If you think the bad feelings between Major League Baseball’s owners and players will start fading away anytime soon, think again.
As San Francisco Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija made abundantly clear on Friday, the taste left after months of fruitless negotiations between MLB and the players union is still fresh and still bitter.
Don’t believe us? Check out his fiery response when asked his thoughts on playing baseball in empty stadiums this season. Samardzija turned that seemingly innocent question into an opportunity to shred the owners for always seeming to put making money highest on their list of priorities. Even higher, in his opinion, than player safety.
Jeff Samardzija with a spicy reply when asked about playing in fan-less ballparks: "I wouldn't put the carriage before the horse. I think we've seen from the owners they're not afraid to put anyone at risk, especially if it makes them money."— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 3, 2020
That is coming in hot. Though given some of the comments we’ve heard from owners lately, there might be some validity to it.
Consider that the basis behind the owners demands for lower prorated salaries this season was they would lose boatloads of money without fans in the stands. To make that argument, refuse to play more than 60 games, and now have some owners, like the Yankees’ Hal Steinbrenner, come back and say, “you know, maybe we can do this fan thing after all,” looks a bit shady on the surface.
Of course, in some MLB cities those decisions will be out of the owners hands. But the fact that some owners are pushing for it to happen suggests that, yes, squeezing every last dollar is their most important mission, even during a pandemic.
Here’s more from Samardzija:
More from Jeff Samardzija: "I'd rather have 82 games, 90 games, which we were definitely able to do and had a window to do." I'm here for a season in which the players don't let anyone forget how this all went down.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) July 3, 2020
In other words, this season will be a constant reminder for the players that they were wronged by the people signing their checks.
Granted, that part really isn’t new. There has long been tension between the owners and players over a variety of issues. But as Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter put it this week, now there’s no trust between the owners and players. As such, any chance for a true agreement this season, regardless of the circumstances, was always slim. And any hopes for a swift agreement when the CBA runs out in 2021 is likely lost.
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