100 per cent' be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season."

Manfred spoke via ESPN's 'The Return of Sports' on Monday and sparked controversy when he said: "I'm not confident. I think there's real risk; and as long as there's no dialogue, that real risk is going to continue.

"The owners are 100 per cent committed to getting baseball back on the field. Unfortunately, I can't tell you that I'm 100 per cent certain that's going to happen."

Manfred's comments came a week after he said: "I can tell you unequivocally we are going to play Major League Baseball this year." 

"Any implication that the Players Association has somehow delayed progress on health and safety protocols is completely false, as Rob has recently acknowledged the parties are 'very, very close,'" Clark added. 

"This latest threat is just one more indication that Major League Baseball has been negotiating in bad faith since the beginning. This has always been about extracting additional pay cuts from players and this is just another day and another bad faith tacti in their ongoing campaign."

An imposed schedule would likely consist of an estimated 50 games, paying players a full prorated salary. 

The MLBPA, however, feels that the league failed to live up to the March 26 agreement to try to play as many games as possible, and it may file a grievance to recoup money lost due to a shrinking schedule.  

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