MLB vs MLBPA, a tale as old as time or at least the past 55 years. The current disagreement over the 2020 MLB season negotiations has tentacles that reach back into the history of the sport and would take a Ph.D. in economics and hours of research to truly grasp. But what we have instead is minutes and a loose understanding of Econ 101 – that’s enough to form a strong opinion, right? Sure it is, we’re sports fans!
The current proposal from the League Office is a graded pay cut not unlike the current tax bracket system currently sucking money out of our paychecks every year. The more a player was due to earn, the more significant his reduction in salary for the pro-rated amount he’d be due for whatever 2020’s schedule ends up being. A brief aside, even if the money is figured out – the MLBPA has also maintained that regarding health and safety regulations the two sides are reportedly “far apart” and really that’s the most important thing to get figured out before we see live baseball this year.
The first reaction to the pay cuts has been overwhelmingly negative. This is about as surprising as a clown at a circus, but is it fair for the players to expect the owners to accept all the risk?
As pointed out by LA Times writer Bill Shaikin, for the highest-paid players this proposal would have them paying half the season for less than a quarter of their negotiated salary.
This seems to be ridiculous on the surface, but remember that just because a multi-billion dollar franchise has a net worth in the “illions” doesn’t account for actual year-to-year revenue streams, operating capital, fixed costs and etc – here we go again with the dissertation on economics.
The point is, the owners are possibly looking at significantly more losses than simply “a quarter” of their expected earnings this season.
Is that ok?
They took the risk of operating a sports franchise, they signed the contracts – the losses are on them? Maybe. But if it were you, I’d bet you’d be fighting for every penny too.