Less than a week after saying he was 100 percent confident that there would be a 2020 baseball season, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is now "not confident" that games will be played this year.
Negotiations between the league and the players' union over a shortened 2020 campaign ended over the weekend, with the union instructing Manfred to tell the players when and where to report for a brief campaign with perhaps as few as 48 regular-season games. But despite having the power to impose a season as long as he chooses as long as the players receive the full prorated salaries they agreed to in March, there's potentially another snag.
The Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin reported that Major League Baseball informed the union that there would be no season unless it guaranteed there would be no legal action against the league.
Source: In a letter today, MLB told the MLBPA there would be no 2020 season unless the players waived any legal claims against the league.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) June 15, 2020
It meant Manfred pulling a 180 after he expressed such confidence last week ahead of the MLB Draft.
"I'm not confident," Manfred said during an ESPN interview, asked if there would be a season. "I think there's real risk, and as long as there's no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue."
Even after negotiations have ended, there is still bickering between the two sides over money as nearly every other professional sports league has figured out a plan to return from their coronavirus-induced layoffs. Baseball's, however, has no end in sight, it would seem, as the league and players remain locked in a labor battle that could be only a sign of things to come, with the current collective-bargaining agreement due to expire after the 2021 season.
Even after players told the commissioner that they're ready to play, there is no culmination to this lengthy back and forth.
We still don't know when or if there will be baseball in 2020.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred 'not confident' there will be a 2020 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago