Tampa Bay Rays Editorials: Gotta Have (Bad) Faith – Lines of Logic
By Seth Carter
Tampa Bay Rays News: Poking fun at the finger-pointing and a look at why everyone is acting in “bad faith” these days.
Tampa Bay Rays Unfortunate News: The commissioner was whistling a different tune on Monday night. That tune sounded a lot different than the one he was whistling last week.
In the excitement and joy of the five-round draft last Wednesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN’s Karl Ravech that he’s “100 percent” sure there will be a season.
Line of Logic: Even at the moment he uttered those words, it made me think that the commissioner is one of those people who doesn’t truly understand what 100% means. He’s one of those guys that comes into the office every day saying, “give it 110% today guys!” People often say things they don’t truly mean or understand.
He wasn’t just doing some backtracking, he backed over it with his car, put it in drive and ran it over again as Stewie did to Dean Koontz in season two of Family Guy.
Then, on Monday night the commissioner went on ESPN’s special entitled “The Return of Sports” and discussed how he thought baseball -while it is indeed a sport- may not return in 2020.
Line of Logic: Appearing on a show that details the return of major sports across America to point the finger at the players and discuss how there may not be a return for baseball is very not smart.
After the owners’ previous counter-offer to the players’ most recent counter-offer, the players essentially gave up negotiating and just told the commissioner to tell them when and where so they can report.
"“As a result, it unfortunately appears that further dialogue with the league would be futile. It’s time to get back to work. Tell us when and where.”"
They were referring to the March 26th agreement, which gave the commissioner the authority to enact a 48-game season with fully prorated salaries for the players.
Why didn’t the commissioner tell them when and where?
He added another stipulation. He says he won’t provide a schedule unless the players sign a waiver of litigation because he believes the union’s plan is file a grievance once the schedule is official. The grievance would be based on the idea that the owners were not negotiating in good faith to play as many games as possible.
Because he believes they would file a grievance accusing the owners of acting in bad faith he believes the players are thus plotting a move… you guessed it… in bad faith.
I’m not kidding.
"Manfred said in Monday’s interview that he believes the union intended to file a grievance that the league had not fulfilled its obligation under the March 26 agreement to play the most games possible, which he deemed a “bad faith tactic.”"
Line of Logic: Players say owners are acting in bad faith by pushing for a short season, tells owners to let us know when and where so we can play some ball. Owners respond by saying, “if we do, you’ll probably file a grievance because we’ve been acting in…err, you said we’ve been acting in bad faith. We believe that the notion that you would file a bad-faith grievance is a premonition of bad faith… no season!
The players responded by calling the commissioner’s comments “disgusting.”
Line of Logic: Afterall, the commissioner said the optics of this dispute are a disaster for the game on ESPN. “It shouldn’t be happening.” Essentially saying the players should not be doing this. Finger-pointing.
We do not yet know if the commissioner will be appearing on SportsCenter tonight to accuse the players of tweeting in bad faith… or even worse, scheduling a future tweet in bad faith.
Line of Logic: This is a nationally televised argument between two children at a pre-school.
“He did it!”
“No, He did it!”
“No, he did it!”
You two need to apologize to each other.
“No, because if I say it first, I don’t think he will say it back!”
“You are disgusting!”
Line of Logic: After re-reading that previous line of logic, I’m sad to say that it’s pretty accurate.
Tampa Bay Rays – The Players’ Perspective
I’ve seen a lot of people arguing that the players should play for a reduced salary. Baseball is not an essential activity. We may feel like it is, but it’s not. It’s a luxury. If the players receive a fully prorated salary, it’s still not a full salary.
Tampa Bay Rays – Bad Faith with Mathematics
If a player makes $565,000 for the season and plays in 48 games, that means the player would earn just over $167,400 for the year. That’s already about a 70% pay cut.
The owners’ latest proposal was for 72 games at 70% prorated pay. That means the hypothetical player referenced above would have to play in 24 more games and would make $175,777.78 for the season. Still about a 70% annual pay cut.
In other words, 50% more games with five percent more in pay. Either way you cut it, the players are looking at about a 70% pay cut whether they play 48 games or 72 games.
Line of Logic: If you were forced to take a 70% pay cut and your boss said “Chippy, (that’s your name) you can work 40 hours or 60 hours, but either way you are going to make the same amount, what would you do?
As a fan, it’s easy to say “the players get paid enough to play a game, they should suck it up and entertain me.” While I understand the sentiment, it’s a terribly myopic view of a financial dispute that involves billions of dollars. It is not that simple.
Tampa Bay Rays – Good Move on Bad Faith?
There are things we don’t know. We only see what they are allowing us to see. Perhaps the commissioner had it on good authority that the players did intend to file a grievance and so going on SportsCenter and calling them out, set the table to make them look bad in the event they actually filed.
Is it fair that the owners reap the rewards of their mega-tv contracts and sky-rocketing equity while player salaries are largely stagnant, especially the guys stuck in pre-arbitration limbo? Is it fair when a player signs a $250 million contract and then gets injured or stinks the place up?
There are financial risks to owning a baseball team and there are huge financial rewards. This is one of the risks. With a union as strong as the MLBPA, the owners should have known better than to ask them to take a pay cut from their agreed contracts. It’s not happening. You don’t need me to tell you that.
How many of you are enjoying the labor dispute?