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Commissioner Rob Manfred “not confident” we’ll see a 2020 MLB season

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That’s certainly one way to put it.

2019 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Roughly one week removed from stating that he was certain there would be some form of a 2020 Major League Baseball season, it appears the frustrating labor negotiations between MLB owners and the MLBPA have changed Commissioner Rob Manfred’s tune. As ESPN’s Jeff Passan relayed Monday afternoon, the commish went on record on radio stating he’s “not confident” there will be a 2020 season, which is a pretty damning indictment of the current state of affairs from baseball’s highest official.

Is that the death knell for 2020 baseball? No, not exactly.

Is that a clear sign of how conflagratory the 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement renegotiation is going to be between MLB and the MLBPA? Ha, haha, hahaha...

I digress.

The fact is, the money issue has long been a hangup for the two sides, as the March agreement for prorated salaries has been called into question in repeated new proposals from ownership as they plead for further reduction of costs. That, of course, runs in contrast to players pining for what was already renegotiated, all while they, the players, are running the risk of trying to play a season amidst a pandemic.

A pandemic, I’ll point out, that’s not just not going away, but is coming back.

Remember when Florida was once one of the two ‘bubble’ states they thought they could play in?

There will be more to this, of course. It’s clear now that baseball is just as concerned with having a season start and then halted again as it is about actually getting started, since the most recent news has shed light that the playoff games, even without fans, are the one true revenue-generators this year. Now that’s out in the open, it’s easy to see how the already contentious negotiations became even more so, since a short regular season and quick-trip to the playoffs is financially paramount to one side, while playing more regular season games is lucrative for the other side.

Baseball, man. Figure your crap out.