MLB News and Notes: MLBPA Executive Director Optimistic

Officially, there is no baseball yet and no word on when we might get it. However, there is still news from the baseball world trickling in day by day. Let’s catch up on some of the stories you might have missed from the past few days.

Tony’s Optimism

If Major League Baseball comes up with a plan to play this season, they’ll need the players to sign off on the idea. Fortunately, Executive Director of the MLB Players Association Tony Clark has expressed optimism in recent days about playing baseball in 2020.

Clark has been in contact with MLB about potential plans and says that being able to test the players without taking away from public testing is one of the biggest obstacles to starting the season. Unfortunately, Clark adds that while there have been a lot of ideas suggested, there is “not much to the depth of them” right now.

Eventually, Clark will be in charge of informing the players about any potential idea to start the season but says that he’s open-minded about having to play games without fans in the stadium, knowing fans will still be able to watch games on TV.

Cutting Pay?

With playing a full 162-game season virtually impossible at this point, players know they won’t be making a full salary in 2020. MLB and the Players Association have already agreed to a deal that will involve players receiving a prorated portion of their salary based on how many games they play this year.

However, the latest reports indicate that MLB may ask the players to take an additional pay cut to help offset the lack of money from gate receipts. If and when the season begins, it’s likely to do so without fans in attendance, limiting revenue.

The owners won’t officially ask for a pay cut until there is a solid plan in place to play the 2020 season, but any plan that MLB proposes to the players could include an additional cut in pay. On the bright side, MLB already gave the Players Association $170 million to cover salaries during the early part of the season.

Even if the season is canceled altogether, the players will be able to keep that money.

A Little Rusty

With most players confined to their homes, they’re doing their best to remain in shape for when the season begins. However, that plan went awry for Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly this week.

In his backyard, Kelly was attempting to hit a bulls-eye while working on his changeup. As it turns out, his changeup is a little rusty because one of his throws missed the target completely and hit his house, breaking a window. Kelly says he spent three hours cleaning up the mess and then got a neighbor to help him replace the broken window.

Pittsburgh Blues

The 2020 season hasn’t started yet, and Pirates fans are already upset with their team. In a poll conducted by The Athletic this week, over half of Pirates fans expressed below-average excitement for the team in 2020.

Meanwhile, over 70% of fans describe the performance of owner Bob Nutting as “poor” while just 1.2% gave him a favorable rating. Of course, Nutting cleaned house this winter, firing the team president, GM, and manager. Apparently, Pirates fans aren’t thrilled with the new direction of the team.

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